Tag Archives: Urolithiasis

Bladder stones

Alternative Names :Stones – bladder; Urinary tract stones; Bladder calculi

Definition:
Bladder stones are usually small masses of minerals that form in your bladder. Bladder stones develop when urine in your bladder becomes concentrated, causing minerals in your urine to crystallize. Concentrated, stagnant urine is often the result of not being able to completely empty your bladder. This may be due to an enlarged prostate, nerve damage or recurring urinary tract infections.

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Bladder stones are hard buildups of minerals that form in the urinary bladder. In most cases, these stones are made up of calcium. Stones are usually between 0.2cm and 2cm, but may be smaller or much larger.

Symptoms:

Symptoms occur when the stone irritates the lining of the bladder or obstructs the flow of urine from the bladder. Symptoms can include:

•Abdominal pain, pressure
•Abnormally colored or dark-colored urine
•Blood in the urine
•Difficulty urinating
•Frequent urge to urinate
•Inability to urinate except in certain positions
•Interruption of the urine stream
•Pain, discomfort in the penis
•Urinary tract infection
?Dysuria (painful urination)
?Fever
?Urinary urgency
Incontinence may also be associated with bladder stones.


Causes:

Bladder stones generally begin when your bladder doesn’t empty completely. The urine that’s left in your bladder can form crystals that eventually become bladder stones. In most cases, an underlying condition affects your bladder’s ability to empty completely.


The most common conditions that cause bladder stones include:

*Prostate gland enlargement. An enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can be a cause of bladder stones in men. As the prostate enlarges, it can compress the urethra and interrupt urine flow, causing urine to remain in your bladder.

*Damaged nerves (neurogenic bladder). Normally, nerves carry messages from your brain to your bladder muscles, directing your bladder muscles to tighten or release. If these nerves are damaged — from a stroke, spinal cord injury or other health problem — your bladder may not empty completely.

*Weakened bladder wall. Bladder diverticula are weakened areas in the bladder wall that bulge outward in pouches, and allow urine to collect.
Other conditions that can cause bladder stones include:

*Inflammation.
Bladder stones can develop if your bladder becomes inflamed. Urinary tract infections and radiation therapy to your pelvic area can both cause bladder inflammation.

*Medical devices.
Occasionally, catheters — slender tubes inserted through the urethra to help urine drain from your bladder — can cause bladder stones. So can objects that accidentally migrate to your bladder, such as a contraceptive device or stent. Mineral crystals, which later become stones, tend to form on the surface of these devices.

*Kidney stones. Stones that form in your kidneys are not the same as bladder stones. They develop in different ways and often for different reasons. But small kidney stones occasionally travel down the ureters into your bladder and if not expelled, can grow into bladder stones.

Diagnosis:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam.  He will likely feel your lower abdomen to see if your bladder is distended and, in some cases, perform a rectal exam to determine whether your prostate is enlarged. You may also discuss any urinary signs or symptoms that you’ve been having.

Tests used to make a diagnosis of bladder stones may include:

*Analysis of your urine (urinalysis). A sample of your urine may be collected and examined for microscopic amounts of blood, bacteria and crystallized minerals. A urinalysis is also helpful for determining whether you have a urinary tract infection, which can cause or be the result of bladder stones.

*Spiral computerized tomography (CT) scan.
A conventional CT scan combines multiple X-rays with computer technology to create cross-sectional images of your body rather than the overlapping images produced by regular X-rays. A spiral CT speeds up this process, scanning more quickly and with greater definition of internal structures. Spiral CTs can detect even very small stones and are considered one of the most sensitive tests for identifying all types of bladder stones.

*Ultrasound. An ultrasound, which bounces sound waves off organs and structures in your body to create pictures, can help your doctor detect bladder stones.

*X-ray. An X-ray of your kidneys, ureters and bladder helps your doctor determine whether stones are present in your urinary system. This is an inexpensive and easy test to obtain, but some types of stones aren’t visible on conventional X-rays.

*Special imaging of your urinary tract (intravenous pyelogram)
. An intravenous pyelogram is a test that uses a contrast material to highlight organs in your urinary tract. The material is injected into a vein in your arm and flows into your kidneys, ureters and bladder, outlining each of these organs. X-ray pictures are taken at specific time points during the procedure to check for stones. More recently, helical CT scans are generally done instead of an intravenous pyelogram.

Treatment:
Sometimes cystoscopy is performed to examine the inside of the bladder. During this process a fibre-optic camera, called a cystoscope, is inserted into the bladder via the urethra. Any bladder stones can usually be broken up during this procedure, and then washed out.

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Stones can also be broken up into pieces small enough to allow them to pass out in the urine using a special type of ultrasound called lithotripsy. If the stones are too large to be removed by these methods, surgical removal becomes necessary.

