Kidney stone disease
Kidney stone disease, also known as urolithiasis, is when a solid piece of material (kidney stone) develops in the urinary tract. Kidney stones typically form in the kidney and leave the body in the urine stream. A small stone may pass without causing symptoms. If a stone grows to more than 5 millimeters (0.2 in), it can cause blockage of the ureter, resulting in severe pain in the lower back or abdomen. A stone may also result in blood in the urine, vomiting, or painful urination. About half of people who have had a kidney stone will have another within ten years.
Most stones form due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Risk factors include high urine calcium levels; obesity; certain foods; some medications; calcium supplements; hyperparathyroidism; gout and not drinking enough fluids. Stones form in the kidney when minerals in urine are at high concentration. The diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, urine testing, and medical imaging. Blood tests may also be useful. Stones are typically classified by their location: nephrolithiasis (in the kidney), ureterolithiasis (in the ureter), cystolithiasis (in the bladder), or by what they are made of (calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, cystine).
The hallmark of a stone that obstructs the ureter or renal pelvis is excruciating, intermittent pain that radiates from the flank to the groin or to the inner thigh. This pain, known as renal colic, is often described as one of the strongest pain sensations known.Renal colic caused by kidney stones is commonly accompanied by urinary urgency, restlessness, hematuria, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. It typically comes in waves lasting 20 to 60 minutes caused by peristaltic contractions of the ureter as it attempts to expel the stone.
The embryological link between the urinary tract, the genital system, and the gastrointestinal tract is the basis of the radiation of pain to the gonads, as well as the nausea and vomiting that are also common in urolithiasis. Postrenal azotemia and hydronephrosis can be observed following the obstruction of urine flow through one or both ureters.
Pain in the lower-left quadrant can sometimes be confused with diverticulitis because the sigmoid colon overlaps the ureter, and the exact location of the pain may be difficult to isolate due to the proximity of these two structures. from low fluid intake is a major factor in stone formation. Obesity is a leading risk factor as well.
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