How Are Kidney Stones Treated
Once diagnosed, your healthcare provider will first determine if you even need treatment. Some smaller kidney stones may leave your system when you urinate. This can be very painful. If your provider decides that you do need treatment, your options include medications and surgery.
Medications. Medications may be prescribed to:
- Your healthcare provider may recommend that you take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or, if youre in the emergency room, an IV narcotic.
- Manage nausea/vomiting.
- Relax your ureter so that the stones pass. Commonly prescribed medicines include tamsulosin and nifedipine .
You should ask your healthcare provider before you take ibuprofen. This drug can increase the risk of kidney failure if taken while youre having an acute attack of kidney stones especially in those who have a history of kidney disease and associated illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Surgery. There are four types of surgeries used to treat kidney stones. The first three are minimally invasive, meaning that the surgeon enters your body through a natural opening , or makes a small incision.
How Long Does It Take To Pass A Kidney Stone
The amount of time it can take for you to pass a kidney stone is different from anothers. A stone thats smaller than 4 mm may pass within one to two weeks. A stone thats larger than 4 mm could take about two to three weeks to completely pass.
Once the stone reaches the bladder, it typically passes within a few days, but may take longer, especially in an older man with a large prostate. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so its important to follow up with your healthcare provider if you dont pass the stone within four to six weeks.
What Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed from substances in your urine. The substances that combine into stones normally pass through your urinary system. When they dont, its because there isnt enough urine volume, causing the substances to become highly concentrated and to crystalize. This is typically a result of not drinking enough water. The stone-forming substances are:
- Cloudy, foul-smelling urine, fever, chills or weakness which might be a sign of a serious infection.
- Blood in the urine.
Most pediatric kidney stones remain in the kidney, but up to a third may migrate from the kidney and get stuck in a ureter. Stones that remain in the kidney, although often painless, can be the source of recurrent urinary tract infections. Those that lodge in the ureter can create severe colicky pain.
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What Are The Different Types Of Kidney Stones
Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.
What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract.
Stones vary in size. Some are as small as the period at the end of this sentence a fraction of an inch. Others can grow to a few inches across. Some kidney stones can become so large they take up the entire kidney.
A kidney stone forms when too much of certain minerals in your body accumulate in your urine. When you arent well hydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated with higher levels of certain minerals. When mineral levels are higher, its more likely that a kidney stone will form.
About 1 out of every 11 people in the United States will get a kidney stone. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes .
Smaller kidney stones that remain in the kidney often dont cause any symptoms. You might not notice anything is amiss until the stone moves into your ureter the tube that urine travels through to get from your kidney to your bladder.
Kidney stones are typically very painful. Most stones will pass on their own without treatment. However, you may need a procedure to break up or remove stones that dont pass.
Here are eight signs and symptoms that you may have kidney stones.
2 ). Some people whove experienced kidney stones compare the pain to childbirth or getting stabbed with a knife.
4 ). Your doctor might call this dysuria.
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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.
If You Think You Have A Kidney Stone
If you have been diagnosed with a kidney stone, please call 362-8200 to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment we will do our best to make sure you are seen promptly. You may be directed to the emergency department if you are experiencing intractable nausea, vomiting, pain or fever so that urgent treatment can be given.
We have a very limited number of same-day appointments therefore, it is likely that you will be directed to the emergency department for rapid evaluation. There, they will obtain scans and labs that will help confirm the diagnosis of kidney stones. From that information, we can make an informed decision about your treatment.
If you have recently passed a stone, you should have close follow-up with a urologist. Our team of stone experts can accommodate you at any of our clinic locations.
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Causes Of Kidney Stones
Possible causes include drinking too little water, exercise , obesity, weight loss surgery, or eating food with too much salt or sugar. Infections and family history might be important in some people. Eating too much fructose correlates with increasing risk of developing a kidney stone. Fructose can be found in table sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
How Do Kidney Stones Form
Normally, your urine removes waste from your body including small crystals such as calcium, uric acid and oxalate that can be easily diluted and pass through your urinary system. However, when you produce more of these minerals than your urine can manage, the minerals can form kidney stones by sticking together in larger groups. This results in one of four different types of stones: calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine.
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Can Children Get Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.
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Treatment Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be managed in a number of ways, depending upon the size of the stone, your other medical problems, and your overall comfort level. Many small stones will pass with the help of medications, which will keep you comfortable while the stone passes naturally. This process may take a few days to a week or more.
For larger stones, stones that are associated with severe symptoms, or stones that will not pass with medical therapy, surgery is often required.
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Kidney Stone Undescended No Symptoms
A kidney stone starts as tiny crystals that form inside the kidney where urine is made. Most kidney stones enlarge to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in size before leaving the kidney and moving toward the bladder. 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.
When the stone breaks free and starts to move down the ureter it often causes sharp, severe back and side pain, often with nausea and vomiting. When the stone reaches the bladder, the pain stops. Once in your bladder, the kidney stone may pass through the urethra while you are urinating . Or, it may break into such small fragments that you dont notice it passing.
Your kidney stone is still inside the kidney. There is no way to predict how long it will be before it breaks free and causes any symptoms. Most stones will pass on their own within a few hours to a few days . You may notice a red, pink, or brown color to your urine. This is normal while passing a kidney stone. A large stone may not pass on its own and may require special procedures to remove it. These procedures include:
Lithotripsy. This uses ultrasound waves to break up the stone.