Since bladder stones can often recur, it’s important to reduce the chances of this happening. This means drinking plenty of fluid every day, and ensuring that any underlying medical conditions, such as gout, are treated appropriately.

Alternative medicine:
For centuries, some people have tried to use herbs to treat and prevent stones that form in the kidneys and bladder. Traditional herbs for bladder stones include gravel root (also called kidney root, queen of the meadow and Joe Pye), stone root (also called citronella and colinsonia) and hydrangea (wild or mountain hydrangea).

These herbs are used alone or in various combinations and drunk as tea or taken in tincture form. Some herbal formulas add marshmallow (the plant, not the confection), which is said to coat the fragments so that they can be eliminated painlessly. No studies, however, have confirmed that herbs can break up bladder stones, which are extremely hard and usually require a laser, ultrasound or other procedure for removal.

For prevention, parsley leaf is reported to have a diuretic effect and may be helpful for preventing bladder stones.

You may click tro see :ABC Homeopathic Forum For Urine Bladder Stone

Always check with yourhealth care provider before taking any alternative medicine therapy to be sure it’s safe, and that it won’t adversely interact with other medications you’re taking.


Prognosis:

Most bladder stones are expelled or can be removed without permanent damage to the bladder. They may come back if the cause is not corrected.

If the stones are left untreated, they may cause repeated urinary tract infections or permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys.

Possible Complications:

•Acute bilateral obstructive uropathy
•Bladder cancer in severe, long-term cases
•Chronic bladder dysfunction (incontinence or urinary retention)
•Obstruction of the urethra
•Recurrence of stones
•Reflux nephropathy
•Urinary tract infection

Prevention:

Bladder stones usually result from an underlying condition that’s hard to prevent, but you can decrease your chance of developing bladder stones by following these tips:

*Ask about unusual urinary symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of an enlarged prostate or another urological condition may reduce your risk of developing bladder stones.

*Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking more fluids, especially water, may help prevent bladder stones because fluids dilute the concentration of minerals in your bladder. How much water you should drink depends on your age, size, health and level of activity. Ask your doctor what’s an appropriate amount of fluid for you.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001275.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bladder1.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bladder-stones/DS00904
http://modernmedicalguide.com/bladder-stones/
http://health.stateuniversity.com/pages/447/Cystoscopy.html

Kidney Stones

What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard mass developed from crystals that separate from the urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. These inhibitors do not seem to work for everyone, however, so some people form stones. If the crystals remain tiny enough, they will travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body in the urine without being noticed.

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Kidney stones may contain various combinations of chemicals. The most common type of stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate. These chemicals are part of a person’s normal diet and make up important parts of the body, such as bones and muscles.

A less common type of stone is caused by infection in the urinary tract. This type of stone is called a struvite or infection stone. A bit less common is the uric acid stone. Cystine stones are rare.

Kidney stones in kidney, ureter, and bladder
Urolithiasis is the medical term used to describe stones occurring in the urinary tract. Other frequently used terms are urinary tract stone disease and nephrolithiasis. Doctors also use terms that describe the location of the stone in the urinary tract. For example, a ureteral stone (or ureterolithiasis) is a kidney stone found in the ureter. To keep things simple, however, the term “kidney stones” is used throughout this fact sheet.

Gallstones and kidney stones are not related. They form in different areas of the body. If you have a gallstone, you are not necessarily more likely to develop kidney stones.

Who gets kidney stones?
For unknown reasons, the number of people in the United States with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years. The prevalence of stone-forming disease rose from 3.8 percent in the late 1970s to 5.2 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. White Americans are more prone to develop kidney stones than African Americans. Stones occur more frequently in men. The prevalence of kidney stones rises dramatically as men enter their 40s and continues to rise into their 70s. For women, the prevalence of kidney stones peaks in their 50s. Once a person gets more than one stone, others are likely to develop

What causes kidney stones?
Doctors do not always know what causes a stone to form. While certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible, scientists do not believe that eating any specific food causes stones to form in people who are not susceptible.

A person with a family history of kidney stones may be more likely to develop stones. Urinary tract infections, kidney disorders such as cystic kidney diseases, and certain metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism are also linked to stone formation.

In addition, more than 70 percent of people with a rare hereditary disease called renal tubular acidosis develop kidney stones.

What are the symptoms?
Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. Usually, the first symptom of a kidney stone is extreme pain, which occurs when a stone acutely blocks the flow of urine. The pain often begins suddenly when a stone moves in the urinary tract, causing irritation or blockage. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin.

If the stone is too large to pass easily, pain continues as the muscles in the wall of the tiny ureter try to squeeze the stone along into the bladder. As a stone grows or moves, blood may appear in the urine. As the stone moves down the ureter closer to the bladder, you may feel the need to urinate more often or feel a burning sensation during urination.

