Large Kidney Stones – Causes
Human kidneys are about the size of our fist. They are paired organs situated on either side of the spinal column, just below the ribcage. These organs remove waste materials from the bloodstream, including water fluids, which becomes into urine. Urine will contain more of water content and comparatively less amounts of waste substances, with very minimal amounts of mineral salts. When urine produced is in a highly concentrated form, the mineral salts will develop a higher tendency to separate from the solution and form into crystals. In a dense solution, these formed crystals collect together to form a solid mass in the urinary tract called kidney stone.
A kidney stone initially will be made up of very few crystals. Their size will be small enough to easily move through the path of the urinary tract, without causing any pain or scaring. But when the environment within the urinary tract encourages more crystal formation, they hold fast onto the already gathered crystals and increase in size.
As the stone size increases, the rate of its spontaneous passage out of the body decreases. A stone smaller than four millimeters in size will successfully move out of the system easily; anything larger than this is considered big enough to cause pain and urinary obstruction. Generally, the normal width of a renal tube through which urine pass out, range anywhere between 5 to 6 mm in size; so a stone even as small as four millimeters will have insufficient space in the ducts and canals to pass through without causing any discomfort.
Failure to drink sufficient amounts of water is considered the primary cause for kidney stones to develop. Water not only dissolves soluble substances, but also aids in flushing non-soluble substances, that can crystallize rapidly, out of the body. However, when water molecules are comparatively less, urine volume produced will also remain less and stay in the urinary tract for a longer period of time.Stored urine will encourage crystallization of undissolved mineral salts and their further growth into a kidney stone. Even frequent consumption of caffeine, tea, and carbonated drinks will lead to rapid loss of body fluids encouraging dehydration. Drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water on a daily basis is must; anything less than this can encourage the growth of kidney stones.
When the urine is constantly supplied with these mineral elements in large amounts, it inevitably will lead to stone formation within the kidneys. Excess urinary calcium excretion is often caused by genetic disorders. Problems arising in the gastrointestinal tract leading to excess intestinal calcium absorption, a defect occurring in the kidneys that cause excess calcium to leak into the urinary system, or an increased production of hormones that aid in the metabolic process of calcium all cause an increase in urinary calcium levels. This particular mineral element increase will encourage the development of calcium kidney stones.
A genetic defect occurring in the transport of a certain amino acid called cystine, will increase its levels in urine causing the formation of cystine kidney stones.
A high protein diet, particularly, animal protein, will cause an increase in urine acidity levels leading to the development of uric acid kidney stones. Again, urine acidity increases when water consumption is limited.
Hence, whatever may be the cause, drink plenty of water to flush these mineral elements out of the system so as to prevent them from precipitating in the first place.