Symptoms and treatment of kidney stones in men.

One of the most painful, and unfortunately the most common disorders affecting men, is the presence of kidney stones. Although they do affect women as well, men are more vulnerable to kidney stones than women. For all those men who only partially know about it, and for those completely unaware of this painful condition, here is a rundown on what the condition is, what are the causes of kidney stones, and what are the symptoms and treatment measures for the same.

What are Kidney Stones?
Formed within the kidney or the urinary tract, kidney stones are hard, crystalline mineral deposits in the form of small stone like structures. This condition is also known as nephronlithiasis (nephron = related to kidney, lithos = stone). It is one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract, affecting nearly 10% of Americans at some point in their lives. While typically all adults over the age of 30 are at risk, men tend to be affected more frequently than women; especially men in their 40s. To understand how these stones are formed in our body, we have to understand the basic working of the urinary tract.

Formation of Kidney Stones
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located below the ribs. The main function of these organs is to remove extra water and wastes from the blood, producing urine. Kidneys also help keep a stable balance of salts and other solutes in the blood. While most of the stones are passed out of the body in the urine stream, the stones which are sufficiently larger in size can cause obstruction to the ureter thus causing extreme pain. Stones or crystals are the result of certain chemicals in the kidneys, forming crystals and bonding together. Although there are many chemical compounds that can form stones in the urinary tract, the most common type of kidney stones in men contains calcium with oxalate or phosphate and uric acid.

Causes of Kidney Stones in Men

There are many causes of kidney stones; most common among these is a urinary tract infection. Certain medication is also known to cause renal stones in men. Some aspects of a person’s lifestyle habits, such as drinking less water, lack of physical activity (exercise) over long periods, and consuming excess of calcium oxalate (found in milk, tea and chocolate) can all contribute to this renal problem. Finally, genetics also predispose certain individuals to kidney stones, especially if there is a family history.