(Feature) Health expert says causes of kidney stone diseases can be a combination of factors

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, (PNA) — Causes of kidney stone diseases can be a combination of factors and a patient cannot develop it by just one reason alone for it takes other prevailing circumstances to trigger it.

This was pointed out by Dr. Genlinus D. Yusi, an expert urologist of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), during a lay forum held Thursday in Quezon City to enlighten the people on urological problems.

“There is no single reason for developing kidney stone diseases. It is not sufficient to assume that since a person is ‘dehydrated’ or does not drink water very often, or if he is not observing the proper diet, he will most likely develop kidney stones,” Dr. Linus said.

According to him, a patient can develop kidney stone disease if he combined together the factors that cause development of the disorder.

“Usually there are many reasons and most often, the patient is unaware that he/she combines them together is the one that triggers the problem,” Linus said.

He cited that if a person inherited kidney stone disease from his parents and then eats salty foods or foods that are not advisable for kidney diseases while drinking alcohol makes the problem graver.

“If a person still drinks liquor, continues to eat unhealthy foods while knowing he has a family history of kidney disease, the chance of developing kidney stone is most likely to happen,” he explained.

He added that patients who have inborn kidney stones due to heredity should be careful with their eating and other lifestyle habits such as drinking liquor or smoking for their condition may worsen if they do not seek regular treatment as part of monitoring their conditions.

He also cited that urinary tract infection common among women which sometimes causes the accumulation of bacteria that produce kidney stones is another reason for having the disease.

The doctor added that the pain of having kidney stones is more intense compared to a woman having a “labor” moment when giving birth.

“It is more severe because the pain and discomfort is severe and continuous compared to labor pains of a woman who is about to give birth. Iyong sa panganganak, tumitigil at nawawala after ilang minutes due to contractions, pero sa kidney stone, mapapatakbo agad ang patient sa sobrang sakit,” he explained.

He added that one of the indications that a person may have kidney stone disease is when he has a fever as high as 39 degrees C and experiencing chills compared to ordinary flu.

He cited that such condition should not be ignored as other complications may result, like sepsis, lowering of blood pressure among the old that may affect the heart if not treated.

He advised that it is always best to consult a urologist if a person feels that he or members of their family may be having discomfort in urinating that may be caused by kidney problem so that early and timely solutions can be done.

“It is very vital that patients will not ignore their condition and seek the advice of a doctor (urologist) for early detection and cure. Complications may arise if they will be afraid to take steps in addressing the problem because untreated infections may produce ‘endotoxins’ that may damage eventually damage the kidneys,” he added.

The expert also shared that the public should be informed that there are ways to examine the patient like using of CT Scan which is more accurate than ultrasound as the said device can also detect other illnesses.

He also pointed out that in treating kidney stone diseases, patients can choose and decide on the available medications that can melt the stones aside from surgery operations upon their consultation with their doctors who will give them the needed advice.

“We advise them not to take herbal supplements or other medication without the advice of physicians as there are different kinds of medications and dosages that will be suited to them. What is effective to Juan may not be as effective to Pedro,” he added.

Kidneys are important parts of the urinary system. They are found at each side of the spine, below the rib cage of the human body. Each kidney is as big as a fist, weighs one-fourth pound and looks like a kidney bean.

The kidneys perform vital life-maintaining functions as monitors and regulators of body fluid. They excrete fluids when the body has an excess of them and retain the substances necessary for the body’s continuing function.

They produce and release a variety of chemicals to keep the body healthy and filter the entire blood supply every two minutes, excreting waste materials through the urine.

The kidneys also produce erythropoietin, a hormone that controls the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow. They are also involved in the regulation of blood pressure.

Severe kidney diseases, especially End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), are already the 7th leading cause of death among the Filipinos.

The cost of medical treatment for kidney disease is really exorbitant, beyond the reach of ordinary patients.

For total kidney failure, patients have no other option but to undergo dialysis treatment which is a lifetime activity wherein their blood is extracted and cleansed from toxins and returned to their body afterwards.

Patients who undergo dialysis treatment oftentimes feel like they wear clothes that are squeezed out because most of the nutrients intake of their body are removed during the dialysis treatment.

Renal transplantation, on the other, is limited due to the expense and the shortage of donors.

The best that can be done at present is to focus efforts on the prevention of progression of renal diseases by visiting doctors and maintaining a healthy body by having healthy diets, exercising regularly and staying away from smoking and drinking liquor.

Among the foods that patients are advised not to take too much if they do not want to have kidney problems are salty foods, processed meat products, crustaceans and shellfish, legumes and peanuts.

Adoption of “healthy lifestyles” play a major role in reducing if not totally controlling the epidemic of renal failure.