Kidney Stones: What Causes Kidney Stones In Nigeria? -

Kidney Stones: What Causes Kidney Stones In Nigeria?

Kidney stones: what causes kidney stones in Nigeria? For unknown reasons, the number of people in Nigeria with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years.

Kidney stones occur more frequently in men. The prevalence of kidney stones rises dramatically as men enter their 40s and continues to rise into their 70s.

For women on the other hand, the prevalence of kidney stones peaks in their 50s, however, in recent times, the peak age of stone formation in female appears to be falling.

Now 13.1% of all male and 19.6% of all female stone-formers form their first stone before the age of 20 compared with 4.7% and 4.0% respectively in the past decades.

Once a person gets more than one stone, other stones are likely to develop. However, Kidney stones, one of the most painful of the urologic disorders, have beset humans for centuries.

Scientists have found evidence of kidney stones in a 7,000-year-old Egyptian mummy. Unfortunately, kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract.

Each year, people make almost 3 million visits to health care providers and more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems.

Though most kidney stones pass out of the body without any intervention by a Urologist, medical specialist who treats kidney stones.

Stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications may be treated by various techniques, most of which do not involve major surgery.

Also, research advances have led to a better understanding of the many factors that promote stone formation and thus better treatments for preventing stones.

What Causes Kidney Stones In Nigeria? Understanding Kidney Stones

Kidney doctor
Kidney doctor or urologist

Kidney stones usually consist of calcium oxalate but may be composed of several other compounds. Kidney stones can grow to the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure.

The stones may be small and pass unnoticed through the urinary tract, but they can also cause extreme pain as they leave the body.

A kidney stone usually remains symptomless until it moves into the ureter. When symptoms of kidney stones become apparent, they commonly include: severe pain in the groin and/or side blood in urine, vomiting, and nausea, white blood cells or pus in the urine, reduced amount of urine excreted, burning sensation during urination, persistent urge to urinate, fever and chills if there is an infection

Complications Of Kidney Stones


Kidney stones that remain inside the body can also lead to many complications, including blockage of the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder, which obstructs the path that urine uses to leave the body.

According to research, people with kidney stones have a significantly higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

What Causes Of Kidney Stones In Nigeria

The kidney
Things that can damage kidney

Doctors do not always know what causes a stone to form. While certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible, scientists do not believe that eating any specific food causes stones to form in people who are not susceptible.

A person with a family history of kidney stones may be more likely to develop stones. Urinary tract infections, kidney disorders such as cystic kidney diseases, and certain metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism are also linked to stone formation.

In addition, more than 70 percent of people with a rare hereditary disease called renal tubular acidosis develop kidney stones.

Cystinuria and hyperoxaluria are two other rare, inherited metabolic disorders that often cause kidney stones.

In cystinuria, too much of the amino acid cysteine, which does not dissolve in urine, leading to the formation of stones made of cystine. In patients with hyperoxaluria, the body produces too much oxalate, a salt. When the urine contains more oxalate than can be dissolved, the crystals settle out and form stones.

Hypercalciuria is inherited, and it may be the cause of stones in more than half of patients. Calcium is absorbed from food in excess and is lost into the urine.

This high level of calcium in the urine causes crystals of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate to form in the kidneys or elsewhere in the urinary tract.

Other causes of kidney stones are gout (Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream), excess intake of vitamin D, certain diuretics, commonly called water pills, and calcium-based antacids may increase the risk of forming kidney stones by increasing the amount of calcium in the urine.

Also, the leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water in the body, commonly known as dehydration.

Stones are more commonly found in individuals who drink less than the recommended eight to ten glasses (8 to 10) of water a day.

When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, a component of urine, the urine becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Other medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infections, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, medullary sponge kidney, and Dent’s disease increase the risk of kidney stones as well.

Risk Factors

A lady with mom suffering from dementia
A lady with mom 

Kidney stones are more common among males than females, like earlier mentioned. Most people who experience kidney stones do so between the ages of 30 and 50 years.

A family history of kidney stones also increases one’s chances of developing them. Similarly, a previous kidney stone occurrence increases the risk that a person will develop subsequent stones in the future if preventative action is not taken.

Certain medications can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Scientists found that Topiramate or Topamax, a drug commonly prescribed to treat seizures and migraine headaches, can increase the likelihood of kidney stones developing.

Additionally, it is possible that long-term use of vitamin D and calcium supplements cause high calcium levels, which can contribute to kidney stones.

Additional risk factors for kidney stones include diets that are high in protein and sodium but low in calcium, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, high blood pressure, and conditions that affect how calcium is absorbed in the body such as gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic diarrhea.

