Calcium Nephrolithiasis

Calcium Nephrolithiasis: Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Nephrolithiasis, commonly known as kidney stones, are small mineral deposits made of calcium, phosphate, and uric acid that form in the kidneys. These stones can cause pain, blood in the urine, and even infection if not treated properly. Calcium nephrolithiasis is a particularly common form of kidney stones, caused by a buildup of calcium in the kidneys. Knowing the symptoms, causes, and ways to prevent and treat this condition can help you maintain a healthy kidney and urinary system.

Signs and Symptoms of Calcium Nephrolithiasis

Most people who have calcium nephrolithiasis are unaware of the condition unless they experience symptoms. Symptoms of calcium nephrolithiasis can include:

  • Sharp, stabbing, or cramping pain in the lower back, side, groin, or abdomen.
  • Pain radiating from the side or lower back to the groin or abdomen.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Frequent, painful urination.
  • A burning sensation during urination.
  • Abnormal urine color.
  • Urinary tract infection.

Causes of Calcium Nephrolithiasis

Calcium nephrolithiasis can be caused by an excess of calcium or other minerals in the urine, insufficient amounts of water in the body, and an acidic urine environment. Other risk factors can include:

  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Having a high-sodium diet.
  • Being dehydrated.
  • Having an underlying medical condition, such as chronic kidney disease or diabetes.
  • Family history of kidney stones.
  • Taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antacids.
  • Having an overly active parathyroid gland.

Preventing Calcium Nephrolithiasis

Making healthy lifestyle changes can help prevent calcium nephrolithiasis and can involve:

  • Drinking lots of water throughout the day.
  • Consuming a balanced, low-sodium diet.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Limiting the intake of foods and beverages rich in oxalates.
  • Taking calcium citrate supplements, instead of calcium carbonate.
  • Taking medications, such as thiazide diuretics, prescribed by a doctor.

Treating Calcium Nephrolithiasis

Depending on the size of the kidney stones, there are several treatments available. Smaller stones can often be passed on their own, though pain medications may be recommended. However, larger stones may require a procedure called lithotripsy, which involves breaking up the stones using sound waves. Other treatments can include medications that help break up stones or prevent the formation of future stones. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a large stone.

Calcium nephrolithiasis can be a painful and uncomfortable condition. Knowing the symptoms, causes, prevention, and treatment possibilities are important in helping to maintain a healthy kidney and urinary system.