A lymph node is a small, round or bean-shaped cluster of cells covered by a capsule of connective tissue. The cells are a combination of lymphocytes — which produce protein particles that capture invaders, such as viruses — and macrophages, which break down the captured material. Lymphocytes and macrophages filter your lymphatic fluid as it travels through your body and protect you by destroying invaders.
Lymph nodes are located in groups, and each group drains a specific area of your body. You may be more likely to notice swelling in certain areas, such as in the lymph nodes in your neck, under your chin, in your armpits and in your groin. The site of the swollen lymph nodes may help identify the underlying cause.
The most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is an infection, particularly a viral infection, such as the common cold. Other possible causes of swollen lymph nodes include:
Infected (abscessed) tooth
Skin or wound infections, such as cellulitis
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — the virus that causes AIDS
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
Kidney stones (renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys.
Kidney stones have many causes and can affect any part of your urinary tract — from your kidneys to your bladder. Often, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.
Passing kidney stones can be quite painful, but the stones usually cause no permanent damage if they're recognized in a timely fashion. Depending on your situation, you may need nothing more than to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. In other instances — for example, if stones become lodged in the urinary tract, are associated with a urinary infection or cause complications — surgery may be needed.
Your doctor may recommend preventive treatment to reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones if you're at increased risk of developing them again.
Kidney stones are the result of an accumulation of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys.
They are usually comprised of calcium oxalate but may be composed of several other compounds deposits.
Anyone may develop a kidney stone, but people with certain diseases and conditions (see below) or those who are taking certain medications are more susceptible to their development. Urinary tract stones are more common in men than in women. Most urinary stones develop in people 20 to 49 years of age, and those who are prone to multiple attacks of kidney stones usually develop their first stones during the second or third decade of life. People who have already had more than one kidney stone are prone to developing further stones.
In residents of industrialized countries, kidney stones are more common than stones in the bladder. The opposite is true for residents of developing areas of the world, where bladder stones are the most common. This difference is believed to be related to dietary factors. People who live in the southern or southwestern regions of the U.S. have a higher rate of kidney stone formation than those living in other areas. Over the last few decades, the percentage of people with kidney stones in the U.S. has been increasing, most likely related to the obesity epidemic.
A family history of kidney stones is also a risk factor for developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are more common in Asians and Caucasians than in Native Americans, Africans, or African Americans.
Uric acid kidney stones are more common in people with chronically elevated uric acid levels in their blood (hyperuricemia).
A small number of pregnant women develop kidney stones, and there is some evidence that pregnancy-related changes may increase the risk of stone formation. Factors that may contribute to stone formation during pregnancy include a slowing of the passage of urine due to increased progesterone levels and diminished fluid intake due to a decreasing bladder capacity from the enlarging uterus. Healthy pregnant women also have a mild increase in their urinary calcium excretion.
type of kidney stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate. A majority of kidney stones are calcium stones. Other chemical compounds that can form stones in the urinary tract include uric acid, magnesium ammonium phosphate (which forms struvite stones; see below), and the amino acid cysteine.
Dehydration from reduced fluid intake or strenuous exercise without adequate fluid replacement increases the risk of kidney stones. Obstruction to the flow of urine can also lead to stone formation. In this regard, climate may be a risk factor for kidney stone development, since residents of hot and dry areas are more likely to become dehydrated and susceptible to stone formation.
Kidney stones can also result from infection in the urinary tract. These are known as struvite or infection stones. Metabolic abnormalities, including inherited disorders of metabolism, can alter the composition of the urine and increase an individual's risk of stone formation.
The occurrence of a kidney stone in a child is a relatively rare event. In countries where plants are the main source of protein in the diet, for example Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, and Eastern Europe, the frequency of kidney stone disease in children rises. In developing countries, kidney stones made of uric acid are more commonly found.
Symptoms of kidney stones in children are similar to those in an adult, although with very young children or infants, the symptoms may be harder to appreciate and understand. The initial finding in an infant may be a crying and inconsolable baby, and the presentation may be mistaken for colic.
What Are Staghorn Calculi?
