Renal calculi, or kidney stone, are due to the formation of crystals in the urinary system from the kidneys to the bladder. Nephrolethiasis refers to renal stone disease; urolithiasis refers to the presence of stones in the urinary system. The majority of stones consist of calcium usually as calcium oxalate, but they can contain uric acid, struvite (magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate), spontaneous passage of a stone is related to the stone size and location.
Causes of renal calculi
Dehydration – decreased urine production concentrates calculus-forming substance.
Infection – infected, damaged tissues serves as a site for calculus development. Infected calculi may develop if bacteria serve as the nucleus in calculus formation. Such infections may promote destruction of renal parenchyma.
Obstruction – urinary stasis (as in immobility from spinal cord injury) allows calculus constitutes to collect and adhere, forming calculi. Obstruction also promotes infection which, in turn, compounds the obstruction.
Changes in urine pH. – consistently acidic or alkaline urine provides a favorable medium for calculus formation.
Diet – increased intake of calcium or oxalate-rich foods encourage calculus formation.
Immobilization – immobility from spinal cord injury or other disorders allows calcium to be released into the circulation and, eventually, filtered by the kidneys.
Metabolic factors- hyperthyroidism, renal tubular acidosis, elevated uric acid levels (usually with gout), defective metabolism of oxalate, genetically defective metabolism of crystine, and excessive intake of vitamin D, protein, or dietary calcium may predisposes a patient to renal calculi.
Diagnosis of renal calculi – diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and the following tests:
Computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging are highly sensitive for identifying hydronephrosis and detecting small renal and urethral stones.
Excretory urography – may be used for diagnosis of obstruction by urinary calculus.
Kidney-ureter-bladder x-rays reveal most renal calculus.
Calculus analysis shows mineral content.
Kidney ultrasonography is an easily performed, noninvasive, nontoxic test to determine obstructive changes such as hydronephrosis.
Excretory urography confirms the diagnosis and determines size and location of calculi.
Urine culture of midstream sample may indicate UTI.
Urinalysis may be normal, or may show increased specific gravity and acid or alkaline pH suitable for different types of stone formation. Other urinalysis findings include haematuria., crystals (urate, calcium, or cystene), casts, and pyuria with or without bacteria and white blood cells.
Sign and symptoms of renal calculi
Episodes of severe, off and on pain few minutes. The pain usually appears first in the back, just below the ribs. Over severe hours or days, the pain follows the stone’s course through the ureter toward the groin. Pain stops when the stone passes.
Cloudy or dark urine or blood in urine.
Homeopathic treatment of renal calculi
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat renal calculi but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat renal calculi that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of renal calculi:
Cantharis – violent pains during passage of renal calculi; gravel in children; irritation extending down penis, with almost constant pulling at that organ; a paroxysmal cutting and burning pain in the renal region, which is very sensitive to the slightest touch.
Alumina – pain in the right kidney, and soreness as if full of small stones.
Berberis vulgaris – the pain is deep in the kidney extending down the back and down the ureters into the bladder. Severe pain in the bladder extends to the urethra and back which is worse stooping, lying or sitting and is relieved by standing.
The characteristic symptom is pain in the thigh, the loins and the hip while urinating and the urethra burns when not urinating.
In the bladder it causes a desire to urinate and the patient is constantly urinating for the bladder seems imperfectly emptied.
It seems that urine contains thick mucus and bright red sediment.
Sarsaparilla – useful for kidney stones passed from the right kidney. Pain from the right kidney extends around the right side and down to the groin. This type of stone causes the erosion scream before and during urination.
Very useful in irritable bladder, renal colic and prostatic affections; it has been found useful in cystitis. The urine is black, bloody with thick mucus and there are violent pains in the thigh, sometimes the patient has to kneel to urinate, pressing head firmly against the floor, and the urine scalds terribly.
Violent pain in glans penis, itching and inflammation in the urethra and dribbling after urination.
Ocimum can – renal calculus specially in the right kidney with pain on the right side. Urine smells like musk and when allowed to stand for a while, brick dust red or yellow sediment settles at the bottom. Urine contains uric acid.
Calcaria Carb – useful for kidney stones, especially in the period between the passage of stones; acts well when stones are composed of calcium. Helps the person who is overweight, sluggish, chilly, and tends to form stone in other parts of the body.
Lycopodium – excellent remedy for renal calculus in the right kidney; back pain is due to a stone in the right kidney region; backache is relieved by passing urine that contains a large amount of red, sandy sediment.