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Analysis And Description Of Nephrolithiasis

1472 words - 6 pages

Kidneys play an important role in the unary tract. They are located on each side of the spine, just below the ribcage. Each kidney is connected to the bladder by ureters. The kidneys have many functions, but the most common functions are to clean waste, control chemicals, and regulate fluid in the body which makes up the urine. Urine collects in the kidney before entering the ureters and as time passes more materials are added. When calcium and oxalate or phosphates are combined in the kidney tiny stones are formed called nephrolithiasis, commonly known as kidney stones. These stones can be very painful and “increases risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis” (Goldfarb, 2009). About ten percent of all people will have kidney stones in their lifetime. Kidney stones are most frequently found in white men over the age of forty, relatives of kidney stone patients, and people who have formerly had kidney stones. Many people never find out that they have had stones in their kidneys. Some stones are small enough to flow through the kidney without ever causing any pain. These are called "silent stones"(Ford-Martin & Odle, 2005) Kidney stones cause problems when they get in the way of the normal flow of urine. They can block the flow through the ureter that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. “The kidney is not accustomed to experiencing any pressure. When pressure builds from backed-up urine, it causes hydronephrosis” (Ford-Martin & Odle, 2005). If the kidney is subjected to this pressure for a while, there may be damage to the fragile kidney structures. When the kidney stone is lodged further down the ureter, the backed-up urine may also cause the ureter to swell. Because the ureter is a muscular tube, the presence of a stone will cause the tube to go into a spasm, causing severe pain.

Diagnosis
A diagnosis of kidney stones is based on the patient's history of pain associated with the stones. Laboratory examination of a urine sample and an x-ray examination are needed for diagnosis. During the passage of a stone, urine almost always reveals blood. A number of x-ray tests are used to diagnose kidney stones. A series of x- rays taken after injecting iodine dye into a vein is usually a reliable way of seeing a stone. This procedure is called an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). “The dye "lights up" the urinary system as it travels. In the case of an obstruction, the dye will be stopped by the stone or will only be able to get past the stone at a slow trickle” (Ford- Martin, & Odle, 2005). An ultrasound can also be used to detect renal blockage. Recently, the use of computed tomography (CT) scans has been added to the diagnosis of some kidney stones, more as a follow-up after treatment to detect how fragile or intact a stone might be (Ford- Martin, & Odle, 2005). When a patient is passing a kidney stone, it is important that all urine is strained through a strainer to catch the stone. The stone can...

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