The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are about 4 inches in length, and they're located towards the back of your abdomen on either side of the spine. These vital organs help to remove waste products from your body.
Kidney stones can develop in either 1 or both kidneys and most often affect those aged between 30 and 60 years old. It's common, with over 1 in 10 people suffering from it. These stones are normally found in the kidneys or in the ureter, that's the tube that connects your kidneys to your bladder.
They can be very painful, and result in kidney infections or the kidney not working efficiently except if treated.
Since they may be of different sizes: you may not know if you have small stones that can usually pee out with little or no discomfort or difficulty. While larger kidney stones can cause numerous symptoms: pain in the side of your abdomen, that severe pain that comes and disappears, vomiting, and feeling sick.
Photo Credit: Emedicine
What are the likely causes?
Certain waste products in the blood can occasionally form substances that gather inside the kidneys. Over a period of time, these substances may build up to form a hard stony lump, sometimes more than one.
This often occurs when you do not drink enough fluids and thus, get dehydrated. Taking some types of drugs for the treatment of underlying illness or if there's a health condition that increases your levels of certain substances in the urine.
To avoid having them, what can you do? Try to drink a sufficient amount of water daily so you do not get dehydrated. Always watch out for the color of your urine, endeavour to keep it pale in color to prevent waste products from forming stones in your kidneys. Mindfully drink up water, don't always wait for thirst.
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