A 56-year-old Chinese woman who was struggling with back pain and fever was stunned to find out that her ordeal was caused by kidney stones. But that’s not the real shocker. When doctors examined her, they found out that her right kidney was full of stones, over 3,000 of them. According to a report in the Shanghaiist, the incident unfolded in China in the Wujin Hospital, Changzhou of the Jiangsu province. The woman who is identified only by her last name Zhang had been suffering from back pain for an entire week. The severity of the problem was revealed only after the doctors formally examined her.
Modern Express reported that the doctors were successful in performing the surgery and removing the kidney stones. It took them one hour to count the exact number of stones, 2,980, that were extracted out of the kidney. Needless to say, the woman was stunned to know how so many stones formed inside her kidney.
How Are Kidney Stones Formed?
Kidney stones (also known as renal lithiasis) are hardened crystalline, pebble-like material that forms in a part of the kidneys called the renal pelvis. These stones can enter the ureter and in such cases, they are called ureteral stones. Kidney stones can be of various types; some are made of calcium and the others are made of uric acid or cystine.
They vary in shape and size. Some of them can be small and smooth while others can be large and jagged. The smaller ones pass through the body without causing much pain. However, the larger ones cannot exit the body that easily and usually requires painkillers, muscle-relaxants or even surgical intervention to remove them. It’s common to have kidney stones multiple times. But it’s important to find what causes them in the first place to prevent them.
Some of the common causes of kidney stones are:
- Unusual structures in the kidney
- Family history
- Citrate deficiency
- High-salt diet
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
In many cases, kidney stones can go unnoticed and may be discovered purely by chance. They are generally detected when the stones end up blocking the renal pelvis or go down the ureter. Here are some of the commons symptoms of kidney stones:
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain in the back or flank pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain that gets relieved on changing position
If left untreated, kidney stones can block the ureter, upping the risk of infection and putting additional stress on the kidneys. Although kidney stones are treated before the problem intensifies in most cases, failure to treat the problem may lead to upper urinary tract infection, including fever, chills, side and lower back pain, nausea and vomiting.
How To Prevent Kidney Stones
- In people who face recurrent kidney stone problem, drink enough fluids to produce two litres of urine per day, which is roughly around 8.5 cups.
- Eat a diet low in oxalate, salt, proteins and meat.
- Check whether your medication is altering the pH level of your urine.
Ms Zhang’s case is among the unusual ones. Although 3,000 is a high number, that’s not the highest number of stones found in someone’s kidney. That distinction goes to Dhanraj Wadile from Maharashtra, India who entered the Guinness World Records with 1,72,155 kidney stones. Earlier in July, a 45-year-old man was operated upon to remove 856 stones from his kidney.