Calcium stones

This is the major type of stone found in 50% of the people who suffer from kidney stone disorder. Kidney stones normally found in persons who are taking excessive calcium particularly in pill form. People who are suffering from recurrent stone formation in kidney are more likely affected calcium oxalate stones.

Calcium and vitamins in pill form tend to aggravate kidney stone formation.

We all know that vitamin D is essential in absorbing calcium. This is good for bones. But excessive absorption of vitamin D will only harm your health by producing Calcium stones.

If you are diagnosed with these types of stones, then you should limit the consumption of dairy products, meat and poultry. Instead start taking low calcium high fiber diet.

Allopurinal is proven to be the most effective drug for calcium stone sufferers. However if the drug shows any side effects in any of the patients, then he/ she should stop consuming the medications.

Uric Acid Stones

Uric acid stones are another common type found in kidney stone sufferers. This will occur when the urine has a high concentration of uric acid or the uric acid is present in such a form which is easily dissolvable in water.

People having high risk of uric acid stones

People who receive Chemotherapy treatment for curing cancer have more concentration of uric acid in urine than normal people.

People who live in hot and arid areas and one who do not consume atleast eight to ten glasses of water may have the chance of frequent dehydration. They will lead to low volume of urine output and thereby increase the risk of uric acid stones.

People who have inflammatory bowel disorders or those who have the problem of chronic diarrhea have the problem of low pH urine and low volume of urine. This in turn will increase the stone formation.

Symptoms of Uric acid stones

The person suffering from uric acid stones will experience extreme pain and will also notice blood in urine like any other types of kidney stones []. Hence a complete diagnosis will only help in recognizing the type of kidney stone. Normally uric acid stones will not be seen in X-ray. A CT scan and 24 hours urine test is necessary to identify the stone.

Treatment for uric acid stones

Uric acid stones though cause severe pain are not difficult to remove. Drinking adequate fluid along with increase in urine pH level is sufficient to pass uric acid stones. Normally shock wave treatments are not required for removing this type of stone.

How to prevent uric acid stones

Taking more than 2 liters of water daily will help in preventing uric acid stones. Fresh fruits will help in raising the urine pH level by supplying potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate to the body.

If you do not get effective results in removing stones by the above simplest approach, then your doctor will advice you to take allopurinol drugs.

Struvite stones

Struvite stones are also described as infection stones since they occur mainly due to urinary tract infections. These stones will grow fast and will occupy large parts of the kidney. Even though lots of antibiotics are available nowadays, this infection stone is prevalent in some 15 to 20 % of kidney stone sufferers.

The bacteria that are producing urinary tract infections and thereby struvite stones are proteus and klebsiella. Any conditions that cause urinary tract infection with bacteria have the ability to produce ammonia which will be a key factor in struvite stone formation. Since bladder may have some urine stagnant, the possibility of bacteria growing is more.

Symptoms of struvite stone

Struvite stone does not really show any symptoms like other stones. Mild pain and blood in urine may be seen. However these symptoms can be normally associated with urinary tract infection only. Recurrent infection may be a symptom of struvite stone.

How to diagnose the Struvite stones?

If you have recurrent urinary tract infection then you should go for x-ray or CTscan. This will clearly help in identifying the type of stone. Urine test that shows high pH level more than 7 will also state the formation of struvite stone. A microscopic test that shows crystals in urine will also indicate Struvite stones.

What are the risks involved with this stone?

As already told, this stone will grows at a very fast pace and can cause infections frequently. Sometimes it may also cause acute kidney failure. Normally frequent infection will cause chronic kidney failure.

What are the treatments available to treat Struvite stones?

The complication of this stone makes it indispensable to take treatment as early as possible. Medication will not be successful for more people in removing this stone. Extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is useful in removing small stones. If the stone is difficult to remove by ESWL method then percutaneous nephrolithotomy can be used. In some rare cases ESWL is used after percutaneous nephrolithotomy to remove smaller pieces of stones. For larger stones, open surgery is required.

After removing the stones, follow up is required at regular intervals to confirm new stones have not been formed.

How to prevent Struvite stones?

Struvite stone formation can be prevented by restricting or treating urinary tract infection. Once you have struvite stones, then you should completely remove the stones in any of the above methods. This is important because struvite stones will also cause calcium stone formation and then in turn may lead to kidney failure.

Cystine stones

Cystine stones are not common since their formation highly relates to a rare disease called Cystinuria. This problem occurs mainly in children and young adults. Children having family history of this stone are more likely to be affected by this disease.

Causes for Cystine stone formation

It is a normal fact that amino acids are filtered in the urine. However, a normal kidney can reabsorb them from urine and transfer them in the blood. In cystinuria, the kidneys fail to reabsorb from the urine the cystine amino acids. Therefore, cystine will be dissolved in the urine so as to form crystals. This in turn will result in the growth of stones.

How to diagnose this stone?

Unlike other stones, the Cystine stone will induce continuous pain. Children affected by this disease will complain about severe pain. This is a clear symptom of this stone. X-ray will identify the stone but not that much clear as calcium stone. However, IVP or CT scan will clearly diagnose the stone.

An x-ray is enough to diagnose small stones.

Treatment for Cystine stones

Treatment for cystine stones is essential like other stones since it may cause not only pain but also urine infections and sometimes kidney failure. Traditional treatment involves taking adequate fluids. Taking 3 liters extra water will help in dissolving the cystine stones. Sodium intake must be reduced. Usually cystine stone is the result of high pH level in urine. The pH level must be reduced to pass the stone.

Taking plenty of water will be more beneficial. Of course it is the cheapest form of medicine.


Sometimes the above traditional methods may not be effective. Therefore people may require medication to remove the stone or stones. Drugs available for this disorder are penicillamine, tiopronin and captopril. Pencillamine is available everywhere but it may cause few side effects. Tiopronin is the best drug available all over the world and it is proven to be effective in removing the stones. Captopril will cause fewer side effects than the other two but it is not that much effective.

If the above medication does not provide any positive results then the doctor can suggest some other procedures. But in fact the shock waves do not provide successful results particularly if the stone is large. The large stones are first broken down into smaller pieces and then pencilamine is injected directly into the kidney. This will help in dissolving the small pieces of stones.

Cystine stone is one of the most complicated problems and so traditional treatment should be continued up to 1 or 2 years and the medication must be continued for six months after treatment. This is important because the possibility of getting stones again is higher here. People suffering from multiple stones are at higher risk as it may lead to kidney failure and then there is no other option left other than undergoing a kidney transplant which is the last possible way to cure the disease.

Drug stone

People who are under medication for any ailment are also under risk of kidney stones as the drugs taken to cure that disease may form crystals and then such crystals can grow as stones.

People taking treatment for HIV infection with the drug called protease inhibitor indinavir and triamterene are also considered at having a risk of drug stone formation.

Although we have divided the kidney stones into 5 types, some kidney stones will be formed by combining one or two types. One type of stone formation will tend to form another type also.

Shapes of kidney stones

The size and shape of the kidney stone normally varies from person to person. However it will not look like a smooth, round ball. The shape will be irregular. The size may vary from millimeters to few centimeters. The color, texture etc will also vary from person to person.

The most common colors of kidney stones are yellow and brown. But gold, tan and black may also be the colors of the kidney stones. The normal shape of a kidney stone may be round, jagged or branch like. The texture may also differ according to the composition of the stone.

Source by Edvard Kurnik

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