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Normally, the waste product from the blood is
filtered through the kidneys, but when it over accumulates, it may produce
kidney stones. Kidney Stones are small, solid pebbles that are made of minerals
and salts that form within your kidneys, and it may become painful. There could
many reasons for the formation of kidney stones because it implicates
environmental and metabolic risk factors. Kidney stones mostly happen to
adults, but children and teenagers can get them, too.  There are several treatments; how to treat it
will depend on the type, the size and the location of the stones either in the
kidneys or the urinary tract.

Kidney stones affect about 5% of the world
population. The peak age for kidney stones is between 20 years old and 50 years
old. Furthermore, the probability of having it is nearly 13% in men and 7% in
women. Family history may also increase the risk of getting kidney stones.
(University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, 2013)

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Kidney stones occur in the urinary system. The
urinary system is made of different organs, such as the kidney, ureters,
urinary bladder, and urethra. The urinary system aids the body to get rid of
waste, like urea. It also keeps chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, and
water in check.

The excretory system is conformed of other
different systems: urinary system, respiratory system, biliary system, and
integumentary system. The main job of the excretory system is to eliminate all
waste the body produces that would otherwise interfere with cellular function;
it also regulates the content of the body’s fluid by limiting what and how much
can go out. In other words, the body seeks to be in homeostasis to prevent any
damage. To make it simple, without the mechanisms that allow the human system to
eliminate wastes, humans would die of intoxication, as is the case when the
kidneys or the liver stop working. A clear example of the excretory in action
is when cellular respiration produces carbon dioxide and it is removed from our
system by an effective circulatory system and respiratory system, which are
part of the excretory system.

There are several organs and structures that are
involved in the excretory system: kidneys, ureter, urinary bladder, urethra,
lungs, skin, some glands, etc. But the ones affected by kidney stones are only
in the urinary system: kidneys, ureter, bladder, prostate, urethra. “The
kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, which are about the size of a fist” (NIDDK,
2014). Arguably, the kidneys are the most important organs of this system. They
do three essential things that help to balance the body: purifying the blood
(table 1.1), regulating blood pressure and the amount of water in the body, and
synthesizing hormones, like erythropoietin which controls red blood cell
production. Once the kidneys have separated all waste, the urine goes from the
kidneys to the bladder through the ureter which are muscular tubes that are
about 28 centimetres long. Next, urine ends up in the bladder where it is
stored allowing it to be occasional. Finally, the urethra, the tube that
connects the bladder with the meatus, leads the final part of the urinary
system. The urine leaves the body through it


Kidneys are vey effective in eliminating waste
from the blood. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, such as chronic dehydration,
some waste may accumulate in the kidney. As theses microscopic crystals (waste)
stick to each other, they become a larger and larger, reaching, in some extreme
cases, more than 10centimetres wide. For example, according to the Guinness
World Records (n.d) a kidney stone was removed, in India, at the Urological research
institute and it was 13 centimetres wide.

Certainly, there are different kind of kidney
stones. In other words, they can be made of different substances. There is calcium,
struvite, uric acid, and cystines stones. The most common ones are the calcium
stones, made mainly of calcium
oxalate & calcium phosphate. About 80% of all stones are made of calcium
(Sakhaee, Maalou & Sinnott, 2012). There are several factors that could
produce these type of stone; for example, many foods have oxalate, such as nuts
and chocolate. High quantities of vitamin D may also contribute to calcium stones.
Struvite stones often form only due to an infection. The problem with these
stones is its fast grow rate and its often lack of symptoms. Uric acid stones
are normally present in people who don’t drink enough liquids and/or eat food
with high levels of proteins. Furthermore, there certain genetic factor that
may influence the formation of them. Lastly, cystine stones form exclusively in
people with certain hereditary issues that provoke the kidney to make an excessive
amount of specific amino acids that produce them.

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