Treatment Of Kidney Stones

Kidney day
The kidney

Treating kidney stones is primarily focused on symptom management. Passing a stone can be very painful.

If a person has a history of kidney stones, home treatment may be suitable. Individuals who have never passed a kidney stone should speak with a doctor.

Narcotics are often used in an effort to make the pain of passing the stone tolerable. Antiemetic medication can be used in people experiencing nausea and vomiting.

In some cases, a urologist can perform a shock wave therapy called lithotripsy. This is a treatment that breaks the kidney stone into smaller pieces and allows it to pass.

People with large stones located in regions that do not allow for lithotripsy may receive surgical procedures, such as removal of the stone via an incision in the back.

What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Stones?

Menstrual pain
Menstrual pain

Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. Usually, the first symptom of a kidney stone is extreme pain, which begins suddenly when a stone moves in the urinary tract and blocks the flow of urine.

Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen this is called renal colic. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin.

If the stone is too large to pass easily, pain continues as the muscles in the wall of the narrow ureter try to squeeze the stone into the bladder.

As the stone moves and the body tries to push it out, blood may appear in the urine, making the urine pink.

As the stone moves down the ureter, closer to the bladder, a person may feel the need to urinate more often or feel a burning sensation during urination.

If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present. In this case, a person should contact a urologist immediately.

Prevention Of Kidney Stones

Nurse in the lab
Nurse in the lab

A person who has had more than one kidney stone may be likely to form another; so, if possible, prevention is important.

To help determine their cause, the doctor will order laboratory tests, including urine and blood tests.

The doctor will also ask about the patient’s medical history, occupation, and eating habits.

If a stone has been removed, or if the patient has passed a stone and saved it, a stone analysis by the laboratory may help the doctor in planning treatment.

The doctor may ask the patient to collect urine for 24 hours after a stone has passed or been removed.

For a 24-hour urine collection, the patient is given a large container, which is to be refrigerated between trips to the bathroom.

The collection is used to measure urine volume and levels of acidity, calcium, sodium, uric acid, oxalate, citrate, and creatinine—a product of muscle metabolism.

The doctor will use this information to determine the cause of the stone. A second 24-hour urine collection may be needed to determine whether the prescribed treatment is working or not.

Lifestyle Changes

Woman Drinking Water While Standing Beside Her Bike
Woman Drinking Water While Standing Beside Her Bike

A simple and most important lifestyle change to prevent stones is to drink more liquids, clean water is best.

Someone who tends to form stones should try to drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at least 2 litres of urine in every 24-hour period.

In the past, people who form calcium stones were told to avoid dairy products and other foods with high calcium content.

Recent studies have shown that foods high in calcium, including dairy products, may help prevent calcium stones.

Taking calcium in pill form, however, may increase the risk of developing stones.

Patients may be told to avoid food with added vitamin D and certain types of antacids that have a calcium base.

Someone who has highly acidic urine may need to eat less meat, fish, and poultry. These foods increase the amount of acid in the urine.

To prevent cystine stones, a person should drink enough water each day to dilute the concentration of cystine that escapes into the urine, which may be difficult.

More than four litres of water may be needed every 24 hours, and a third of that must be drunk during the night.

Are There Any Complications Of Kidney Stones?

Woman experiencing pain

Kidney stones may be present without symptoms for a long time. When sitting in the kidney and not blocking the flow of urine there are no symptoms.

They, however, can become a focus for bacterial growth and infections that are difficult to eradicate.

When they block the path of urine they can cause excruciating pain often compared to the pain of childbirth.

In some people, however, even when obstructing the flow of urine in the kidneys there is no associated pain and unfortunately, these individuals often end up kidney damage before detection.

Diagnosis Of Kidney Stone

Nigerian doctors at work
Nigerian doctors at work
  • Several different tests can verify the existence of a kidney stone. A physical examination may reveal colicky pain in the groin and the lower near the kidneys. These are often warning signs of the condition.

An analysis of the urine will indicate whether or not there is blood in the urine and if there is subsequent infection. Blood tests can be carried out to identify complications that may accompany a kidney stone and check the validity of the diagnosis.

  • CT scan. A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around the body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images or slices of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body.
  • Ultrasounds

What Causes Kidney Stones In Nigeria? Are Kidney Stone Treatments Available Locally Here In Nigeria?

Doctors at national hospital
Doctors at work in the hospital

Yes, you can find a Kidney Stone Treatment Center or a Urology Hospital across the country or near you. All you need do is to make inquiry.

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