Written by Bukola Adebayo
A Consultant Urologist with the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India, Dr. Narasimhan Subramanian, has said that drinking three or four litres of water every day can prevent the formation of kidney stones.
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
Subramanian also linked the disease to untreated infectious diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, adding that early diagnosis and proper treatments of such conditions would prevent the disorder.
The urologist identified abuse of painkillers as a factor to increasing the incidence of kidney failure among adults and maintained that unhealthy habits such as smoking and indiscriminate consumption of alcohol may lead to kidney failure.
In his lecture titled; "Current Practices in Prostate Diseases", Subramanian described urology as the branch of medicine which primarily deals with all urine, kidney and reproductive organs-related problems said there is need for early diagnosis and recognition of infections in the kidney as well as hypertension, diabetes and their associated conditions
He stated, "When you address all these, you will certainly reduce the incidences of kidney related medical problems.In the case of kidney diseases, you are talking about four common conditions; kidney stones, infections in the kidneys, kidney failures and cancers of the kidneys."
He explained that to reduce chances of stone formation, individuals need to drink a lot of water, at least, three or more litres of water every day.
Subramanian noted, "Similarly, once you have formed the stone, there are different types of stones which may require different dietary restrictions and some of them may even require certain medications to reduce the formation of stones.
"The basic mechanisms by which stones are formed, there are salts that are present in the body and when the concentration of the salts becomes more in the kidney that is when stones are formed. So if you dilute these by forming more urine it gets washed off the system and reducing this stone formation," he added.
He spoke at a five -day boot camp organised by Apollo Hospitals, India in collaboration with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
On infections in the kidney, Subramanian said many urinary infections do not necessarily affect the kidneys but if these infections are untreated or are associated with medical conditions that are not quickly diagnosed, they can affect the kidney.
"Coming to the issue of kidney failure, what you would need is early diagnosis and recognition of infections in the kidney."
Subramanian further explained that the boot camp which attracts Continuous Medical Education marks was to highlight segments of development in urology which would make patient care easier either in terms of diagnosing the condition early or introducing treatments which are less invasive with a view to reducing the pain and the duration of hospitalisation among others.
He stated that the new advances in terms of the blood tests and scans in the treatment of the condition have made diagnosis easier to understand and treat.