Symptoms Of Kidney Stones In The Elderly
The following symptoms are associated with the presence of kidney stones.
In severe instances, these symptoms may be accompanied by
- fever and
Any or a combination of these symptoms should be reported immediately to a medical professional or health facility.
It is especially important to note that if the kidney stones are being caused by an infection- usually indicated by cloudy or foul-smelling urine- not seeing medical attention could lead to sepsis.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a gland that is located just below a mans bladder. The tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the body travels through the prostate. The main purpose of the prostate gland is reproductive. It is responsible for adding nutrients to sperm to help with fertilization of an egg.
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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How Are Children Treated For Kidney Stones
Most childrens kidney stones can be treated with the shock wave lithotripsy , a completely non-invasive procedure. Your child is placed under anesthesia and sound waves of specific frequencies are focused on the stones to shatter them into fragments small enough to be easily passed during urination.
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.
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People With A History Of Kidney Stones May Sometimes Forgo The Doctor
While infection with kidney stones is a medical emergency, some people with a history of kidney stones may not always need to see a doctor, says Lieske. After an initial consultation with their physician, people who recognize their symptoms may be able to have pain medication on hand, so they can try passing the stone at home, he explains. Your doctor will likely have you drink plenty of water to help flush the stone out of your urinary tract.
Whether to use this approach really depends on how severe the pain is and how comfortable people are with this strategy, says Lieske. Anecdotally, it seems that patients may have less severe pain the more kidney stone attacks they have had over the years, although this is certainly not universally true.
Fortunately, doctors can help you make prevention plans so you can avoid repeatedly developing stones.
Confused With Other Pains
I am rarely confused, nor are patients. Renal colic, gallstone passage, acute pancreatitis, and myocardial infarction can seem alike at the beginning. So physicians and patients need be careful. But in all my decades of work, colic had more or less always been stone passage.
If lodged at the junction of the bladder and ureter, a stone mimics infection urinary frequency, urgency, burning. This is not typical stone pain, but may well lead to an image that discloses the stone.
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New Study Shows Sex Can Help Move Things Along
If you are looking for a way to pass a painful kidney stone, look no further! This study focused on whether having regular sex helps pass kidney stones lodged in the lower end of the ureter . Over 80% of patients who were asked to have sex 3-4 times a week passed their stones, compared to about 35% of control patients. So it looks like urine luck!
Middle Age And Kidney Stones Why Now
Middle age 45 65, not the usual time to form your first kidney stone. The average for new stone onset is 35, with a spread of about 12 years, so by 45 you might think the odds are in your favor. But not always. Sometimes they start late, even into your fifties or sixties. It doesnt matter some of the time. A stone is a stone. But older people get stones for a different spectrum of reasons than when young, so you have to think a bit about why.
The image, a self portrait by Jan van Eyck , was painted in 1433 in oil on panel. It hangs in the National Gallery, London.
This article is co-authored by me with Jill, but was her choice of topic. She is sure her patients will love it. I hope so.
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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
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Let Kidney Stones Pass
Stones typically take several weeks to a few months to pass, depending on the number of stones and their size. Over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen , acetaminophen , or naproxen , can help you endure the discomfort until the stones pass. Your doctor also may prescribe an alpha blocker, which relaxes the muscles in your ureter and helps pass stones quicker and with less pain.
If the pain becomes too severe, or if they are too large to pass, they can be surgically removed with a procedure called a ureteroscopy. Here, a small endoscope is passed into the bladder and up the ureter while you are under general anesthesia. A laser breaks up the stones, and then the fragments are removed.
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Take Steps To Bypass Kidney Stones
Even though kidney stones can be common and recur once youve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them. Here are some strategies that can help:
1. Drink enough water. A 2015 meta-analysis from the National Kidney Foundation found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. It takes about 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily to produce that amount.
2. Skip high-oxalate foods. Such foods, which include spinach, beets, and almonds, obviously raise oxalate levels in the body. However, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods, such as chocolate and berries, are okay.
3. Enjoy some lemons. Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. Studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk, says Dr. Eisner.
4. Watch the sodium. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams . If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.
These stones can be the result of:
Kidney Stones In Children And Teens
Kidney stones have become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years. They can occur in children of any age, even premature infants, but most stones occur in teens.
Kidney stones happen when minerals and other substances normally found in urine join together to form a hard stone in the urinary tract. They can also form if there is not enough of other substances in the urine that help stop stones from forming.
