Large Kidney Stones – Symptoms
Calculus is a concentration, usually, of mineral salts that can occur in hollow organs or ducts. A renal calculus is a solid mass of mineral matters that can develop anywhere in the urinary tract. Kidney stone is a result of mineral crystallization in the urine. Urine secreted by the kidneys normally contains uric acid, water, and other mineral elements that can solidify to form crystals and further develop into stones.
The urinary tract consists of kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and the urethra. Ureters are narrow tube like structures that convey urine from the kidneys to the bladder. From the bladder arises a canal called the urethra that carries urine out of the body. Kidneys are bean-shaped organs situated close to the spinal column in the human body. They are partially protected by the ribcage. These organs have the effects of a filter. Blood is passed through them so as to remove unwanted byproducts of metabolism. These byproducts will include urea, glucose, water molecules, mineral salts, etc., which is utilized to produce and secret urine by the nephrons (kidney consist mainly of these nephrons).
Urine is made up of chiefly water, approximately 80% – 90%, with mineral elements and other compounds present in minimal amounts. In a situation where the urine is composed mostly of these mineral salts and very little water molecules in a continual basis, the mineral elements will contribute to crystallization and growth of kidney stones.
Kidney stone is a common occurrence among the male population probably due to the greater incidence of lower urinary tract obstruction in them, like, benign prostatic enlargement. The obstruction will hinder complete drainage of the kidneys, and calculus gets formed easily in stored urine. During the earlier stages of stone development, its size will be small enough to move out of the urinary tract on its own. However, this is made possible only when sufficient water is taken in, since a good flow of fluids will help in cleansing the urinary system. When there is deficient fluid flow, some of the small crystals may get retained, which over time will grow to assume a size big enough to cause urine obstruction.
Large kidney stone is a source of great pain, its intensity being so severe that the sufferer is unlikely to ever forget it during their lifetime. These are also the cause of urinary obstruction and urinary retention. Location of the pain largely depends on the size and shape of the stone, as well as which part of the urinary tract is being obstructed. Usually pain is observed around the flank, lower abdomen, and groin regions. Some may even notice severe back pain, especially when either the kidneys or the urinary bladder becomes enlarged from the urine accumulation.
Nausea or vomiting may be observed by a significant lot due to great degrees of pain. If obstruction occurs in or around the urethra, pain or a burning sensation while discharging urine is generally observed. Stones with a rough texture can damage the urinary tract walls on their way out, causing them to bleed. This will result in bloody urine discharge.
Also Read – Causes of Large Kidney Stones .