Some stones grow very large and fill the entirety of the kidney collecting system. They are called staghorn calculi (calculus = stone) because they look like antlers. While most kidney stones are made up of calcium oxalate crystals, this type of stone is a composite of struvite, carbonate, and apatite. They are usually the result of recurrent urinary tract infections, in which the bacteria produce ammonia, allowing chemicals in the urine to form the nidus for stone formation.
What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Kidney Stones?
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When a tubular structure is blocked in the body, waves of pain occur as the body tries to unblock the obstruction. These waves of pain are called colic. This is opposed to non-colicky type pain, like that associated with appendicitis or pancreatitis, in which movement causes increased pain and the patient tries to hold very still.
Treating kidney stones is primarily focused on symptom management; passing a stone can be very painful. If a person has a history of kidney stones, home treatment may be suitable. Individuals who have never passed a kidney stone should speak with a doctor.
If hospital treatment is needed, the patient may be rehydrated via an intravenous tube and administered anti-inflammatory medication.
Narcotics are often used in an effort to make the pain of passing the stone tolerable. Antiemetic medication can be used in patients suffering from nausea and vomiting.
In some cases, a urologist can perform a shock wave therapy called lithotripsy - a treatment that will break the kidney stone into smaller pieces and allow it to pass.
Patients with large stones located in regions that do not allow for lithotripsy may receive surgical procedures such as percutaneous nephrolithotomy (removal of the stone via an incision in the back) or ureteroscopic stone removal (removal of the stone via a thin tube into the urethra).
Most kidney stones eventually pass through the urinary tract on their own within 48 hours, with ample fluid intake. Ketorolac (Toradol), an injectable anti-inflammatory drug, and narcotics may be used for pain control when over-the-counter pain control medications are not effective. Toradol, aspirin, and NSAIDs must be avoided if lithotripsy is to be done because of the increased risk of bleeding. Intravenous pain medications can be given when nausea and vomiting are present.
You’re experiencing severe abdominal pain that’s radiating to your lower back. You also notice blood in your urine and a persistent need to urinate, even though you can only urinate small amounts at a time. You have a history of kidney stones and are pretty sure you are experiencing them again. Not wanting to use medications or surgery to treat your kidney stones, you start to look for successful home remedies that dissolve kidney stones naturally and fast. Four treatments look promising:
Jump to the One that Works
Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Coke and Asparagus
Lab Grade Chanca Piedra
Which ones work and which ones don’t? We’ve done the testing and leg work to sort out the success rates of each of these treatments.
Why Do I Get Kidney Stones?
Our kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste in our bloodstream. The byproduct of this waste is our urine. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water that dilutes the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders (e.g., Crohn’s Disease), and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are will to try just about anything to prevent them and to stop them from coming back. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures and other non-intrusive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones
What is gallbladder disease?
Gallbladder disease includes inflammation, infection, stones, or blockage of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a sac-like organ located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver, which aids in the digestion and absorption of fat. Bile is made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is then released from the gallbladder into the upper small intestine in response to food (especially fats).
Types of gallbladder disease include:
Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
Biliary dyskinesia (in which the natural movements needed to empty the gallbladder do not work well)
Growths of tissue (polyps) in the gallbladder
Many of these causes have an individual page dedicated to them. Please follow the links for more information.
• Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease
• Low stomach acid
• Food Sensitivities or Allergies
• Gluten Intolerance
• Brain degeneration
• Rapid weight loss
• Lack of exercise
• Pregnancy (due to excess hormones)
• Estrogen intake and birth control pills(estrogen increases the concentration of cholesterol in the bile)
• Anabolic steriods, especially those that convert to estrogens and especially oral ones
• Chronic Heartburn
• Frequent use of Antacids and PPIs
• Atkin's Diet
• Over age 40 and increase in risk as one ages
• Female especially those who have had children
• Ethnicity (Pima Indians and Mexican-Americans)
• High triglycerides, high LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol,
• Alcohol intake
• Family history of gallbladder disease (Heredity)
• Cholesterol-lowering drugs, immunosuppressive drugs
• Antidepressants which slow down gallbladder contractions
• Insulin Resistance
• Diseases such as chronic inflammatory bowel disease, Chron's disease (ulcerative colitis is contraversial) Hemolytic anemias, PCOS
• Very Low Calorie Diets
• Diet high in saturated fats
• Diet high in refined foods and sugars
• Diet low in fiber (which is what the refined diets are) and not enough vegetables
• Non-fat diets
• Low-fat diets
The gallbladder isn't an organ that gets a lot of attention — unless it's causing you pain.
