Kidney Stones - Myths and Facts

About 10 % of world population is suffering from Urolithiasis also known as kidney stones. This is very common in hot humid climate and usually affect the most active age group 30-40 years, more common in - Dr. Nitesh Jain, is saying that this disease can be successfully treated. 

Let’s try to analyze 10 Myths about kidney stones:

Myth 1: Kidney stones are formed, firstly because of the poor quality of the water or high intake of mineral water.

Kidney Stones

Not really true! As long as patient is hydrated, the chances of forming a kidney stone are low provided the patient is having no other metabolic abnormality related to stone disease. Mineral water to some extent has shown some beneficial effect due to its calcium and magnesium content. Use of filtered water at home also have shown some effect on decreasing stone formation.

Myth 2: Prolonged immobility increases the risk of kidney stones.

Partially yes, if a person is bed ridden and immobile than definitely the chances of stone formation is more. But patient with excessive physical activity amounting to dehydration can also lead to increased risk of stone formation. So physical activity in moderation with a well hydrated body will have the least risk.

Myth 3: Kidney stones always suddenly appears: colic, blood in urine, fever.

Some of the tiny stone deep inside the kidney, not causing any obstruction or few Giant one like stag horns in medical term may not cause any symptoms. Kidney stone usually cause pain when there is obstruction to urinary flow. There can be blood in urine because of stone or super added infection and rarely Tumor.

Myth 4: if it has been confirmed the presence of kidney stones, they should be certainly removed.

Not all Kidney stone needs removal, treatment is tailored according to size, composition, anatomical location, symptoms, lab parameters of the patient.

Only the doctor can take the decision over the patient’s treatment diagnosed with kidney stones. Small stone can come out naturally or with help of some medications. Bigger, obstructive stone or stone causing alteration in Renal parameters or infection needs intervention. The treatment is decided based on several parameters. Some stone can be crushed by non-surgical methods like ESWL where Ultrasound Ray is concentrated on to the focus to crush it. Rest other stone can be treated minimal invasive way i.e. via endoscopy.

Myth 5: Renal Lithiasis is not common for children.

Diagnosing a child with kidney stones occurs more seldom than in adults, but it is not excluded.

Myth 6: In order to prevent Renal Lithiasis, it is necessary to drink 2 liters of water per day.

There is no set formula to prevent stone formation but yes, adequate hydration definitely decreases the chances of recurrence drastically.

Myth 7: Diuretic herbs are harmful in case of Renal Lithiasis.

Some of the plant products or herbs act as diuretics and increases the amount of Urine formation and thus helps in passage of tiny stones so can be helpful provided body is well hydrated. 

Myth 8: The patients with only one kidney are more prone for stone formation.

The stone incidence is not higher, but treatment needs to prioritization. And even a tiny stone if obstructing the kidney may need removal.

Myth 9: Milk or milk product should completely stop once you have kidney stone.

This can even backfire as in some variety of stone like the ones having Oxalates as its predominant component can form more if dietary calcium is completely stopped or cut. So, in moderation milk or milk product should be taken to neutralize the dietary oxalates 

Myth 10: For more than half of patients with kidney stones, after their removal, the stones reappear.

Most of the surgical procedures are directed towards the treatment of the problem rather than the cause which even after extensive investigation and metabolic evaluation can be difficult to ascertain. The dictum is “once a stone former always a stone former”. The incidence of stone formation can be curbed but cannot be eliminated completely by medications.