Why Passing A Kidney Stone Can Be So Painful
Think of the urinary tract system as your bodys plumbing system, explains Timothy F. Lesser, MD, a urologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. The kidney makes urine, which spills into the ureter, a tiny tube that transports the urine from the kidney down to the bladder. The bladder fills, then empties. ââPassing a stoneâ a stone traveling from the kidney down to the bladder, and traversing the length of the ureter, he says. The stone leaves the urinary tract through the urethra, the tube that transports urine outside the body from the bladder.
A stone passing is so painful because the kidney itself is exquisitely sensitive, explains Dr. Lesser. When a stone blocks the flow of urine through the urinary tract, backed-up urine can put pressure on the kidney, resulting in pain.
It is thought that the kidney itself does not have nerves with classical pain fibers, says John C. Lieske, MD, a consultant in the division of nephrology and hypertension at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. But the tissue surrounding the kidney called the capsule does contain nerve fibers that transmit pain. Backed-up urine swells and expands the capsule, he says.
This swelling activates those nerve fibers, causing signals that are interpreted by the brain as an intense, visceral pain, says Prakash N. Maniam, MD, a urologist at the Medical Specialty Group at Poinciana in Kissimmee, Florida.
How Are Gallstones Investigated
The most common investigation for gallstones is the ultrasound scan. This test is usually fairly accurate for picking up typical types of gallstones.
Your doctor may order a set of blood tests to ascertain whether the gallbladder is inflamed, or whether there is any evidence of early jaundice.
If your doctor is concerned that the problem may not be gallstones but may be an ulcer or acid reflux, he will organise a gastroscopy test.
The final investigation that may be considered, if your doctor requires further information regarding the anatomy of the gallbladder, its connections and where the gallstones are, is an MRI scan of the gallbladder and liver. This is called an MRCP .
Preventing And Treating Gallstones
Research shown that people who are obese may have higher levels of cholesterol in their bile, which can cause gallstones. A high-calorie diet with an excess of carbohydrates can also lead to gallstones.
Gallstones can be diagnosed by doing an ultrasound of your abdomen, where the gallbladder is, says Dr. Cochran. If you are having a lot of painful episodes or attacks, the best treatment is to have surgery to remove the gallbladder.
If you have a history of passing kidney stones or have trouble with gallstones, it is important that you take care of your body and have regular check-ups with your doctor. If you would like to know more about the prevention and treatment of kidney stones or gallstones, the physicians and urologists at INTEGRIS can help.
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Gallstone Vs Kidney Stone: Differences Worth Knowing
Stones forming in your body might worry you for sure. It is true that Gallstones and Kidney stones develop in many people every year. There are many similar symptoms of the gall stone and kidney stone. However, there are also some differences between the two, which must be known. So, here we will be talking about the differences between gall stone and kidney stone.
Gallstone Vs Kidney Stone: Differences Based On Symptoms
Gallstones are usually asymptomatic, though in some cases there may be pain below ribs, right shoulder, back, sweating, nausea, fever and restlessness.
Kidney stones have common symptoms like pain in abdomen, flank or groin. Apart from this there may also be blood in urine or hematuria, fever, nausea and chills.
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Gallstone Vs Kidney Stone: Differences Based On The Causes
Gallstones are caused because of crash diets, ethnicity, obesity, growing age, high fat diet, oral contraceptives, statin drugs etc. There are also hereditary causes of gallstones.
However, Dehydration, calcium supplements, obesity, digestive diseases, growing age, pregnancy, hyperuricemia, ethnicity, etc., along with hereditary causes are some of the causes of kidney stones.
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Whats The Best Way To Alleviate Gallbladder Pain
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, theres not much you can do to stop a gallbladder attack while its happening.
You may want to apply a heated compress to the area to relieve the discomfort. Usually, the pain will ease once the gallstone has passed.
Traditional treatment options for gallbladder attack include surgery to remove your gallbladder or medicines to help dissolve the gallstones.
You might be able to prevent a gallstone attack by reducing your fatty food intake and maintaining a healthy weight.
Some other measures that could lower your chances of having gallbladder pain include:
- Eating on a schedule. Skipping meals or fasting may increase the risk of gallstones.
- Eat more fiber. Foods like veggies, fruits, and whole grains contain lots of fiber.
- Try to lose weight slowly. If you lose weight too quickly, youre at an increased risk for developing gallstones. Aim for 1 to 2 pounds a week.
- Exercise. According to the Canadian Society for Intestinal Research, studies show that regular physical activity can lessen your chances of gallstones.
- Check your meds. Some medicines, such as postmenopausal hormones, may boost the risk of gallbladder disease.