Stones typically form in the kidney and ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. They rarely form in the bladder.
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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.
Ph Falls Even Though Alkali Absorption Rises
The reason for the higher urine pH in women is their greater ability to absorb alkali from their diet. So, was it possible that with age people lost some of that ability? Their bodies would have less alkali from food, and their kidneys would have to work harder excreting acid, and make the urine more acid in the process.
What we found was the exact opposite. The absorption of alkali, which is called GI anion for historical reasons, rises with age. It does so in women and in men. When women are younger, they absorb more than men. See how the circles, women, are higher than the triangles. But around 50 or so women and men converge because women are rising slowly, men rapidly.
But all the while, urine pH is falling. That is backward. When we showed you how women act, you could see that with each meal their GI anion rose and their urine pH rose with it. Here, the urine pH is falling despite more alkali.
You might ask what would happen if we used our multi-variable mathematics to remove the effects of the increased GI Anion. How much does it help keep the urine pH from falling even more?
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How Do My Kidneys Filter Blood
Each kidney contains more than a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron consists of:
- Glomeruli: Glomeruli are groups of tiny blood vessels that perform the first stage of filtering your blood. They then pass filtered substances to the renal tubules. The name for this process is glomerular filtration.
- Renal tubules: These tiny tubes reabsorb and return water, nutrients and minerals your body needs . The tubules remove waste, including excess acid and fluids through a process called diffusion. Your body sends the remaining waste through your kidneys collecting chambers. Eventually, it leaves your body as pee.
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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
- Lower back
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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Preventing Future Kidney Stones
If you had a calcium stone, your doctor may suggest cutting back on salt, which cause the body to dispense more calcium into the urine, as well as animal protein. You may also be advised to avoid high-oxalate foods, including chocolate, instant coffee, tea, beans, berries, dark leafy greens, oranges, tofu, and sweet potatoes. The best way to ward off new kidney stones is to drink enough water to keep urine clear.
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What Does This Mean For You
New stones in midlife or later mean they must be analyzed. This is absolute. Otherwise how can you be sure about uric acid? Primary hyperparathyroidism produces calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate stones. We have always advocated for analysis of every stone, and in later years that maxim is more important than ever. New ones are a worry. But established stone formers can change from calcium to uric acid.
Apart from stone analysis, be sure your fasting blood calcium is truly normal. We mean by this not only within limits but a bit below the very top, because PHPT can raise blood calcium very slightly yet be there and a serious disease. If it is even suspicious, we have already written out what we do, which is to get many more fasting morning bloods for calcium, and with time things will become clear.
Think about your bones and your drugs, and how your life has changed. Think about blood glucose and be sure it is normal.
At the end, you may simply be a late comer. If so, treatment is as it is for everyone. But if not, a serious inquiry may give you real benefits.
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Other Benefits Of Staying Hydrated
In addition to helping your kidneys stay healthy, staying hydrated is important for your overall health.
- Its good for cardiovascular health. Dehydration results in decreased blood volume, making the heart work harder to pump a smaller amount of blood. As a result, your cells may receive less oxygen, making exercise and all activities more difficult.
- Its good for muscles and joints. Water lubricates joints and is critical to providing nutrients to the muscle cells.
- Its good for your skin, including improvingskins elasticity.
- Its good for your memory, mood and motivation.
In short, staying hydrated is good for you mind and body so do something good for yourself no matter the season. Get outside and enjoy just dont forget to hydrate!
Diabetes And Insulin Resistance
All of the forgoing was a large scale population effect. Within that population were certainly people with diabetes or insulin resistance. They cannot account for what we found because most of the fall in urine pH occurred rather young, at a time when the sheer prevalence of diabetes has not as yet risen so much.
But for many people, particularly those with serious obesity, or simply those over age 50, diabetes and insulin resistance are increasingly common. Both states lower urine pH, a lot, and cause uric acid stones. We have reviewed the main research work on this topic, that was done mainly by our colleagues in Dallas, Texas.
New onset uric acid stones can simply reflect the general age effect. But it may not be that. In the earlier stages of insulin resistance, insulin levels run high and common fasting blood glucose levels remain in the normal range. Usually they are at the top of the range, and the hemoglobin A1C is too high 5.9 or more. It is then that one is best off taking steps, like weight loss and major life changes.
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