Renal Calculi





Renal calculi or kidney stones, as they are more commonly known as, are crystalline mineral substances formed in the kidneys or the urinary tract. Kidney stones are formed when urine is decreased in volume and/or when there is an excess in the stone-forming material in the urine. Renal calculi are made up of mineral and acid salts that have crystallized and solidified together.

Several terms are associated with this condition; nephrolithiasis, which refers to renal stone disease; and urolithiasis, which indicates the presence of stones in the urinary tract. Renal calculi can be found in any portion of the urinary tract, starting from the kidneys down to the bladder.

Passing these stones through the urinary tract can be painful; however, these calculi usually do not cause any permanent damage. The only time that a substantial renal calculus can cause any problem is when it reaches the ureters, where it can cause an obstruction that can be painful.

Kidney stones are quite a common occurrence, that can be present at one time or another in 1 out of 10 people. Despite the figures, though, a significant number of these cases usually do not present any symptoms. This is a condition that commonly affects more men than women, with a ratio of 3:1. The prime age for developing renal calculi is between the ages of 30 and 50, and relapse in the condition is quite common.



The following are the causes and predisposing factors of this condition:

  • Chronic dehydration and/or poor fluid intake;
  • Excessive intake of milk (calcium), vitamin D, and alkali;
  • Diet that is high in purine;
  • Abnormal or poor purine metabolism (gout and hyperuricemia);
  • Genetic disorders and predisposition for urolithiasis;
  • Chronic urinary tract infections;
  • Chronic obstruction of the urinary tract that causes stasis of urine (accumulation or presence of foreign bodies in the urinary tract); and
  • Living in the desert, mountainous or tropical areas.


Signs and Symptoms

Renal calculi are notorious for causing excruciating pain. But the usual signs and symptoms of this condition may not always manifest unless the stone has moved down to the ureters from the kidneys. The pain felt during this time is referred to as renal colic, and is usually located on one side of the abdomen or back (flank). In some cases, the pain can even radiate down to the groin area, up to the upper thighs.

Other symptoms that can manifest in this condition may include:

  • Presence of blood in the urine;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Unusual appearance and smell of the urine;
  • Fever and chills; and
  • Pain upon urination.



The treatment for renal calculi differs according to the type of stone involved and the seriousness of the symptoms presented by the condition.

Calculi that are tiny can be passed through the urine, and they can be used in determining the type of stone present in an individual. To facilitate the passing of these stones, the affected individual may be asked to drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to produce a considerable amount of urine.

A medication regimen can be recommended to manage the pain experienced by the affected individual. Other types of medication can also be prescribed to disintegrate the stone or prevent further formation of renal calculi.

The treatment can end up in surgical procedures if the renal calculi have caused or can possibly cause further complications to the system. Surgery can also be undertaken if the pain can no longer be managed through pharmaceutical means.


Disability Tax Credits for Renal Calculi

The prognosis for renal calculi is usually good; however, while the stones are still within the urinary tract it can cause a great deal of discomfort. With this condition, the ability of a person to perform specific activities can be affected. If you have been diagnosed with renal calculi, you could be entitled to file for a disability tax refund from the Canadian Revenue Agency. If you are thinking of processing for your claim, you can enlist the help of a HandyTax representative by making that call on the hotline now.