The gallbladder is a little sac that stores bile from the liver, and it's found just beneath your liver.
The gallbladder releases bile, via the cystic duct, into the small intestine to help break down the foods you eat — particularly fatty foods.
Typically the gallbladder doesn't cause too many problems or much concern, but if something slows or blocks the flow of bile from the gallbladder, a number of problems can result.
What Can Go Wrong
Some common gallbladder problems include:
Gallstones (cholelithiasis) This is the condition when small stones, or sometimes larger ones, develop inside the gallbladder.
Gallstones may cause pain known as biliary colic (see below), but about 90 percent of people with gallstones will have no symptoms.
Most symptomatic gallstones have been present for a number of years.
For unknown reasons, if you have gallstones for more than 10 years, they are less likely to cause symptoms.
Some common gallbladder problems include:
Gallstones are solid masses of cholesterol (or pigment) of different sizes. Gallstones occur when high levels of fat and bile cause crystals to form. These crystals may combine over time and expand into stones.
Stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. They may or may not cause symptoms.
Common bile duct stones (choledocholithiasis)
Bile is transported from the gallbladder via small tubes and deposited in the common bile duct. From there, it is moved to the small intestine. Sometimes, gallstones can lodge or form in the common bile duct.
Most often, these stones begin their life in the gallbladder and migrate to the common bile duct; this is referred to as a secondary stone or a secondary common bile duct stone.
If the stone forms within the duct itself, it is called a primary stone, or primary common bile duct stone. These are less common but are more likely to cause an infection than secondary stones.
What is gallbladder pain?
Gallbladder pain is (often misspelled "gall bladder") an all-inclusive term used to describe any pain due to disease related to the gallbladder. The major gallbladder problems that produce gallbladder pain are biliary colic, cholecystitis, gallstones, pancreatitis, and ascending cholangitis. Symptoms vary and may be triggered by eating certain foods. The pain may be described as intermittent, constant, abdominal, radiating to the back, mild to severe depending on the underlying cause.
A brief review of the gallbladder anatomy and function may help readers better understand gallbladder pain. The gallbladder is connected to the liver via ducts that supply bile to the gallbladder for storage. These bile ducts then form the common hepatic duct that joins with the cystic duct from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct that empties into the GI tract (duodenum). In addition, the pancreatic duct usually merges with the common bile duct just before it enters the duodenum. Hormones trigger the gallbladder to release bile when fat and amino acids reach the duodenum after eating a meal (see illustration below), which facilitates the digestion of these foods. Statistics suggest that women may have up to twice the incidence of gallstones than men.
As stated previously, the major gallbladder problems that produce gallbladder pain are biliary colic, cholecystitis, gallstones, pancreatitis, and ascending cholangitis. There are two major causes of pain that either originate from the gallbladder or involve the gallbladder directly. They are due to 1) intermittent or complete blockage of any of the ducts by gallstones; or 2) gallstone sludge and/or inflammation that may accompany irritation or infection of the surrounding tissues, when partial or complete obstruction of ducts causes pressure and ischemia (inadequate blood supply due to a blockage of blood vessels in the area) to develop in the adjacent tissues.
The pain of gallbladder disease almost always has one of two causes - gallstones or cholecystitis. Gallstones are stones that form in the gallbladder (often misspelled "gall bladder"). They vary in size from a millimeter or two to several centimeters and are made up of cholesterol or bile pigments. Cholecystitis means inflammation of the gallbladder. Although, cholecystitis is most commonly caused by gallstones, there are other less common causes as well.
What is the mechanism of gallbladder pain?
Gallstones have a tendency to become lodged in the bile ducts leading from the gallbladder or liver into the intestines. When gallstones lodge in the ducts, they give rise to a specific type of pain called biliary colic. The characteristics of biliary colic are very consistent, and it is important to recognize its characteristics because they direct the physician to the most appropriate test to diagnose gallstones, primarily abdominal ultrasonography. In approximately 5% of cases, ultrasonography will fail to show gallstones. In such situations, if the characteristics of biliary colic are typical, physicians will go on to other more advanced tests for diagnosing gallstones, specifically endoscopic ultrasound. Finally, most gallstones do not cause pain, and are frequently found incidentally during abdominal ultrasonography. If the symptoms for which the ultrasonography is being done are not typical of biliary colic, it is unlikely that the symptoms are caused by gallstones. The gallstones can be truly silent.
