Calcium Oxalate Stones- Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones formed in the kidneys. These crystals of calcium oxalate are formed from food sources like green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, almonds, beets, beans, chocolate, okra, french fries, nuts and seeds, soy products, tea, strawberries and raspberries combined with calcium. These foods are high on oxalates, and when a person does not drink adequate water to form a good quantity of urine, then the oxalates in limited urine convert into crystals and these clusters become stones in the kidney.
Before we evaluate the treatment for calcium oxalate stones, let us understand the symptoms involved in it.
The common symptoms for calcium oxalate stones when formed in urine are:
- Extreme pain at the side and back area which can come intermittently.
- Cloudy urine which could have a foul smell
- Urgency to urinate as well as frequent urination.
- Pain during urination.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Combination of fever and chills
There are a few causes that one should be aware of to avoid the occurrence of calcium oxalate stones in urine:
- Not being hydrated enough with water and other fluids
- Having a diet that includes foods having high oxalate, high protein. Or salt.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Dent disease, an inherited disorder
- Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss.
The diagnosis required for calcium oxalate stones in kidney are as follows:
- A 24 hour urine test sample can check the levels of oxalate in urine for the day, the normal reading being 45 mg per day.
- Blood test to check for dent disease
- An X-ray or CT scan that shows where the stone/s is lodged. In the kidney.
The treatment for calcium oxalate stones in the kidney as follows :
- The simplest treatment given first for the removal of small stones is drinking lots of water so that the calcium oxalate stones could be flushed out of the kidney through the urine.
- If the stones do not pass out of the body by water in four to six weeks, then a dose of alpha- blocker such as Cardura or Flomax is prescribed. These medicines relax the ureter by slight expansion to help the easy flow of urine.
- Pain relievers are also given to reduce the discomfort due to pain and other symptoms, until the stones move out of the body.
- Larger stones need a different type of treatment– Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, wherein sound waves are given from outside the body to break the stones to smaller ones.
- Ureteroscopy is another procedure advised by the doctor, which uses a thin scope with a camera, that goes right into the urinary bladder and kidney. The laser passed will break the stone and then the pieces are removed using a basket, after which a stent is inserted into the ureter to drain urine easily. The stent is removed after a few days or weeks.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a procedure that needs general anaesthesia, an incision on your back will be made and then the sone will be removed by the doctor using small instuments.
Some precautions to keep in mind to prevent calcium oxalate stones from forming in the kidney are as follows:
- Drinking an extra amount of fluids including water, that is about 2.5 liters of water each day.
- Your diet has to have a limited amount of salt in it.
- Your protein intake in your diet has to be less than 30% of the total calories that you take in a day.
- Your diet should have a balanced amount of calcium as calcium in your diet can increase the levels of oxalate in your body. Therefore it is best to reduce foods that are rich in oxalates, if you do have such foods, make sure to have calcium containing foods such as milk immediately after that so that the oxalate can bind the calcium before it forms crystals and forms stones.
Contact 080 28483939 for more information for Kidney Stones Treatment at our Specialized Clinic, ReSCUE Urology Hospital in Bangalore, Kengeri.