Bladder calculi – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Saturday, January 13, 2018 by

Bladder calculi, or bladder stones, are crystallized minerals that form “when concentrated urine, less water, and more waste product,” is left in the bladder after an individual urinates.

Urine is made up of at least 95 percent water. The other 5 percent is made up of minerals like salt and waste products like protein. Concentrated urine can vary in color from dark amber to brown due to the types of waste and minerals that it contains.

Concentrated urine is often caused by dehydration or the inability to completely empty one’s bladder because of an enlarged prostate, bladder problems, or urinary tract infections (UTI). When left untreated, bladder calculi can result in infections and other complications.

Known side effects of bladder calculi

The symptoms of bladder calculi are:

  • Frequent urination (especially at night)
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • A burning sensation or pain in the urethra when urinating
  • Urine that contains blood (hematuria) or appears cloudy
  • Inability to control urination

Risk factors for bladder calculi include:

  • Gender – Over 95 percent of people who develop bladder calculi are men, and the risk is higher among older men with prostate problems. Men aged 80 and above are at higher risk than younger men.
  • Age – Children who live in developing countries are also susceptible to bladder calculi because not all of them may have access to enough water to stay hydrated. They may also have poor diets.

Body systems harmed by bladder calculi

Small bladder calculi don’t usually cause any symptoms. However, stones in the bladder may cause pain in the lower abdomen.

Stones that obstruct the ureter, renal pelvis, or any of the kidney’s drainage tubes can cause back pain or renal colic. Symptoms of renal colic include “excruciating intermittent pain, usually in the area between the ribs and hip, that spreads across the abdomen,” and this can spread to the genital area. The pain associated with renal colic often comes in “waves,” which gradually increases to peak intensity, then fades, in at least 20 to 60 minutes. The pain may spread down the abdomen toward the groin, such as the testis or vulva.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent bladder calculi

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent bladder calculi:

  • Watermelon seeds – Eating lots of watermelon seeds can help to break down the bladder stones, making it easier to flush them out through urination.
  • Apple juice – Pure apple juice can help break down bladder calculi and prevent more from developing.

Treatments, management plans for bladder calculi

Surgery is often required to remove bladder calculi. Options include:

  • Transurethral cystolitholapaxy – The most common procedure used to treat bladder stones. It involves a cystoscope, or a small, rigid tube with a camera at the end, that is inserted into the urethra and up into the bladder. Once the camera in the cystoscope has located the bladder stones, a “‘crushing’ device, lasers, or ultrasound waves transmitted from the cystoscope” will be used to break up the stones into smaller fragments. These can be washed out of the bladder with fluids.
  • Percutaneous suprapubic cystolitholapaxy – Mainly used to treat children to avoid damaging the urethra, it can also be used for adults with large bladder stones. The surgeon makes a small incision in the skin of the lower abdomen and another incision is made in the bladder to remove the stones.
  • Open cystostomy – Often used to remove bladder stones in men with a very large prostate, or if the stone itself is larger than normal.

Where to learn more

Summary

Bladder calculi, or bladder stones, are crystallized minerals that form “when concentrated urine, less water, and more waste product,” is left in the bladder after an individual urinates.

Small bladder calculi don’t usually cause any symptoms. However, stones in the bladder may cause pain in the lower abdomen.

Surgery is often required to remove bladder calculi. Options include transurethral cystolitholapaxy, percutaneous suprapubic cystolitholapaxy, and open cystostomy.

 

Sources include:

Healthline.com

MerckManuals.com

BelMarraHealth.com

NHS.uk



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