Renal health is considered one of the important aspects for the quality of life of human beings, however, certain diseases affect the normal functioning of the kidneys, such as nephritic colic.

In this sense, we present the following article where we provide you with important information about what renal colic is and the causes that produce it.

What is a renal colic?

Nephritic colic or renal colic, consists of the obstruction of the urinary system due to some causes that occur at the level of the kidney or urinary tract, which presents with pain and inflammation. (1)

Note: Pain in renal colic is a symptom that is located in the lumbar region , below the ribs, radiating to the abdominal flank, due to dilation of the urinary tract due to obstruction. (two)

In this context, one of the processes responsible for renal colic is due to a chronic disease called lithiasis (3) , characterized by the formation of kidney stones in the urinary system .

What causes renal colic?

There are a number of causes that can lead to the appearance of renal colic,   which we will mention below:

1. Kidney stones and kidney obstruction

One of the main causes that give rise to renal colic, as mentioned above, is the obstruction of the kidneys due to kidney stones or very bulky stones that prevent the output of urine through the urethra. (4)

To highlight: Another way to produce kidney stones is through increased levels of uric acid in the blood. (5)

2. Tumors and diseases

Patients with some pathology, such as a tumor or inflammation of the prostate or suffering from bacterial infections in the urinary tract, may suffer from renal colic.

You should know: Inflammation of the prostate due to tumor processes can put pressure on the urethra, preventing the free flow of urine and urinary tract diseases due to bacterial infections, cause inflammation of the mucous membranes of these tracts , causing the same obstructive effect on the urinary tract. (6)

What symptoms does renal colic have?

Renal colic, like many pathologies at the level of the renal system, has its complications that are manifested through some symptoms , which we mention below:

1. Severe pain, fever and sweating

The acute distension of the walls of the urinary tract is considered a significant element in the production of intense pain during renal colic. 

In addition, due to urinary obstruction and the detachment of kidney stones, they cause wounds in the kidney, along the ureters and urethra, giving rise to infections that lead to fever and sweating.

2. Changes in urine

Another aspect to note is the change in the normal appearance of the urine, which can be evidenced in the coloration or it appears more cloudy.

Note: The wounds caused by the passage of stones through the urinary tract can break blood vessels, whose blood joins the urine staining and the cloudy appearance is surely due to the presence of a bacterial infection.

3. Nausea and vomiting

The pain caused in nephritic colic can have systemic repercussions in the body.

To highlight: The main characteristics of pain in nephritic colic is that it occurs in the lower back radiating to the abdominal area, causing nausea and vomiting .

How to relieve the pain of renal colic?

To treat renal colic successfully, there are several therapeutic strategies which we mention below:

1. Drugs indicated by specialist

One of the first strategies that is applied in those cases with little obstructive complication, is the prescription of medications indicated by a specialist, who after a detailed evaluation will indicate the most appropriate pharmacological strategy for your case.

You should know: The medications will generally be aimed at relieving pain and inflammation or treating bacterial infection, in which case antibiotics will be prescribed.

2. Ureteral catheter 

In those cases where the obstruction caused in renal colic is due to inflammation in the urinary tract, the use of a ureteral catheter is recommended to facilitate flow and eliminate urinary obstruction.

Note: This procedure must be performed by specialized medical personnel , as the introduction of the catheter carries many risks.

3. Lithotripsy and surgery

Another high-tech resource is lithotripsy (7) , which consists of the use of shock waves to break the stone that forms in the kidney, bladder or ureter, where it is expected that the smallest stones can come out. from the body with urine.

For its part, surgery is an invasive strategy that should be used, for example, if the kidney stone is greater than 7 mm in diameter or also to reduce the obstruction caused by tumor processes such as inflammation of the prostate .

To highlight: In any of the proposed strategies, the recovery process is fast.

Key Findings

  • Renal colic consists of urinary obstruction due to some causes that occur at the level of the kidney or urinary tract.
  • Renal colic presents with pain and inflammation .
  • Renal colic can occur mainly due to a chronic disease called lithiasis.
  • Renal colic must be treated urgently by a specialist doctor.

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