Amit Sharma, 35, grew extremely worried when he noticed over a few weeks that his frequency to urinate had increased. He also observed that he was unable to pass urine smoothly which caused a lot of discomfort.
“I decided to consult a urologist when the persistent urge to urinate started affecting my daily life. I also started experiencing a dull pain in the back toward the left side and wondered whether the two signs were connected,” Amit said.
When Amit met Dr Rajesh Khanna, Senior Consultant, Urology at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in Delhi, he explained his condition in depth.
Upon learning of his persistent urge to urinate and difficulty in passing urine, Dr Khanna suspected kidney stones and suggested a few tests.
Other symptoms that people might experience in this condition are:
- Severe pain in the back or side of abdomen
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Blood in urine
- Vomiting and nausea
- Burning sensation during urination
Diagnosis of kidney stone
Amit got the recommended blood test and urine tests.
The tests revealed a high level of uric acid ( a type of waste products in urine) in his blood indicating the possibility of stones.
The 24-hour urine collection test also revealed that he had been excreting many stone-forming minerals (that enable the formation of kidney stones).
After studying the test results, Dr. Khanna advised a CT scan.
“The CT scan revealed tiny stones in his urinary tract which confirmed my suspicion,” said Dr. Khanna.
Amit was surprised by the diagnosis and wondered how he developed this condition.
“One of the major causes behind the formation of kidney stones is the lack of fluid intake,” explained Dr Khanna.
“When there isn’t enough water to dilute the crystal-forming substances in your urine like uric acid, calcium and oxalate, the urine becomes concentrated allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together. “
Some other causes of developing kidney stones may be:
- Family history of kidney stones
- High blood pressure
- Diet rich in sodium and protein but low in calcium
- Sedentary lifestyle
After Amit fully understood the condition he enquired about the proper course of action.
Treatment for kidney stone
The treatment for kidney stone depends on the size of the stone.
In Amit’s case, the stones were small – around 5-6 mm – and so he was advised to drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water everyday so that he could pass the stone while urinating.
He was given some medicines to relieve the pain while passing the stone and decrease the uric acid levels in his blood. He was also advised some dietary changes.
Fortunately, Amit was able to pass the stone through urination within two weeks after drinking loads of water.
In case the stone is large in size, you will most likely be unable to pass it on your own and would require medical assistance.
One of the ways to treat large kidney stones is ESWL (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy). In this procedure, sound waves are used to create strong vibrations to break the stones into tiny pieces. This way they are able to pass through easily.
“Kidney stones upto 2 cm can be treated using ESWL,” remarked Dr. Khanna.
For stones larger than 2 cm which are resistant to other forms of stone treatment, a technique called PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy) is used.
“In this procedure, a small 1 cm incision is made in the patient’s back. A tube is placed there from which a small telescope is passed through. This helps in locating the stone, breaking it up and taking the pieces out of the body,” explained Dr. Khanna.
“You must get treatment for kidney stones as soon as possible because if it remains inside the body for too long, it can block the tube connecting the kidneys to the bladder causing serious complications.”
In a follow-up consultation, Amit wanted to know whether there was any chance of the stones recurring. To this, Dr. Khanna replied,
“If you don’t change your diet, there is an 80 percent chance that the stone will reform.”
Dietary Changes after Treatment of Kidney Stones
“Make sure you only eat low sodium food products with higher levels of calcium such as milk, yogurt, cheese and green vegetables. Avoid adding salt to your food as well” advised Dr Khanna.
“Try to limit your animal protein intake whenever you can because it increases uric acid levels in your urine.”
You should also:
- Drink plenty of water daily to make sure your urine is clean. Dark yellow or brown coloured urine is an indication that you aren’t drinking enough water.
- Avoid stone-forming foods like spinach, chocolate, beet and most nuts.
Amit was careful about his diet and ensured he made the suggested dietary changes as he didn’t want to go through the discomfort again.
“I am grateful that I didn’t take my symptoms lightly and got treatment early,” Amit remarked.
If you are experiencing the same symptoms as Amit, don’t delay your diagnosis. Come in for a consultation with our senior urologist now by filling the form below: