That feeling… like someone kicked you in the back?

That feeling, like someone kicked you in the back?2015-02-01 00-43-23.256

It may be kidney stones. Kidney stones can be a minor little nuisance or a major problem requiring surgery. It depends on the size and location of the stone, the health of the individual, and how quick the problem is caught.

Your kidneys are awesome

When you think about your kidneys you generally think of two things: protect them in a fight and well… urine. The kidneys are so much more.

  1. Kidneys filter waste from blood – the blood not the water you drink, not directly
  2. They create urine ( I know you know but it’s on my list so I had to say it)
  3. They help regulate calcium metabolism
  4. They help regulate electrolyte metabolism
  5. Kidneys help regulate salt
  6. Kidneys help regulate potassium
  7. Kidneys help with the body’s acid balance
  8. Kidneys create chemicals that stimulate red blood cell production which helps regulate blood pressure

So as you see, kidneys have a lot of work to do. Yes you can live with one really healthy one but two are best. I say don’t mess with the architect’s design but I would also hand one over to my sister or brother readily.

Kidney Stones

Are fun! –Ok I am being silly. I apologize to anyone who has ever had them. They are painful and “passing a kidney stone” is the closest many men will ever get to the pain of childbirth. They develop from an overload of salts and minerals in the kidneys.

Causes:

  1. Hereditary risk factors – no one knows the gene per se but they do run in families often
  2. Low water intake, dehydration
  3. High salt and mineral intake … the jury is still out in regards to calcium over load but when the liquid ( water) and the minerals do not have the right balance, crystals form resulting in stones
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Obesity ( a risk factor more than a cause like HBP)
  6. Excessive protein diets
  7. For some, high Oxalate foods like : Chocolate, tea, dark leafy greens, oranges, tofu, instant coffee, sweet potatoes, blue berries, blackberries, These are healthy foods but there is a certain group of people who need to be more careful in over doing them. Remember, everything in moderation so the body can regulate it. No berries only diet or anything outrageous like that. If kidney stones run in your family, ask your doctor about a blood test that can see if you have a high amount of the precursors in your blood.

Signs:

  1. Pain in abdominal area, lower back and sides of back ( see doctor that is a sign for several serious illnesses)
  2. Pain in groin
  3. Frequent or painful urination
  4. Bloody urine
  5. Vomiting and nausea ( usually accompanied by pain in groin or back)

Kidney stones can be as small as a small piece of salt ( which still hurts by the way) to the size of golf ball ( extreme case) They are usually just a few millimeters  or less and even then may require surgical procedure to remove.

Treatment:

  1. Sometimes the doctor just makes you increase you fluid intake to wash them out, maybe with muscle relaxers ( for ureters the tubes where urine leaves the kidneys) and pain meds
  2. Sometimes the doctor can go up the ureter ( I will not be graphic) and use a tool to grab the small stones
  3. Surgery through small incisions in the back
  4. Extracorporeal Shock wave therapy – shock waves!!! It sounds cool as heck but it can leave bruises, cause internal bleeding, and really hurt

So if you have the signs, go in for a checkup. Ask your family has anyone in the family had kidney stones and let your doctor know. The doctor may do a CT scan, X-ray, or ultrasound to see the stones. They may also do urinalysis and blood analysis to see the mineral content of your body. These tests are simple and for the most part not very invasive. The quicker you see why that pain is with you the better off you will be.

Have you ever had a kidney stone? What happened? Let me know!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

Love and Light

Lissa

 

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