Kidney Stones vs. Gallstones: What are they?

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Difference between Kidney Stones and Gallstones

I’m sure every one of you guys who are reading my article right now have seen a pebble or a stone before. What I want you to do is imagine that small stone you saw. Now imagine that stone could be inside of you. Can’t be good right? I’m going to be discussing with you the two types of stone-like entities that can form inside your body. These are the kidney stones and the gallstones, both of which are hazardous to your health if not checked properly.

Kidney Stones
Gallstones

What is It?

The scientific term used for kidney stones is ureterolithiasus. These stones are solids that vary in sizes formed by crystal aggregation in one’s ureter. Now there are times that these stones are so small that they won’t cause you any harm. In fact you may be passing them out when you urinate. However there are times that these stones could actually grow to as large as two or three millimeters and that will start to act as an obstruction in ones ureter. This ultimately leads to pain being experienced somewhere in the lower abdomen and groin.

The scientific term used for gallstones is choleliths. These are solid deposits that can be as small as a pebble to as big as a golf ball and are found to be formed in the gallbladder. Due to the accretion or concretion of bile in the body, whether normal or abnormal, causes these gallstones to appear which are crystalline-like bodies.

Causes

The most common causes for kidney stones to form are precipitation of urine crystals that are composed of calcium oxalate. According to studies, eighty percent of patients that have kidney stones are formed because of this. In simple terms, what this mean is that the urine was held inside long enough for the crystals to form. It was also commonly believed that having too much calcium in your system could lead to the formation of these stones. However, after more studies have been undertaken, it was proved that certain diets are actually more likely to cause kidney stones to appear.

Now with gallstones, the most common causes are more related a person’s weight, body chemistry and sometimes even diet. When a person’s system has too much bile that consists of cholesterol and less bile that is salt based, cholesterol gallstones start forming. It is also a fact that gallstones are more commonly found in women because the estrogen levels in them actually rise up a notch as a result of pregnancy which causes the cholesterol in bile to rise up hence increasing the chances for gallstones to form.

Cures

Now with kidney stones, the best way to get rid of them is through surgery. That is why it is better to prevent them from forming at all which is easy if you ask me. For starters, if you have to urinate then do so, don’t let it hang around inside you. Drinking around two liters of water a day will also greatly reduce the chances for these stones to appear. Also be careful of your diet and consume reduce amounts of caffeine, protein, sodium, chocolate, nuts, spinach and limit vitamin C.

With gallstones, there are actually medication treatments that one could take for the stones to melt, however it may take up to two years for it to totally disappear. These stones can melt away taking oral ursodeoxycholic acid.

Summary

  • Scientific term for kidney stones is ureterolithiasus and gallstones is choleliths.
  • Most common causes for kidney stones are the precipitation of urine crystals composed of calcium oxalate.
  • Causes for gallstones have more to do with a person’s weight, body chemistry and even diet.
  • Kidney stones can be avoided by taking two liters of water daily and limiting consumption of certain foods.
  • Gallstones can be treated by taking in oral ursodeoxycholic acid.
  • Gallstones are more common in women because of the rise in estrogen level that result after pregnancy. This causes the cholesterol level in bile to increase.

Which problem can be solved non-surgically?
  • Kidney Stones
  • Gallstones
 
 

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • Smith wrote on May 2010

My dad had kidney stone.He recently got operated in a hospital by a group of experienced doctors with laser technology and he's almost normal now... :)

God Bless him.

  • Guest
  • Alice wrote on March 2013

This is a very interesting article. I always thought that these two look the same. Kidney stones look more like crystals compare to gall stones which is a bit scary.

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