Methods to Dissolve Calcium Oxalate Dihydrate Kidney Stones
A crystalline formation of mineral materials found normally within the urinary tract system is defined as kidney stones. In medical terms it is nephrolithiasis; nephro – meaning kidneys; and lithiasis – meaning formation of stony concentrations. When the amount of mineral materials in urine is excess with the urine volume produced remaining low due to poor fluid intake, this environment within the kidneys encourages stone formation.
The types of kidney stones formed are various with each containing different combinations of mineral materials. The most common type is formed from calcium salts, with the other types being uric acid, struvite, and cystine. Calcium kidney stone is further classified into calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate calculus. Calcium oxalate type can be again further divided into calcium oxalate monohydrate and dihydrate stones. These two are almost essentially the same with both the substances having two carbon atoms and one calcium atom. The difference remains in monohydrate containing one molecule of water with the dihydrate chemical compound containing two molecules of water. So the molecular weight of the dihydrate is comparatively more than the weight of the monohydrate. Whatever may be the type of calcium oxalate stones formed, the mode of treatment will be to treat and prevent calcium oxalate crystallization.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is the most effective way to get rid of kidney stones from the system. This is a nonsurgical procedure that can be carried out as an outpatient treatment. High-energy sound waves are directed through the body from the outside, targeting the kidney stones. The pressure waves reduce the stones into fragments, tiny enough to be eliminated out of the body via urine. In case, large pieces continue to remain, another attempt will need to be carried out for complete removal of calcium oxalate stones. This is normally performed under anesthesia, for some amount of pain is bound to be experienced by the individual.
In a person prone to forming calcium oxalate stones, chances of re-occurrences remain high. Thus drug therapy may need to be followed to prevent any further painful episodes of kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stone formation is encouraged by low levels of urinary citrate in the first place. Hence increasing the volume of urinary citrate by way of regular intake of potassium citrate is recommended by most physicians as a preventive measure. Citrates discourages clumping of calcium salts with other mineral materials found in urine as well as increases the urine pH levels, making the environment inadequate for stone formation.
Thiazides like hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, indapamide, etc. encourage re-absorption of calcium in the kidneys thereby reducing levels of calcium in urine. Since these drugs can reduce urinary citrate levels, potassium citrate may sometimes be prescribed along with thiazides.
Prevention is always better than seeking help to cure this condition. Once a person develops a kidney stone, he or she is at risk of getting them again. Following an oxalate-low diet by limiting intake of Swiss chard, spinach, beets, wheat germ, and increasing consumption of avocados, apples, peaches, plums, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnip, and cauliflower is recommended for those who are prone to developing oxalate type kidney stones.