This is important to recognize because surgery to remove the gallstones is unlikely to relieve the symptoms.
When gallstones lodge suddenly in the duct leading from the gallbladder (cystic duct), the duct leading from the liver to the cystic duct (common hepatic duct), or the duct leading from the cystic duct to the intestine (common bile duct), the normal flow of bile from the liver is interrupted.
Gallstones and cholecystitis are treatable conditions. Gallstones that do not cause symptoms don't need immediate treatment other than an alert for potential future gallbladder problems. However, gallstones that cause symptoms or infections of the gallbladder do need treatment.
Treatment options include surgically removing the gallbladder, medications to break up gallstones, and antibiotics to treat infections.
According to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), gallbladder removal surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries.
Laparoscopic gallbladder removal (keyhole surgery) is most common. In this procedure, a surgeon inserts a thin tube with a tiny video camera attached into a small incision in the abdomen. The camera transmits images from inside the body to a video monitor.
While watching the enlarged images on the monitor, the surgeon carefully removes the gallbladder through one of the small incisions. Most gallbladder removals are performed this way. These surgeries are often outpatient procedures, meaning that the patient can often go home the same day.
A much smaller number of gallbladder patients need open surgery. During open surgery, a surgeon removes the gallbladder through a 4-6-inch-long incision in the abdomen.
These surgeries often happen when the gallbladder is too inflamed or infected to remove laparoscopically or if a problem occurs during a laparoscopic procedure. This is not an outpatient procedure and may require a hospital stay of up to 1 week afterward. If a person is too ill to tolerate surgery, the gallbladder can be drained with a tube inserted through the skin directly into the gallbladder.
While gallbladder problems can't be entirely prevented, patients can take steps to decrease the risks of developing gallstones or other infections.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) state that the following people have an increased risk of gallstones:
People over 40
People with a family history of gallstones
Native and Mexican Americans
If a person falls into a category that increases the risk of gallstones, they should avoid the following to reduce their risk:
Rapid weight loss
Diets high in calories but low in fiber
Excess weight gain
Gallbladder problems are generally easily resolved. Long-term complications are unlikely after removing the gallbladder or treating the infection. Those without a gallbladder can lead a normal, healthy life after recovery.
The condition of fatty liver is often associated with gallbladder disease such as gallbladder inflammation or gallstones.
Gallbladder problems can be helped and often completely resolved. There is no need to panic and rush into surgery for gallbladder disease, unless you are in severe acute pain or your doctor suspects that you have gallbladder cancer. Indeed having your gallbladder surgically removed may not relieve your abdominal pain.
According to a study published in The British Journal of General Practice 2004;54:574-79, it was found that having the gallbladder surgically removed (cholecystectomy) does not always relieve upper abdominal pain even in those with proven gall stones.
After cholecystectomy, one third of the patients saw their doctor again with the same pain they had suffered prior to the surgery. What a disappointing result for these patients. After 12 months most of the patients who had a cholecystectomy were pain free, but so were 63% of the patients who had kept their gallstones.
In this study 45% of the patients with “biliary pain” did not have gallstones. Gallstones are very common but they are not always the cause of the patient’s pain. So if you have upper abdominal pain and proven gallstones, do not assume the pain is caused by the gallstones. It is important to get your doctor to exclude other causes of upper abdominal pain such as stomach ulcers, acid reflux, spasm and pancreatic disorders etc. These can be treated effectively so that it is often possible to avoid gallbladder surgery.
Gallbladder problems can cause symptoms that include:
Nausea and vomiting
Intolerance to fatty foods
Pain in the right upper and central upper abdomen
Referred pain may radiate to the back and the right shoulder
Acute Gallbladder Emergencies
If the gallbladder or large bile ducts become infected or obstructed with sludge or gallstones, very severe acute symptoms may supervene and these include –