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Bladder stones


Bladder stones (vesicalcalculus)are tiny masses of mineral salts formed in the bladder. As you may know, the food eaten on a daily basis contains excess amount of minerals that are filtered by the kidneys. These salts are stored in the bladder (a balloon-shaped organ) in form of liquid called urine before being released by through the ureters.

Kidney and Bladder stones: The Difference
The only key difference is the location of the stones. Kidney stones also referred to as renal calculi are formed in the kidney. On the other hand, bladder stone is found in the bladder.
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Composition is generally the same since the bladder only stores what the kidney has made. However, the causes may differ a little. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention studies show that about 12% of Americans will have urinary stones in their life. About 80% of all urinary stones occur in men.

Mechanism of Formation
The way in which these stone are formed is a well understood process. Firstly, the urine becomes concentrated with salts. The factors that lead to urine being concentrated are many and will be discussed shortly.

Concentrated urine soon begins to crystallize thus forming bladder stones. Most urinary stones are salts of calcium. Additionally, when for some reasons urine is not voided from the bladder these stones may result. Stale urine is crystallized quickly.

Causes
These causes also double up as risk factors. The first and most common factor is dehydration. When you drink less water, the kidney produce more concentrated urine that may cause stones. The body has mechanisms to handle short-term dehydration;however, everyone needs stay hydrated at all times.

Sometimes the bladder becomes infected with bacteria. These micro-organisms may in turn lead to inflammations which produces factors that crystallize salts. Consequently, you need to ensure that all urinary tract infections including STDs are treated. This factor mostly concerns women of child-bearing age.

In men, especially those above the age of 45 enlarged prostate is a major cause and risk factor. You see, huge prostates whether malignant (cancerous) or not may lead to the ureter to being partially blocked. Therefore, less urine is voided; moreover, the urine is released with a lot of difficulty. As a result, a lot of urine remains in the bladder for long leading to vesicle calculus.

The sphincter muscle controls the release of urine to the urethra. It does so through messages that come from the brain. If for any reason the nerves or the brain is damaged, the relay of the messages may be interrupted or delayed. This condition is referred to as neurogenic bladder and results in urine being held in the bladder for too long. Medical tubes (catheters) that are used to help void urine are a risk factor.

The hall mark symptom is pain when urinating; however, it is preceded by pain in the abdomen. Other symptoms include blood and pus in urine. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Tests to determine cause may include renal function tests and X-rays. By and large treatment for most common causes of Bladder stones is available.

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