Ureteral stones are kidney stones that become lodged in the ureter.
The ureters are the tubes that connect each kidney with the urinary bladder and help carry urine from the kidney to the bladder for storage.
Stones form in the kidney and can get displaced. Small stones can pass in the urine, causing no symptoms. But, large kidney stones can become lodged in the ureter, giving rise to severe pain.
If you have a ureteral stone, you should consult a urologist. You can visit the Best urologist in Islamabad.
What Causes Ureteral Stones?
Stones form when crystal deposition occurs in the kidneys. There are different types of crystals that can cause stone formation, such as:
These stones are the most common. Dehydration increases the risk of calcium stones formation as the crystals become concentrated. Eating foods rich in oxalate like spinach, green leafy vegetables, almonds, nuts can increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones. High calcium levels in hyperparathyroidism can also cause calcium stones.
These stones occur when the urine becomes acidic. It is common in people who have gout. Consuming alcohol and red meat increases the risk of uric acid stones.
These types of stones are common in people who get repeated urinary tract infections or kidney infections. They may form large, branching stones called staghorn stones and can permanently damage the kidney if left untreated.
These stones occur in patients with cystinuria- a condition in which cystine leaks from the kidneys into the urine.
Symptoms of a ureteral stone
The most common symptom of a stone that gets stuck in the ureter is pain. The pain is felt in the lower back or just under the ribs. It may radiate to other parts too. The pain is usually severe in intensity and, it may come and go.
Other symptoms of a ureteral stone include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation when urinating
Risk factors for ureteral stones
Certain factors increase the risk of a stone forming in the kidney and lodge in the ureter, such as:
Having a positive family history
Some people tend to have stones, and genes play a role. Having someone in the family who has a history of ureteral stones increases the risk in a person.
Not drinking enough water
Drinking large amounts of fluids makes the urine dilute and prevents stone formation. In dehydration, the urine becomes concentrated, which makes the crystals clump together and form a stone.
Eating foods rich in oxalates such as spinach, green leafy vegetables, chocolates, almonds, or nuts increases the risk of stones. Consuming animal proteins like red meat or a diet rich in sodium increases the risk of developing kidney stones.
Certain health conditions
Health conditions like hyperparathyroidism, recurrent urinary tract infections, or urinary tract obstruction can also increase the risk of a stone.
How to prevent ureteral stones?
Ureteral stones form in the kidney, which gets displaced and gets stuck in the ureter. Different factors can increase the risk of their formation and, to prevent them from occurring, you should:
- Drink lots of water
- Avoiding foods rich in oxalate
- Limit sodium intake
- Limit the consumption of animal protein
Ureteral stones can cause severe pain as they can obstruct the urinary tract. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventive measures if you have a family history of ureteral stones. If you notice any symptom of a ureteral stone or have any condition that can cause it in the future, you should consult a urologist. You can visit the Best urologist in Lahore.