- Try magnesium.Studies suggest that males who consume the most magnesium have a lower risk of developing gallstone disease.
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How To Treat Gallstones
In its early stage, a gallstone is asymptomatic, leaving the affected individual unaware of its presence. Only when it increases in size and causes a blockage resulting in pain, does the person realize gallstone exists.
The most effective treatment is surgery.
Gallstones can be prevented by making good lifestyle choices. These include keeping a healthy body weight and exercising regularly.
Treatment For Kidney Stones
Smalls stones can and will usually pass on their own. The patient can stay home drinking liquids and taking pain medication as needed, until the stone passes. If pain is too severe or a stone is blocking the urinary tract, then a medical procedure called lithotripsy can be performed to remove the stone.
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What Does Gallstone Surgery Involve
The procedure of laparoscopic cholecystectomy or removal of the gallbladder by keyhole surgery involves a short operation under general anaesthetic. The procedure will take from half an hour to an hour. It is performed via three or four small cuts measuring between 5 mm and 10 mm long.
Small scars after gallbladder removal
The gallbladder is removed along with the gallstones in a retrieval bag. The wounds are sutured and the patient will go home either on the same day or the morning after surgery. Pain is not normally a major issue and patients are comfortable and mobile following surgery because there have been no big incisions made in the abdomen. Patients can resume working within 1-2 weeks of surgery.
Feel Confident Getting The Care You Need
If you’re experiencing symptoms of gallstones or kidney stones, it’s important to get medical attention right away. If you visit an AdventHealth facility or provider for care, youll see were taking these precautions to keep your care safe:
Treating all symptomatic and COVID-positive patients in separate areas of the facility
Social distancing in waiting areas
Temperature checks upon entering our facilities
Universal mask use for staff, patients and visitors
Visitor limits at some locations
For your safety , well continue with these measures for as long as necessary. Were working hard to help you stay healthy and get back to the life you love. Learn more about our Digestive Care experts.
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Difference Between Kidney Stones And Gall
The kidney is an important organ in the human body. It filters waste and toxic matter from the blood and converts that into urine.
The Gall-bladder is an organ that is closely related to the livers functioning. It acts as a reservoir and stores the bile secreted by the liver which is then sent to the small intestine to help digestion of the food.
Both the kidney and gall-bladder are vulnerable to developing stones from the food and beverages we consume. The stone can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball in both the cases. Further, there are some symptoms which are common to both conditions such as nausea, vomiting, restlessness, fever, chills, feeling sweaty, pain under the ribs and pain between shoulder blades. But otherwise, there are various differences between them.
Ultrasounds Role In Diagnosing Gallbladder Stones And Kidney Stones
Doctors can use a variety of blood tests and imaging scans to diagnose gallbladder stones and kidney stones, but one of the most important tools is ultrasound. Different types of ultrasound are better at detecting each condition:
- Abdominal ultrasound. This scan can show inflammation in the gallbladder or blockages in the bile ducts from gallstones.
- Renal ultrasound. This scan can reveal kidney stones in the two organs or ureters.
An accurate diagnosis can help your doctor decide on the best course of treatment. For gallstones, especially ones causing symptoms, that may mean laparoscopic surgery to remove your gallbladder. Kidney stones may pass on their own. For those too large to do so, your doctor may perform a procedure to break them up or remove them.
If your doctor orders an ultrasound scan to look for gallbladder stones or kidney stones, numerous American Health Imaging centers offer same-day appointments and a lower-cost scan than at the hospital.
Checking for gallbladder stones is just one reason your doctor may order an ultrasound scan. Learn about the many other reasons doctors use ultrasound.
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Whatare The Causes Of Cholecystitis Gallstones
The gallbladders store bile helps in digestion and when bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin, it may lead to the formation of gallstones. Gallstone is formed in the bile duct or gallbladder are hard lumps
Obesity, consumption of food higher in cholesterol and fat can lead to gallstone formation, in women especially above 40 years having diabetes, obese, or rapid weight loss is most likely to develop gallstones. Most of the time Gallstones can be asymptomatic and people have them and dont know it. After some time there can be gallbladder attacks. When a gallstone blocks a duct, then pain and associated other complications take place causing an infection.
What Causes Gallstones
Similar to how kidney stones are formed from too much calcium, gallstones can be formed when bile contains too much cholesterol or too much bilirubin. More than 80 percent of gallstones are hardened cholesterol stones. These types of stones can be genetic or develop from environmental causes.
If you have a family history of gallstones, you may be more likely to suffer from them, Dr. Cochran says. You are also at more at risk if you a female, if you are in your reproductive years, over the age of 40 or are overweight.
