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For reasons yet unknown,kidney stones are three times more common in men than in women. They occur when the salts naturally found in urine crystallize and bind together. These stones can be present in the rest of the urinary system as well, including the kidneys themselves, the bladder or the urethra.
Most kidney stones are very small (the size of a grain of sand, in fact) and pass on their own through the urinary tract. When they are larger, however, (ranging from the size of a pea to a golf ball), they can cause significant back pain, which some women have compared to the intensity of labour pains. Some people may also experience nausea or have blood in their urine.
At this time, chronic dehydration has been identified as one of the only major causes of kidney stones. This occurs because dehydration leads to the slower elimination of salts in the urine, causing a build up.
Other factors may also be involved. These include:
Most preventive measures are intended for people who have already had kidney stones. Are you among them? Here are some tips.
Treatment varies according to the type of kidney stone. For smaller stones, the doctor will recommend taking medication to control the pain. He will also suggest drinking plenty of water. Generally, the stone will pass on its own within six weeks.
There are many other methods that can be used, depending on the type of stone, its size and location. For example, it can be broken into small fragments using a non-surgical technique that sends shockwaves directly to the stone. This allows it to pass more easily on its own.
When the stone cannot be eliminated using the above technique, surgery becomes necessary. The stone will then be crushed using either laser or electric energy or it will be extracted altogether. This type of surgery involves a hospital stay of a few days.
Do you have questions about kidney stones and their treatment? Talk to your pharmacist. He’s there to help!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.