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 .
Causes Of Urinary Tract Stones
Stones may form because the urine becomes too saturated with salts that can form stones or because the urine lacks the normal inhibitors of stone formation. Citrate is such an inhibitor because it normally binds with calcium that is often involved in forming stones.
, dehydration Dehydration Dehydration is a deficiency of water in the body. Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, burns, kidney failure, and use of diuretics may cause dehydration. People feel thirsty, and as dehydration… read more , and renal tubular acidosis Renal Tubular Acidosis In renal tubular acidosis, the kidney tubules malfunction, resulting in excess levels of acid in the blood. The tubules of the kidneys that remove acid from the blood are damaged when a person… read more ) and among people whose diet is very high in animal-source protein or vitamin C or who do not consume enough water or calcium. People who have a family history of stone formation are more likely to have calcium stones and to have them more often. People who have undergone surgery for weight loss may also be at increased risk of stone formation.
Rarely, drugs and substances in the diet cause stones.
Kidney Stones Can Be One Of Several Emergency Conditions
Most individuals are unaware that they have kidney stones until they move. Once they start to move, they can cause excruciating pain, nausea, and vomiting. When stones move suddenly, they can be one of several urologic emergency conditions that require immediate attention. A urologist will want to determine how the kidney stone should be removed. They will also want to assess if the patient will benefit from medications to ease their pain and discomfort.
Sometimes, kidney stones are incidentally detected by the presence of microscopic hematuria . If a stone is suspected, imaging will be performed to confirm the diagnosis. These stones can be treated or watched depending on their size and location.
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How Small Is Small Enough
The smaller the kidney stone, the more likely it will pass on its own. If it is smaller than 5 mm , there is a 90% chance it will pass without further intervention. If the stone is between 5 mm and 10 mm, the odds are 50%. If a stone is too large to pass on its own, several treatment options are available.
Can A Urine Test Show You Have Kidney Stones
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Can Passing A Kidney Stone Cause Bleeding
The stones are generally painless, so you probably won’t know you have them unless they cause a blockage or are being passed. Then there’s usually no mistaking the symptoms kidney stones, especially, can cause excruciating pain. Bladder or kidney stones can also cause both gross and microscopic bleeding.
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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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Painful Urination: when bacteria grow inside the bladder or urethra, pain can result and can result in blood in urine and or make it difficult to urinate. UTIs commonly cause a burning sensation when urinating. Both men and women with UTIs can experience pain. Men may experience pain or pressure in the rectum. Women may feel pain in the pubic bone area.
Urination Without Pain: sometimes those with UTI’s don’t have any symptoms.
Frequent Urination: or the need to urinate more frequently or urgently than common. This includes the inability to hold the urine.
Urine Clarity and Color: the appearance, color and odor of your urine may change. In addition to a red tinge, there may be a cloudiness or unusual odor.
Hesitancy to Pee: sometimes there is an inability to completely empty the bladder. When you experience difficulty urinating or have a strong urge to pee and only have a small release of urine.
A UTI may produce symptoms outside of the urinary tract. Weakness and tiredness may be UTI symptoms. If a UTI is located in the bladder or urethra, fever may not be present. If the infection has reached the blood or kidneys, it’s more likely fever will occur.
Cloudy Pinkish Or Foul
Normal, healthy urine is clear or transparent. If your urine is cloudy or smells foul, its usually an indication of a urinary tract infection. Sometimes, patients with kidney stones will have infections at the same time. One study found infections occur in about 8 percent of people who have kidney stones. The bad odor may be caused by an increase of germs in your urine, or it may simply occur because your urine is backed up and more concentrated than normal. Cloudiness is usually caused by pus that forms as a result of an infection. If your urine is pinkish or brownish, its probably an indication of blood. As the stone moves through your system, the sharp edges can scratch the lining of the ureter, causing minor bleeding. Blood in the urine is a relatively common symptom of kidney stones.
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Prevention Of Urinary Tract Stones
In a person who has passed a calcium stone for the first time, the likelihood of forming another stone is about 15% within 1 year, 40% within 5 years, and 80% within 10 years. Measures to prevent the formation of new stones vary, depending on the composition of the existing stones.
Drinking large amounts of fluids8 to 10 ten-ounce glasses a dayis recommended for prevention of all stones. People should drink enough fluid to produce more than about 2 quarts of urine per day. Other preventive measures depend somewhat on the type of stone.
What Color Are Kidney Stones When Passed
Kidney stones may be smooth or jagged and are usually yellow or brown. A small kidney stone may pass through your urinary tract on its own, causing little or no pain. A larger kidney stone may get stuck along the way. A kidney stone that gets stuck can block your flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding.
Other warning signs of kidney stones may be more noticeable.
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Sudden Urge To Urinate
If you find yourself suddenly needing to urinate or needing to urinate more frequently than normal, it may be a sign that a kidney stone has reached the lower portion of your urinary tract. Like cloudy urine, increased urgency is also associated with urinary tract infections, although with kidney stones, urgency can be present even without an infection.
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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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.