Gallstones typically cause pain where the gallbladder is located, which is on the upper right side of your belly under your ribcage. The pain typically occurs 30 to 60 minutes after eating a meal but can come and go at other times as well. You may also experience nausea or vomiting with a gallstone.
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What Is A Kidney Stone
Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of different minerals in your body. Minerals like calcium, oxalate and phosphorus can become concentrated and form stones that can range in size. Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pearl. In some cases, they can be larger.
Depending on where the kidney stone is located, you may have pain in your back, your side or your groin. This pain is severe, sudden, and is often described as being like childbirth, Dr. Cochran says. It is also associated with nausea and vomiting, and you may notice blood or feel pain when you urinate.
S For Coping With Labor
The good news is that there are a lot of ways to cope with pain during labor. There arent any wrong or right choices, just personal ones. Methods include:
Remember, you learn more pain-fighting techniques during childbirth class than exist for broken bones. Combat fear of pain during labor by taking a childbirth preparation class, so you can learn techniques to use during labor and practice them.
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Seek Care Right Away For A Gallbladder Attack
See a doctor right away if you are having these symptoms during or after a gallbladder attack:
- pain in your abdomen lasting several hours
- nausea and vomiting
- fevereven a low-grade feveror chills
- yellowish color of your skin or whites of your eyes, called jaundice
- tea-colored urine and light-colored stools
These symptoms may be signs of a serious infection or inflammation of the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas. Gallstone symptoms may be similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as appendicitis, ulcers, pancreatitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, all of which should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Gallstone complications can occur if your bile ducts stay blocked. Left untreated, blockages of the bile ducts or pancreatic duct can be fatal.
Difference Between Gallstones And Kidney Stones
Gallstones affect approximately 20 percent of women over 40 and eight percent of men. Kidney stones send roughly 1,000 American adults each year to the hospital. Kidney stones are referred to as one of the most painful experiences a person can undergo, but gallstones can go symptomless for many years. When symptoms do occur in gallstones, pain can also be excruciating and sudden but usually doesnt last for very long.
Gallstones can contribute to infection, which needs to be treated with antibiotics. For kidney stones to lead to infection there needs to be a blockage of urination.
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What Is Kidney Stone
- Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidneys. They are made up of minerals and acids that have crystallized in the urinary tract. Kidney stones can range in size from a grain of sand to a pea. They can cause severe pain and blockage in the urinary tract. Kidney stones usually pass on their own, but they can also be removed with medical procedures.
- Kidney stones are a common problem, affecting about 10% of people at some point in their lives. Kidney stones are more common in men than women. Kidney stones can run in families. Kidney stones are more common in certain ethnic groups, such as Native Americans and Caucasians. Kidney stones are more common in people over the age of 40. Kidney stones are more likely to occur during pregnancy and menopause. Kidney stones are more likely to occur in people who live in hot climates.
- Kidney stones are more likely to occur in people who dont drink enough fluids or who lose too much fluid due to sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. Kidney stones are also more likely to occur in people who eat a diet high in animal protein, salt, sugar, or refined carbs.
What Are The Risks Of Surgery
Risks of laparoscopic cholecystectomy are very low, however in any operation there is always a small risk of bleeding or infection in the skin wounds. In laparoscopic cholecystectomy there are specific risks of bleeding from where the gallbladder is removed from the liver, leakage of bile from this area, and damage to the bile duct, requiring more complex surgery in the future. These risks are extremely low and are surpassed by the much more significant and common risk of serious complications if symptomatic gallstones are not removed.
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It Has Been Said That Passing A Kidney Stone Is The Closest A Man Will Get To Experiencing The Pain Of Labor And Childbirth But Is That True
Sure, theres heavy breathing, moaning and pain involved. But, is having a kidney stone comparable to giving birth?
As it turns out, theres no cut-and-dried answer. Kidney stones can range in size, from a grain of sand to the size of a golf ball.
Kidney stone pain can be very severe, and many patients report it as the worst they have ever experienced, according to Mike Nguyen, MD, urologist at USC Urology of Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. But, how does this compare to the pain of childbirth? It turns out that the reported amount of pain in both situations is almost identical.
Nguyen points to a Scandinavian study from 1996, in which 70 first-time mothers rated their worst pain during labor as being on average between seven and eight, on a scale of 1-to-10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable. Mothers with multiple childbirths, who often have a slightly easier experience, rated their worst pain as six to seven.
When we recently surveyed 287 kidney stone patients in 2016, they rated their worst pain as being very similar to that of childbirth, with an average pain score of 7.9 out of 10, Nguyen says.
Symptoms of kidney stones, according to the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., include:
- Severe pain on one side of your lower back
- Nagging stomach pain
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
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