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Diagnosis Of Kidney Stones
When you have kidney stone symptoms, as described above, see your health care provider. Shell check your medical history, give you a physical examination, and order imaging tests, as needed.
Your doctor may ask you to drink extra fluid to help flush out the stone. By straining your urine, you may be able to save a piece of the stone. This will enable your doctor to determine the type of stone, what may be causing the condition, and how to reduce your risk of recurring stones.
If your stone doesnt flush out, your doctor may order a high-resolution CT scan from the kidneys to the bladder or a KUB X-ray to determine the size and location of the stone.
Another test used for some patients is the intravenous pyelogram , an X-ray of the urinary tract taken after injecting dye.
The Link Between Gastrointestinal Issues And Kidney Stones
If youve been diagnosed with gastrointestinal issues, you may be surprised to know that they may increase your risk of kidney stones. Additionally, sometimes kidney stones can even cause symptoms that mimic gastrointestinal issues as well.
Thats why its so important to know the relationship between these two types of health conditions. At Preva Surgicare – Surgery Center Of The Woodlands in Texas, our urology experts can help you understand your risk for kidney stones, while our specialized Stone Relief Center can help you treat them.
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What Causes Kidney Stones
Waste products in the blood can occasionally form crystals that collect inside the kidneys.
Over time, the crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump.
This is more likely to happen if you:
- do not drink enough fluids
- are taking some types of medication
- have a medical condition that raises the levels of certain substances in your urine
After a kidney stone has formed, your body will try to pass it out when you pee.
Passing A Kidney Stone
Small kidney stones may pass on their own without treatment. A doctor may recommend drinking more fluids to help flush the stone out of the system.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe the medication Tamsulosin. This drug relaxes the ureter, making it easier for stones to pass. Some people may also require over-the-counter or prescription pain relief medication.
According to the AUA, a person should wait no longer than 6 weeks to pass a small kidney stone. They should seek medical attention sooner if they experience worsening pain or an infection.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to place a ureteral stent to allow urine to bypass the stone, with or without removing the stone at the same time. According to the Urology Care Foundation, doctors usually reserve surgery for stones that may have caused or lead to infection or stones that do not pass and block urine flow from the kidney.
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Symptom Of Kidney Stone: Radiating Pain
Although you may have pain at the blockage point, you can also get pain radiating into other areas, Dr. Zhao says. For example, if a stone is obstructing the tube out of your bladder, you may have generalized pain in the lower abdomen or groin, including the testicles.
You can also get pain with urination, if the stones are lodged in the urethra.
Kidney Stone With Pain
The sharp cramping pain on either side of your lower back and nausea or vomiting that you have are because of a small stone that has formed in the kidney. Its now passing down a narrow tube on its way to your bladder. Once the stone reaches your bladder, the pain will often stop. But it may come back as the stone continues to pass out of the bladder and through the urethra. The stone may pass in your urine stream in one piece. The size may be 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch . Or, the stone may break up into sandy fragments that you may not even notice.
Once you have had a kidney stone, you are at risk of getting another one in the future. There are 4 types of kidney stones. Eighty percent are calcium stonesmostly calcium oxalate but also some with calcium phosphate. The other 3 types include uric acid stones, struvite stones , and rarely, cystine stones.
Most stones will pass on their own, but may take from a few hours to a few days. Sometimes the stone is too large to pass by itself. In that case, the healthcare provider will need to use other ways to remove the stone. These techniques include:
Lithotripsy. This uses ultrasound waves to break up the stone.
Ureteroscopy. This pushes a basket-like instrument through the urethra and bladder and into the ureter to pull out the stone.
Surgery. You may need surgery to remove the stone.
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There Are A Number Of Reasons To Treat A Kidney Stone Even If It Is Not Causing Any Painful Symptoms
Recurring urinary tract infections
Some kidney stones may be infected, and in many cases, despite proper antibiotic treatment, the infection cannot be cleared from the stone. In such cases, the only way to remove the infection completely is to remove the stone.
These are extremely large stones that grow to fill the inside of the kidney. There are serious health risks associated with these stones, and left untreated they are associated with an increased risk of kidney failure.
For example, the Federal Aviation Administration will not allow a pilot to fly until all stones have been cleared from his or her kidney. Other occupations also do not allow for the unplanned passage of a kidney stone.
The patient who, whether for business or otherwise, travels to locales where medical care is not reliable may wish to consider preventive treatment.
After thorough consideration of all options available to them, many patients elect to remove their stones at a time when it is convenient for them.
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What Color Is Poop With Gallbladder Problems
Gallstones can limit bile reaching your intestines, which can turn your stool yellow. Other gallbladder disorders that can cause yellow stool include cholangitis and cholecystitis. Liver problems. Hepatitis and cirrhosis can limit bile salts for food digestion and nutrient absorption, turning your stool yellow.
What Is A Kidney Stone
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts that form on the inner surface of the kidneys, Roger Sur, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center at UC San Diego Health, tells SELF.
True to their name, kidney stones look like little pebbles that can vary in color , texture , and size , according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . In rare nightmare scenarios, they can even reach the size of a golf ball .
Kidney stones are made of minerals normally found in your pee, like calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus, that dont cause issues at low levels, the NIDDK explains. As these minerals start to accumulate and crystalize, they can begin to stick togetheroften when the urine becomes more concentrated, the Mayo Clinic explains, which can happen due to things like dehydration.
