Uric Acid Stones
Hyperuricosuria (high levels of uric acid in the urine) can result from eating an excessive amount
of animal protein including red meat, fish, poultry and pork and can oftentimes be controlled with diet.
For those individuals in whom dietary measures fail, medications can be used, including a drug called Allopurinol which reduces uric acid levels or Potassium citrate to reduce acidity of the urine.
Gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, called hyperuricemia which can lead to hyperuricosuria and the formation of kidney stones. This disorder requires specific drug treatment.
Struvite stones are composed of magnesium, phosphate, and
ammonium. They can be very difficult stones to treat, because
they result from infection of the urinary tract that can recur
even after the stones have been removed. This type of stone
can fill the entire inside of the kidney, spreading into the
smallest passages, blocking drainage of urine, and resulting
in severe kidney damage.
Struvite stones occur mainly due to infection with a certain
type of bacteria that tends to flourish and invade the kidney.
One should take antibiotics when the doctor determines that it is necessary to avoid the development of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Scientists have found that an agent called acetohydraxamic acid (AHA), can be used to inhibit struvite stone formation by blocking a chemical action caused by the invading bacteria.
Another type of stone occurs in individuals with the relatively
rare inherited defect of kidney function causing cystinuria.
In this disorder, the amino acid cystine overloads the urine
where it crystallizes and forms stones. Prevention of cystine
stones is difficult, because there is no definitive treatment.
The main therapy is for the individual to drink enough water
to dissolve the cystine that escapes into the urine each day.
This therapy can be difficult, because cystine is eliminated
continuously, and so the individual may be required to drink
over a gallon of water every 24 hours. At night, about a third
of a gallon of water may be consumed on this regimen, filling
the bladder repeatedly and interfering with sleep.
Sometimes when stones cannot be controlled through increased
fluid consumption, the drug D-penicillamine or Tiopronin (Thiola) is administered
to make the cystine more soluble.
Though kidney stones can be very painful, it's important
to remember that all tests, surgeries, procedures and medications
carry benefits and risks. In order to make an informed decision
about the best option for you, be sure to ask your physician
to explain the benefits, risks and costs of each option.