If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present. In this case, you should contact a doctor immediately.

How are kidney stones diagnosed?
Sometimes “silent” stones—those that do not cause symptoms—are found on x rays taken during a general health exam. If they are small, these stones would likely pass out of the body unnoticed.

More often, kidney stones are found on an x ray or sonogram taken on someone who complains of blood in the urine or sudden pain. These diagnostic images give the doctor valuable information about the stone’s size and location. Blood and urine tests help detect any abnormal substance that might promote stone formation.

The doctor may decide to scan the urinary system using a special test called a CT (computed tomography) scan or an IVP (intravenous pyelogram). The results of all these tests help determine the proper treatment.

How are kidney stones treated?
Fortunately, surgery is not usually necessary. Most kidney stones can pass through the urinary system with plenty of water (2 to 3 quarts a day) to help move the stone along. Often, you can stay home during this process, drinking fluids and taking pain medication as needed. The doctor usually asks you to save the passed stone(s) for testing. (You can catch it in a cup or tea strainer used only for this purpose.)

The First Step: Prevention
If you’ve had more than one kidney stone, you are likely to form another; so prevention is very important. To prevent stones from forming, your doctor must determine their cause. He or she will order laboratory tests, including urine and blood tests. Your doctor will also ask about your medical history, occupation, and eating habits. If a stone has been removed, or if you’ve passed a stone and saved it, the laboratory should analyze it because its composition helps in planning treatment.

You may be asked to collect your urine for 24 hours after a stone has passed or been removed. The sample is used to measure urine volume and levels of acidity, calcium, sodium, uric acid, oxalate, citrate, and creatinine (a product of muscle metabolism). Your doctor will use this information to determine the cause of the stone. A second 24-hour urine collection may be needed to determine whether the prescribed treatment is working.

Lifestyle Changes
A simple and most important lifestyle change to prevent stones is to drink more liquids—water is best. If you tend to form stones, you should try to drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at least 2 quarts of urine in every 24-hour period.

People who form calcium stones used to be told to avoid dairy products and other foods with high calcium content. But recent studies have shown that foods high in calcium, including dairy products, may help prevent calcium stones. Taking calcium in pill form, however, may increase the risk of developing stones.

You may be told to avoid food with added vitamin D and certain types of antacids that have a calcium base. If you have very acidic urine, you may need to eat less meat, fish, and poultry. These foods increase the amount of acid in the urine.

To prevent cystine stones, you should drink enough water each day to dilute the concentration of cystine that escapes into the urine, which may be difficult. More than a gallon of water may be needed every 24 hours, and a third of that must be drunk during the night.

Foods and Drinks Containing Oxalate
People prone to forming calcium oxalate stones may be asked by their doctor to cut back on certain foods if their urine contains an excess of oxalate:

beets
chocolate
coffee
cola
nuts
rhubarb
spinach
strawberries
tea
wheat bran
People should not give up or avoid eating these foods without talking to their doctor first. In most cases, these foods can be eaten in limited amounts.

Surgical Treatment
Surgery should be reserved as an option for cases where other approaches have failed. Surgery may be needed to remove a kidney stone if it does not pass after a reasonable period of time and causes constant pain. It is too large to pass on its own or is caught in a difficult place blocks the flow of urine causes ongoing urinary tract infection, damages kidney tissue or causes constant bleeding has grown larger (as seen on followup x ray studies).
Until 20 years ago, surgery was necessary to remove a stone. It was very painful and required a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks. Today, treatment for these stones is greatly improved, and many options do not require major surgery.

And they are :Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy, Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy and Ureteroscopic Stone Removal

Hope Through Research
The Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) funds research on the causes, treatments, and prevention of kidney stones. NIDDK is part of the Federal Government’s National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

New drugs and the growing field of lithotripsy have greatly improved the treatment of kidney stones. Still, NIDDK researchers and grantees seek to answer questions such as

Why do some people continue to have painful stones?

How can doctors predict, or screen, those at risk for getting stones?

What are the long-term effects of lithotripsy?

Do genes play a role in stone formation?

What is the natural substance(s) found in urine that blocks stone formation?
Researchers are also working on new drugs with fewer side effects.

PREVENTION POINTS TO REMEMBER

If you have a family history of stones or have had more than one stone, you are likely to develop more stones.

A good first step to prevent the formation of any type of stone is to drink plenty of liquids—water is best.

If you are at risk for developing stones, your doctor may perform certain blood and urine tests to determine which factors can best be altered to reduce that risk.

Some people will need medicines to prevent stones from forming.

People with chronic urinary tract infections and stones will often need the stone removed if the doctor determines that the infection results from the stone’s presence. Patients must receive careful followup to be sure that the infection has cleared.

Natural Remedies For Kidny Stones:

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Help taken from:www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov