The Evaluation For Kidney Stones
If your , imaging is often the first step in an evaluation. For many years the standard of care was a type of abdominal x-ray called an intravenous pyelogram . In most medical centers, this has been replaced by a type of computed tomography called unenhanced helical CT scanning. In some cases, such as when a person has impaired renal function or a contrast dye allergy, renal ultrasound may be used as an alternative.
You will also have blood tests, including tests for renal function . Your doctor may suggest other blood tests as well. A urinalysis will be obtained and if infection is suspected, a urine culture will be sent.
Whats The Urinary Tract How Does It Work
Your urinary tract is vital to your body because it gets rid of waste and extra fluid. Its made up of both your kidneys, two ureters, your bladder and your urethra. Each organ has an important job :
- Kidneys: Your fist-sized, bean-shaped kidneys are located on either side of your spine, below your rib cage. Each day they filter 120 to 150 quarts of your blood to remove waste and balance fluids. Your kidneys make one to two quarts of urine every day.
- Ureters: After your kidney creates urine, the liquid travels through the tube-shaped ureter to the bladder. There is one ureter per kidney. Kidney stones can pass through the ureters or, if theyre too big, get stuck in them. You may require surgery if the stone is too large.
- Bladder: Between your hip bones is your bladder, an organ that stores urine. It stretches to hold about one and a half to two cups.
- Urethra: Like a ureter, your urethra is a tube through which urine passes. Its the final stop of the urinary tract where your urine leaves your body. This is called urination.
Are There Any Foods Or Drinks That Help Treat Kidney Stones Are There Any Home Remedies
There are three liquids rumored to help with kidney stones:
- Cranberry juice. Although cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections , it doesnt help with kidney stones.
- Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is acidic and it can sometimes create changes to your urine, which helps with kidney stones. But, this doesnt always help. Talk to your healthcare provider about the use of vinegar.
- Lemon juice. Lemon juice is rich in citrate, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming. Citrates are found in several citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges and melons.
- Coffee. Studies show that coffee may decrease your risk of developing kidney stones.
Avoid soda and other drinks with added sugar or fructose corn syrup. They increase your risk.
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What Is The Treatment For Kidney Stones
Most people with kidney stones are able to pass them on their own within 48 hours by drinking plenty of fluids. Pain medication can ease the discomfort. The smaller the stone, the more likely it is to pass without intervention. Other factors that influence the ability to pass a stone include pregnancy, prostate size, and patient size. Stones that are 9 mm or larger usually do not pass on their own and require intervention. Stones that are 5 mm in size have a 20% chance of passing on their own while 80% of stones that are 4 mm in size have a chance of passing without treatment.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Help This Kidney Stone Pass Last Saturday I Had Emergency Surgery To Break It Down But Its Not Passing And It Hurts
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How Does Passing A Kidney Stone Feel
Small stones can pass without any symptoms at all, but larger stones can be a problem.
As long as the stone is in the kidney and not blocking the flow of urine, you probably wont feel it. Eventually, the stone leaves the kidney and enters the ureter on its way to the bladder.
The ureters are tiny, about 1/8 inch wide, so if a stone cant move through, its hard for urine to flow.
This can cause swelling and incredibly painful spasms . Youll feel a sharp, stabbing pain in your side or back, below the ribcage. Pain sometimes radiates to the groin and genitals.
You might find that the intensity of the pain changes as you change position and as the stone continues its journey through your urinary tract. Youll probably find it near impossible to lie still, tossing and turning in an effort to stop the pain. Pain can subside for several hours before returning.
- blood in the urine
The pain tends to ease up once the stone reaches the bladder. If the stone is small, or has broken into small pieces, you may not feel it as it flows from the bladder, through the urethra, and out with the urine.
Stones dont usually block the urethra, since its twice as wide as the ureters, but a larger stone can cause resurgence of pain.
- chills, fever
- imaging tests to check for additional stones or other problems
- 24-hour urine collection
- blood work
Are Home Remedies Effective For Kidney Stones
For some people who have had many kidney stones, home care may be appropriate. When passing a kidney stone, drinking lots of fluid is important. In fact, this is the most important home care measure. Medications may help control the pain . However, if it is the first time one has had symptoms suggestive of a kidney stone, it is important to see a doctor right away.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
Can Small Kidney Stones Pass Naturally
Kidney stones of less than 5mm are considered to be small. Small kidney stones can easily pass through the urinary tract without any medical assistance. 4mm size stones have 80% chances to pass through the kidneys in about a month, but 5mm size stones have 60% chances of passage in about 45 days.