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Where Is Kidney Stone Pain Located
The sharp pain associated with a kidney stone moves as the stone progresses through your urinary tract. The most common places to feel pain are in your:
- Lower abdomen or groin
- Along one side of your body, below your ribs
However, while pain is certainly the most noticeable symptoms of kidney stones, its not always the earliest sign or even the most telling sign, for that matter.
The pain associated with a kidney stone typically isnt felt until after its already formed and is passing through your urinary tract, explains Dr. Kannady. In addition, due to differences in anatomy, men and women describe kidney stone pain slightly differently. Not to mention that pain itself is relative and everyone has a different threshold for it.
Plus, the intensity of the pain isnt necessarily a measure of how problematic the kidney stone might be or become. Smaller stones that are likely to pass on their own can still be very painful. And not every kidney stone that requires medical intervention comes with gut-wrenching pain.
Any time youre experiencing pain, its important to see your doctor. But if youre experiencing pain, even if its only mind, in combination with the kidney stone symptoms above and, in particular, if you have a fever or severe trouble urinating its definitely important to see your doctor, warns Dr. Kannady.
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Why You Get Stones
Part of preventing stones is finding out why you get them. Your health care provider will perform tests to find out what is causing this. After finding out why you get stones, your health care provider will give you tips to help stop them from coming back.
Some of the tests he or she may do are listed below.
Medical and Dietary History
Your health care provider will ask questions about your personal and family medical history. He or she may ask if:
- Have you had more than one stone before?
- Has anyone in your family had stones?
- Do you have a medical condition that may increase your chance of having stones, like frequent diarrhea, gout or diabetes?
Knowing your eating habits is also helpful. You may be eating foods that are known to raise the risk of stones. You may also be eating too few foods that protect against stones or not drinking enough fluids.
Understanding your medical, family and dietary history helps your health care provider find out how likely you are to form more stones.
Blood and Urine Tests
When a health care provider sees you for the first time and you have had stones before, he or she may want to see recent X-rays or order a new X-ray. They will do this to see if there are any stones in your urinary tract. Imaging tests may be repeated over time to check for stone growth. You may also need this test if you are having pain, hematuria or recurrent infections.
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Prevention Of Future Stones
Once your health care provider finds out why you are forming stones, he or she will give you tips on how to prevent them. This may include changing your diet and taking certain medications. There is no one-size-fits-all diet for preventing kidney stones. Everyone is different. Your diet may not be causing your stones to form. But there are dietary changes that you can make to stop stones from continuing to form.
Drink enough fluids each day.
If you are not producing enough urine, your health care provider will recommend you drink at least 3 liters of liquid each day. This equals about 3 quarts . This is a great way to lower your risk of forming new stones. Remember to drink more to replace fluids lost when you sweat from exercise or in hot weather. All fluids count toward your fluid intake. But its best to drink mostly no-calorie or low-calorie drinks. This may mean limiting sugar-sweetened or alcoholic drinks.
Knowing how much you drink during the day can help you understand how much you need to drink to produce 2.5 liters of urine. Use a household measuring cup to measure how much liquid you drink for a day or two. Drink from bottles or cans with the fluid ounces listed on the label. Keep a log, and add up the ounces at the end of the day or 24-hour period. Use this total to be sure you are reaching your daily target urine amount of at least 85 ounces of urine daily.
Reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
Eat the recommended amount of calcium.
If The Kidney Stone Is Not Causing Any Symptoms Should I Still Be Treated
There are some instances when it is OK to leave a kidney stone untreated. If the stone is small and not causing any pain, there is a good chance that it will pass on its own after it falls into the ureter. Such stones may be followed with “watchful waiting.” This means that the stone is not actively treated, but instead your doctor keeps a check on the stone to be sure that it is not growing or changing. This can be done with periodic X-rays.
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When To See A Doctor
A person should talk to their doctor if they experience symptoms of a UTI, such as pain, fever, and frequent urination. The doctor will conduct tests to help determine whether the symptoms are those of a UTI or a kidney stone. In either case, a person may require treatment.
Additionally, if abdominal or back pain is so severe that it requires pain medication, or if a person experiences unrelenting nausea or vomiting alongside pain, they should seek medical care.
A urinalysis will determine if infection or blood is present in the urine, and a doctor will carry out a blood test to check for more severe signs of infection.
Drinking Plenty Of Fluids
To aid the removal of the stone, it is important to drink plenty of clear fluids. Keeping well hydrated will also help to prevent stones from forming too. Drinking lots of water is particularly important if you have a stone that has formed from uric acid as this will help to break the stone down. In these instance you will be advised to try to drink around three litres of water a day and may also be given a medication to make your urine more alkaline, which will also help the stone break down.
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Can You Throw Up A Kidney Stone
Can you throw up a kidney stone? Nausea and vomiting. Its common for people with a kidney stone to have nausea and vomiting . These symptoms happen because of shared nerve connections between the kidneys and GI tract . Stones in the kidneys can trigger nerves in the GI tract, setting off an upset stomach.
Can you pass a kidney stone without knowing it? Some kidney stones are so small you can pass them without ever knowing it happened no pain, or such slight pain you didnt know what was happening. Then there are the painful stones, normally under 6mm, that should take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks to pass on their own.
Is it painful when you Pee out your kidney stone? As the stone moves further down the urinary tract close to the bladder, you may feel more urgency to go more often and feel pain when you pee. Kidney stones can even be on both sides at once and stop the flow of urine altogether, which, although rare, is a medical emergency.
Can you get an uti from passing a kidney stone? People with blockages in their urinary tract, such as a kidneystone, are more likely to get UTIs. An enlarged prostate gland in a man can also block the flow of urine and cause a UTI.