Ureteroscopy. A thin, basket-like instrument is pushed through the urethra and bladder to pull out the stone.
Direct surgery through the skin
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.
In order to diagnose a kidney stone, a doctor may order an imaging test, such as an ultrasound or CT scan. These tests can also indicate the size and location of the stone.
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.
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Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
It’s not always possible to prevent some types of kidney stones.
But anyone who’s had kidney stones should:
- Drink a lot of liquids throughout the day. Avoid dark sodas, soft drinks, and sports drinks. If their pee is almost clear, that’s a sign they’re drinking enough. Ask your doctor how much you should drink.
- Limit the salt and protein in their diet.
If dietary changes don’t prevent kidney stones, medicines can help. Depending on the type of kidney stone you had, the doctor can prescribe treatments or medicines to lower the levels of crystal-forming substances in the pee.
Doctors will keep an eye on teens who have had kidney stones and try to prevent new ones. The doctor might have you use a 24-hour urine collection test. This measures the volume of pee within a 24-hour period and checks what’s in it.
Kidney stones aren’t usually a worry for most teens, though it’s always a good idea to eat healthy foods and drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.
Types Of Kidney Stones
Doctors break down kidney stones into types. Knowing which kind you have could affect the treatment you get. They include:
Calcium stones: These are the most common ones. Even just eating some foods very high in oxalates, such as rhubarb, or taking unusually high levels of vitamin D, can boost your chances of getting this type. You could get this kind if you typically donât drink enough water or if you sweat a lot and donât replace the fluids you lose.
Cystine stones: This is the least common typeThis is the least common type and due to a genetic mutation. In this situation your kidneys have trouble reabsorbing a compound called cystine, which ends up in the urine at higher levels and causes stones to form.
Struvite stones: Infections, especially in the urinary tract, can cause this kind of stone.
Uric acid stones: Eating large amounts of animal proteins can lead to uric acid buildup in your urine. That can eventually form a stone either with or without calcium. Risk factors include gout, diabetes, and chronic diarrhea.
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How Common Are Kidney Stones
Researchers have concluded that about one in ten people will get a kidney stone during their lifetime. Kidney stones in children are far less common than in adults but they occur for the same reasons. Theyre four times more likely to occur in children with asthma than in children who dont have asthma.
Treating Renal Colic And Pain Management
See your doctor if you have symptoms of renal colic or urinary stones. Your doctor can do tests to look for increased levels of substances that form stones in your blood or urine. A CT scan can look for stones in your kidneys and other urinary organs.
If you have a large stone, your doctor can do one of these procedures to remove it and relieve renal colic:
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy : This procedure uses shock waves aimed at your kidneys to break up the stones into very small pieces. You then pass the stone fragments in your urine.
- Ureteroscopy: Your doctor inserts a thin, lighted scope up through your urethra and bladder to remove the stone.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: This procedure uses tiny instruments inserted through a small cut in your back to remove a stone. You will be asleep during this procedure.
In the short term, your doctor will give you medicines to relieve the pain of renal colic. Options include:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- drugs to prevent muscle spasms
- opioid medicines
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What You Need To Know About Kidney Stones
Aug 07, 2019Cedars-Sinai Staff
Passing a kidney stone is said to be some of the most severe physical pain a person can experience.
You may picture someone passing a kidney stone in excruciating pain while a small rock moves through their bladder, but according to Dr. Brian Benway, director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Program, pain peaks much earlier in the stones journey.
Nothing subtle about a kidney stone
Contrary to popular belief, passing a kidney stone once it reaches the bladder isnt the painful part, says Dr. Benway.
The pain usually starts once the stone has migrated from the kidney into the ureter, the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.
Basically, for the first-timer with a kidney stone, the symptoms are not subtle.
The pain is usually sudden and quite severe on one side of your back and it can cause immediate nausea and vomiting, says Dr. Benway
Basically, for the first-timer with a kidney stone, the symptoms are not subtle.
This sudden pain will begin to ebb and flow after the first few hours, gradually getting better after a few days. Dr. Benway says you shouldnt wait for the pain to easeseek evaluation right away.
Along with pain, kidney stones can sometimes be associated with infection, which will present itself as a fever, he says.
Go to the ER right away if you have strong pain with nausea or fever.
When And How Soon To See A Doctor If You Suspect A Stone
At the time of a first kidney stone attack, people often arent sure what is going on and need to be seen by a doctor to make sure the symptoms arent the result of a more serious problem, such as appendicitis, says Lieske.
As a general rule, you need to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain that makes sitting still or getting comfortable impossible
- Pain with nausea and vomiting
- Pain with fever and chills
- Blood in the urine
- A strong need to urinate
- A burning sensation while urinating
If you cant see your doctor that day, head to the ER.
If stone pain and fever develop, go directly to the ER, says Timothy F. Lesser, MD, a urologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California. A kidney stone with a urinary tract infection may cause and must be treated immediately.
If urine is trapped behind a kidney stone that is blocking the ureter, the urine can become infected, says Seth K. Bechis, MD, a urologist at UC San Diego Health in San Diego. This, in turn, can cause an infection of the kidney tissue or result in the infection spreading to the bloodstream, causing sepsis, he explains.
While men are more prone to kidney stones than women, women are more likely to get UTIs, says Lieske. So its not surprising that women are also more likely to get a urinary infection associated with their kidney stones, he says.
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