To pass small-sized kidney stones naturally in urine, certain home remedies can be helpful such as increased fluid intake, increased water, lemon and citrus juice consumption and low salt, calcium and protein diet. High water concentration does not allow growth of kidney stones and they can slowly pass along with the urine. Read about passing of kidney stones with urine.
If you experience any pain in the lower abdomen during passing of the kidney stones, you can take an analgesic such as ibuprofen or any other painkiller as suggested by the doctor. Painkillers help in relieving pain and also speed up the process of passing the stone. Read about relieving kidney pain.
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When Do Kidney Stones Require Removal
Waiting for kidney stones to pass is not ideal for every case. According to the American Urological Association, kidney stone removal should be considered if a stone fails to pass on its own within 2 months. Likewise, stone removal is necessary if complications arise due to the stone. Complications that require stone removal include ureter blockage or irritation, urinary tract infection, decreased kidney function and uncontrolled pain, nausea or vomiting.
To remove kidney stones, a procedure called lithotripsy is often used. During the procedure, kidney stones are subjected to shock waves, resulting in the breakdown of larger stones into smaller pieces that can easily pass through the urinary tract. When lithotripsy is not effective, surgical techniques may be necessary to remove kidney stones. This may be done either by making a tiny incision in the skin or via an instrument passed through the urethra and bladder into the ureter.
Medical Treatment To Prevent Stones
Factors which increase the risk of stones include:
- Gender: Men are more likely than women to form kidney stones, although the rate is increasing faster in women and soon men and women might have equal risk of kidney stone formation
- Family history: If you have family members with stones, you have a higher risk of developing kidney stones
- Diet: Diets high in fat, processed sugar, and salt place people at risk of forming kidney stones
- Weight: Obesity is strongly associated with kidney stones
- Personal history: If you formed your first stone when you were young, or if you have already formed more than one stone, you are at greater risk of having more stones
The cornerstone of medical treatment to prevent stones is increasing fluid intake.; It is recommended that you drink enough fluid to produce 2 liters of urine each day.; That is the equivalent to the amount of fluid in a 2 liter soda bottle. Its important that you spread this out over the entire day rather than drinking the whole amount at one time. It is recommended that you include a glass of water just before bedtime. The goal is to make sure your urine has the appearance of water.; If the urine is yellow then you probably arent drinking enough.
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What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are small masses of salts and minerals that form inside the kidneys and may travel down the urinary tract. Kidney stones range in size from just a speck to as large as a ping pong ball. Signs and symptoms of kidney stones include blood in the urine, and pain in the abdomen, groin, or flank. About 5% of people develop a kidney stone in their lifetime.
What Does Surgery For Kidney Stones Entail
Most kidney stone surgeries do not require an actual incision. Rather, urologists are able to perform procedures through a patient’s natural orifices, meaning the urethra and ureter. During the procedure, referred to as ureteroscopy, a urologist uses a small flexible camera to locate the stone. From there, they will often use a tiny wire basket or laser fiber to capture the stone and pull it out, or break it up into tiny fragments that are removed.;
In other cases, urologists may not need to enter the body at all to treat the stone. Shockwave lithotripsy is used to break the stone apart into tiny fragments by transmitting ultrasound waves through the patients back while they are under anesthesia.;
A more invasive surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy may be needed for larger stones. During PCNL, the scope is inserted through a small incision in a patients back.
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What Causes Kidney Stones
The kidneys regulate levels of fluid, minerals, salts, and other substances in your body. When the balance of these compounds changes, kidney stones may form. There are four types of kidney stones, each made of different substances. Uric acid and cystine are two compounds that may comprise kidney stones. Factors known to increase the risk of kidney stones include dehydration, family history, genetics, and the presence of certain medical conditions. Having one or more family members with a history of kidney stones increases the risk of the condition.
What Happens On Surgery Day
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on what to do with your medications and diet before the date of your procedure. Most laser kidney stone treatments are done on an outpatient basis, so you can go home the same day.
