Types of Kidney Stones in men & women
A kidney stone may be formed from either of the substances or minerals found suspended in urine after the body’s metabolic process. Their contour may be smooth or with sharp, uneven edges. The color of the calculus formed may have a yellow or brown hue to it. Stones formed also vary in size ranging from a sand grain, to the size of a pearl, or even as big as the golf ball. Five types have been identified until date, namely struvite, uric acid, cystine, calcium oxalate, and calcium phosphate with the most common being calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Calcium combines with oxalic acid in the intestine during the digestive process or in the urinary tract that get deposited after the metabolic process is complete to form this crystalline salt known as calcium oxalate. This may be excreted along with urine or may be retained in the form of renal calculi. Common factors that contribute to high levels of calcium, oxalate and acid in urine are eating habits and irregular intake of fluids. A diet rich in oxalate containing foods and low in calcium results in more release of oxalate into the urinary system, creating an ideal environment for stone formation. Thus, it is must be noted that it is not a calcium rich diet that need to be avoided by individuals who suffer from this type of kidney stone, but refrain from increased intake of oxalate rich foods. Also, the person should increase fluid intake to prevent tiny stones from sticking together to form larger ones.
Calcium phosphate kidney stone variety is a less common type and is actually capable of getting formed in alkaline urine conditions. People with this type of renal stones are recommended to acidify their urine by way of diet like consuming cranberry juice, whole unrefined grains, etc., in plenty for urine acidification to help prevent further stone formations.
Uric acid kidney stones as the name suggests takes shape from uric acid that is normally present in small quantities in human urine. When a person follows a diet rich in proteins, uric acid levels normally increase in urine as this is the by-product of protein metabolism. Acidic urine is an ideal environment for uric acid stone formation, thus those with a history of this kidney stone variety are recommended to increase urine alkalinity by drinking plenty of water and reducing meat consumption. Certain medical conditions also encourage this stone formation, so treating them effectively will gradually decrease its occurrence.
Struvite stones are formed when an individual develops recurrent urinary tract infections. The biochemical reactions occurring from the infection-causing bacteria result in the formation of an enzyme that makes the environment in the urinary tract suitable for this type of stone production. First, antibiotics need to be administered to check the infection. Further, acidification of urine will prevent any more formation of this stone variety.
Cystine kidney stones are an inherited type arising from genetic mutation or intra-molecular gene re-organization. Cystine is a crystalline amino acid and a major metabolic sulfur source normally present in small quantities in human urine. Cystinuria on the other hand is a metabolic defect marked by excretion of high amounts of cystine in the urine resulting in kidney stone formation. This can be controlled by increasing urine production by way of ample fluid intake to decrease cystine urine concentration.
Know the type of your kidney stone to successfully get rid of it with proper treatment.