Kidney stones are solid, stone-like lumps that form within the kidneys. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as the size of a golf ball (sometimes even larger). Most stones are less than a third of an inch in diameter.
The stones are accumulations of mineral salts and other substances. Many of these stones are small enough to pass out of the body during urination, but some larger stones may partially or fully block the normal flow of urine. Kidney stones can cause intense pain and other symptoms.
In November of 2013, I experienced the extreme pain of kidney stones, where I had an intense pain in my lower back on both sides to the point of having trouble walking. I suspected that it may be kidney stones due to the location of the pain.
About 10 percent of people will experience a kidney stone at some time during life. Kidney stones are a common cause of blockage of the urinary tract in adults, accounting for 1 of every 1,000 hospitalizations.
What Are Kidney Stones Made Of?
Kidney stones consist of:
- A center that consists of crystal-like substances
- A surrounding region that is composed of layers
- Kidney stones are composed of different chemical substances. Each of the major types is named for its main chemical ingredient. They are:
- Calcium stones
- Uric acid stones
- Cystine stones
- Struvite stones
Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones, accounting for 75 to 85 percent of all stones.
- Most of these stones consist of calcium oxalate, or a combination of calcium oxalate and phosphate.
- Their formation is linked to high levels of urinary calcium, or a combination of calcium and uric acid, in the urine. Uric acid stones are relatively uncommon, accounting for 5 to 8 percent of all stones.
Uric Acid Stones
- A high level of uric acid in the blood and urine can cause this type of stone.
- They can form if a person’s urine becomes concentrated with certain dissolved substances that may make it more acidic. Cystine stones are rare, accounting for less than one percent of all kidney stones.
- These stones result from an inherited condition that causes an increase in the amount of cystine (an amino acid) in the urine.
- Because cystine cannot dissolve easily in water, it cannot be reabsorbed from the urine into the blood. This increases the chances that a stone will form.Struvite stones make up 10 to 15 percent of all kidney stones. Because these stones can be quite large, they can cause serious symptoms.
- Struvite stones are formed because of infection by specific bacteria, which throws off the balance of acid in the urine.
- These stones are mainly composed of ammonium and magnesium phosphate and resemble hard crystals.
Facts about Kidney Stones:
- Problems from kidney stones are fairly common, accounting for 1 of every 1,000 hospitalizations.
- About 5 percent of all people have kidney stones.
- There are four types of kidney stones: calcium stones, uric acid stones, cystine stones, and struvite stones.
- Most of the time, there’s no way to tell why the most common type of stones – calcium stones – have formed, although experts believe water intake and diet may play a role.
- Kidney stones are most commonly found among people in the United States and in other technologically developed countries, while bladder stones are more common among people in developing countries.
- Excruciating pain is the main symptom of a kidney stone. But not all kidney stones cause symptoms.
- The presence of a urinary tract infection can increase the severity of stone disease and make treatment more difficult.
When stones are present in the ureter, a person may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain: Pain is the major symptom of a kidney stone. A cramping pain (called renal colic) may be felt as the muscular wall of the ureter contracts in an attempt to push the stone to the bladder. The pain may be on the side of the abdomen or in the middle of the abdomen (if the stone is at the beginning of the ureter). It also may travel into the groin (if the stone is lower in the ureter). The pain can also be felt in the location of the kidneys at the lower back area.
- Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms often accompany severe pain caused by a kidney stone.
- Blood in the urine: A person may be able to see blood in the urine, or it might be detected through a laboratory test. The presence of blood is the result of damage to the lining of the ureter or tissue damage inside the kidney.
- Increase in frequency or urgency of urination, or the inability to urinate: These symptoms, which impact the normal ability to urinate, often occur as a stone passes from the end of the ureter into the bladder.
How do you get rid of kidney stones?
When it happened to me, the pain of the kidney stones had been increasing for days and I thought it may have been a bladder infection at first but the pain continued and then intensified in my lower back area where my kidneys are located. I was out having dinner at the time and was feeling horrible and having trouble walking, I was very close to driving myself to the hospital but then I kept thinking about the cost and opted to go home instead and see if I could find a natural remedy. I immediately came across a natural solution of olive oil and lemon juice. Here is the recipe:
- 2 ounces of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ounces of Olive Oil
- Mix the two ingredients together and drink.
I drank the olive oil/lemon juice mixture 3 times within a 24 hour period and the next day, I had passed two very tiny kidney stones and a gallstone. Amazing how something so small can create such pain. After the stones had passed, the lower back pain subsided and I was back to normal. This may need to be repeated a few times during the day. It may make you feel a bit nauseous if you do have a kidney stone that is trying to pass.The moral is; “You Can Achieve Optimum Health through God’s Pharmacy.”
Tamara St. John