You will have general anesthesia, so you will sleep through surgery. This helps make sure that you are still when the small instruments are inside your body. Newer lasers are precise and powerful which can make it easier for the surgeon to control and fragment the stone. This helps reduce the time of your surgery, so you can spend less time asleep and get back to your normal routine faster.
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Risk Factors You Can’t Control
White men have a greater risk for kidney stones than other groups, starting in the 40s. Women see their risk rise in the 50s. And your odds also go up if you have a family history of kidney stones. Certain medical conditions can boost the risk — high blood pressure, gout, urinary tract infections, certain kidney conditions such as polycystic kidney disease — but treating or controlling these conditions generally helps prevent stone formation.
What Are Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
Many kidney stones are painless until they travel from the kidney, down the ureter, and into the bladder. Depending on the size of the stone, movement of the stone through the urinary tract can cause severe pain with sudden onset. People who have kidney stones often describe the pain as excruciating. The lower back, abdomen, and sides are frequent sites of pain and cramping. Those who have kidney stones may see blood in their urine. Fever and chills are present when there is an infection. Seek prompt medical treatment in the event of these symptoms.
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Dealing With The Symptoms Of A Kidney Stone
Since most kidney stones will eventually pass through the urinary tract and out of the body when given time, treatment is usually directed toward controlling the symptoms. When the stones are passed at home, appropriate interventions usually include increased fluid intake and taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. If over-the-counter pain medications are ineffective, stronger drugs such as Ketorolac and narcotic pain medications are used. In case of severe nausea and vomiting, the doctor may give intravenous medications.
When Surgery Is Necessary
If you think you might have a kidney stone, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If youre found to have one, your doctor can help you determine whether to try to pass the stone naturally, take medication, or get the stone surgically removed.
In some circumstances, your doctor might recommend immediate surgical removal without a waiting period. This will usually be because the stone is too big to pass naturally or is blocking urine flow. If the stone is blocking the flow of urine, it can lead to an infection or renal damage.
In other circumstances, your doctor might recommend waiting to see if you can pass the stone on your own. You should check in with your doctor often during this time to see if anything is changing, especially if you have new symptoms.
During the waiting period, your doctor might recommend surgery if the stone continues to grow, youre having unmanageable pain, or you develop signs of infection, such as a fever. Infection, fever, kidney damage, intractable pain, or intractable vomiting are all indications for immediate surgery.
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Size Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are of variable sizes. They range from small sized crystals to large sized stones such as the size of a golf ball. Variations in sizes of kidney stones affect the following things:
The size of kidney stones affect the treatment method required for their removal. Small-sized stones can easily pass through the kidney without any medical assistance but large-sized stones require medical intervention. Certain tests are conducted which help in determining the size of kidney stones, such as KUB, an Ultrasound or an IVP. They help in analyzing which treatment should be effective for the removal of your kidney stones.
It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone sometime in their lives. The prevalence of kidney stones has increased significantly in the United States from 3.8% in the late 1970s to about 9% in the 2000s. The lifetime risk of developing kidney stones is about 19% in men and 10% in women.
Kidney Stone Size Chart And Its Features
This is a simple kidney stone size chart that that provides important information about the chances of passing stones naturally, time taken, and treatment required for various sizes of the kidney stones. More types of kidney stone charts can be possible to show different types of information pieces about kidney stones and their sizes.
|Size of kidney stones|
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How Large Kidney Stones Are Treated
There are several methods for breaking down or removing large kidney stones, whether minimally invasive or surgically.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is an outpatient procedure that requires either light sedation or anesthesia and usually lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. A lithotripsy uses shock waves that work to break up the kidney stone into much smaller pieces that will pass more easily through the urinary tract.
A ureteroscopy is generally an outpatient procedure that is performed under anesthesia. During this procedure, the surgeon will insert an ureteroscope through the urethra and bladder to the ureters. The ureteroscope is a thin, lighted, tube-like instrument with an eyepiece that allows the urologist to see the kidney stone. Once located, it can be retrieved or broken into smaller pieces using laser energy.
Sometimes, the surgeon will choose to place a stent in the ureter . If placed, it will be removed in approximately four to 10 days during an office visit.
Depending on its size and location, the urologist may choose to perform a Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy; . This procedure requires general anesthesia, and may require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment at the location nearest you.