How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones
There are several ways to decrease your risk of kidney stones, including:
- Drink water. Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses every day . Staying hydrated helps you urinate more often, which helps flush away the buildup of the substances that cause kidney stones. If you sweat a lot, be sure to drink even more.
- Limit salt. Eat less sodium. You may want to connect with a dietician for help with planning what foods you eat.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, try to lose some pounds. Talk to your healthcare provider about an ideal weight.
- Take prescriptions. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some medications that help prevent kidney stones. The type of medication may depend on the type of stones you get.
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What Do Kidney Stone Symptoms Feel Like
You’re probably already aware that passing a kidney stone can be incredibly painful. Perhaps you’ve heard someone compare the pain to childbirth. Or maybe someone mentioned their experience with kidney stones completely recalibrated how they rate pain. Ouch.
But while the most-discussed kidney stone symptom is often the pain where it’s felt and how bad it can get it’s not the only symptom to be aware of.
“Kidney stones are fairly common and often painful, but they’re also treatable and even preventable,” says Dr. Chris Kannady, urologist at Houston Methodist. “If you think you might have a kidney stone, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible since delaying care for a kidney stone can lead to serious complications.”
But, when all you’ve heard about kidney stones is how much they hurt, how can you tell if your pain might be kidney stone pain?
Treatment For Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones can be treated without surgery. Ninety per cent of stones pass by themselves within three to six weeks. In this situation, the only treatment required is pain relief. However, pain can be so severe that hospital admission and very strong pain-relieving medication may be needed. Always seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering strong pain.
Small stones in the kidney do not usually cause problems, so there is often no need to remove them. A doctor specialising in the treatment of kidney stones is the best person to advise you on treatment.
If a stone doesnt pass and blocks urine flow or causes bleeding or an infection, then it may need to be removed. New surgical techniques have reduced hospital stay time to as little as 48 hours. Treatments include:
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Avoiding Recurrence Of Kidney Stones
If you have had one kidney stone, some tips that may help to prevent a second stone forming include:
- Talk to your doctor about the cause of the previous stone.
- Ask your doctor to check whether the medications you are on could be causing your stones. Do not stop your medications without talking to your doctor.
- Get quick and proper treatment of urinary infections.
- Avoid dehydration. Drink enough fluids to keep your urine volume at or above two litres a day. This can halve your risk of getting a second stone by lowering the concentration of stone-forming chemicals in your urine.
- Avoid drinking too much tea or coffee. Juices may reduce the risk of some stones, particularly orange, grapefruit and cranberry. Ask your doctor for advice.
- Reduce your salt intake to lower the risk of calcium-containing stones. Dont add salt while cooking and leave the saltshaker off the table. Choose low- or no-salt processed foods.
- Avoid drinking more than one litre per week of drinks that contain phosphoric acid, which is used to flavour carbonated drinks such as cola and beer.
- Always talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Drinking mineral water is fine it cannot cause kidney stones because it contains only trace elements of minerals.
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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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.
What Treatments Are Available
Because of the pain caused by kidney stones, many people find that they need pain relief. Many describe it as the worst pain theyve ever felt.
If you have a kidney stone, you will be encouraged to drink a lot of water if you dont have a medical condition that limits the amount you may have. The extra fluid is to help wash the stone through your urinary system.
If the stone doesnt pass within a reasonable amount of time, your doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . Shock waves are sent through to the stone to break them down into smaller pieces that can be passed. Sometimes, surgery may be needed.
The stone should be removed because of the high risk of infection, which could in turn lead to sepsis.
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Medication For Kidney Stones
For most people with recurrent calcium stones, a combination of drinking enough fluids, avoiding urinary infections, and specific treatment with medications will significantly reduce or stop new stone formation.
Certain medications such as thiazide diuretics or indapamide reduce calcium excretion and decrease the chance of another calcium stone. Potassium citrate or citric juices are used to supplement thiazide treatment and are used by themselves for some conditions where the urine is too acidic.
For people who have a high level of uric acid in their urine, or who make uric acid stones, the medication allopurinol will usually stop the formation of new stones.
Obstructive Kidney Stones: What You Need To Know
Obstructing stones cause blockage in the urinary system and can be potentially dangerous. Obstructing stones usually, but not always, cause symptoms. Obstruction can be complete or partial. Symptoms are typically more severe with complete obstruction but occasionally even patients with large stones and complete obstruction do not have much pain but only some discomfort.
Most commonly obstructing stones are located in the ureter. Obstructing ureteral stones can also occur at UPJ and in the kidneys.
Stones can also be partially obstructing or intermittently obstructing. This is likely the explanation for intermittent pain the severity of obstruction increases as stone moves and leads to pain. If it moves and becomes less obstructing, pain subsides.
Obstructing stones can lead to severe infection and renal failure. Stones associated with infection or renal failure require prompt treatment.
The presence of obstructing stones in both ureters concurrently, although rare, is a urological emergency as it can lead to acute renal failure because of the inability to pass urine. ESWL cannot be performed in patients with an obstructing stone and signs of infection .
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