1. Causes of Urinary Stones:
The main reason for the formation of urinary stones in the urinary tract is due to insufficient water intake or excessive sweating, leading to concentrated urine with lower volume, which eventually results in the precipitation of crystals and stone formation.
Other factors contributing to urinary stone formation include excessive consumption of animal proteins in the diet, urinary tract obstructions, and urinary tract infections. Additionally, delaying water intake after consuming alcohol can lead to high urine concentration and the formation of stones.
As is commonly known, reduced water intake leads to cloudy urine (higher urine concentration), while increased water intake leads to clear urine (lower urine concentration). There have been cases where patients suffered from bilateral kidney and ureteral stones, leading to a lack of urination. In some instances, due to severe kidney stone issues, one kidney had to be removed. Later on, the patient experienced a recurrence, and both kidneys and the ureter were filled with numerous stones, causing urinary blockage. Temporary relief was achieved by surgically removing larger stones from the ureter. However, on a subsequent occasion, the patient experienced a complete inability to urinate and passed away without further surgical options. According to the patient’s own account, they only drank a small teacup (about 100 milliliters) of water during breakfast and hardly drank any water throughout the rest of the day.
During Dubai’s hot summer months (April to October), temperatures can soar above 45°C. The high temperatures cause peripheral blood vessels to dilate, increasing peripheral blood flow and promoting sweating to dissipate heat and adapt to the extreme climate. However, this also leads to a relative decrease in renal blood flow, resulting in significantly reduced urine production. Prolonged concentration of urine in the urinary system can then lead to the formation of crystals and urinary stones. Depending on the location of the stones, they can be referred to as kidney stones, ureteral stones, or bladder stones.
2. Prevention of Urinary Stones:
To prevent urinary stones, it is essential to maintain a normal urine volume. The recommended 24-hour urine output should be at least 1000 milliliters for individuals without stones. If stones have already formed, the urine output should be increased to at least 1500 milliliters, and in some cases, it can even exceed 2000-2500 milliliters. Other factors contributing to stone formation, such as gout, urinary tract obstructions, and urinary tract infections, should also be addressed. Adequate water intake is the most crucial method of prevention. Similar to how heavy rain can wash away large stones in a mountain gully and even cause landslides, sufficient water intake can help prevent the formation of fine sand and small stones.
3. Treatment of Urinary Stones:
The treatment approach for urinary stones depends on the size of the stones. If the diameter of the stone is small enough to pass through the ureter or urethra, traditional Chinese medicine can be used to facilitate stone passage. Otherwise, attempts to pass the stone should be avoided to prevent it from becoming lodged during passage, leading to a surgical emergency. In such cases, Chinese herbal medicine can be used to dissolve the stones or laser lithotripsy can be employed to break the stones into smaller pieces, allowing them to pass through the ureter (for kidney stones) or urethra (for bladder stones). This can be followed by the use of Chinese herbal medicine to dissolve and promote the passage of the stones, with the aid of increased water intake to assist in stone dissolution and passage.