Symptoms Associated With Kidney Stones
When a kidney stone starts to pass, symptoms typically occur suddenly and without warning. Sharp, stabbing pain usually develops in your side or back, typically right at the bottom part of the ribcage. Sometimes, the pain will travel downward into the genital area. Stones that have nearly passed into the bladder may be associated with an intense urge to urinate.
Stone pain typically comes and goes. After an initial period of severe pain, you may feel better for a few hours before developing another attack. Many patients will require medication to help with stone pain.
Nausea and vomiting are also very common and are often a reason for hospital admission during stone attacks. You might also see blood in your urine. This can be unsettling to many patients, but is generally not life-threatening.
The most concerning symptom during a stone attack is fever, which indicates that you may have an infection in addition to a kidney stone. This is a potentially life-threatening combination and requires immediate evaluation and treatment.
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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.
Why Does Kidney Pain Come And Go
The location of the stone and its progress from your urinary tract can affect the type of symptoms you experience. Many people describe the feeling of kidney stones as a sharp pain on one side of their back or lower abdominal areas.
The pain frequently starts quickly and after that lingers, ending up being more extreme in time. The afflicted area can likewise spread to include the groin area and lower abdominal areas.
You may experience continuous pain, or the pain may reoccur in waves, in some cases lasting for a few minutes and then disappearing, only to resurface again about 10 minutes later on.
In many cases, the pain might last for a longer time while changing in strength. A change in the level of strength may take place as the stone relocates to a various position in your urinary tract.
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What Makes Some Kidney Stones More Painful Than Others
Kidney stones can range from the size of a grain of sand to as big as a pea. Some are even as large as a Ping Pong ball.
Larger stones are less likely to pass and more likely to block the urinary tract, so they are generally more painful, says Lesser.
The size of the stone is not necessarily proportional to the degree of pain, adds Dr. Maniam. Its possible for a large stone to remain in the kidney, not causing an obstruction or pain, and its possible for a small stone to pass without causing pain if it doesnt create a blockage.
On the other hand, a person may have a small stone in the urinary tract that causes considerable pain because the ureter itself is so tiny, even a small stone can cause obstruction that creates an incredible amount of pain, Lesser notes.
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 Should My Kidney Stone Be Treated
Historically, the treatment of kidney stones required major surgery and was associated with long hospitalization and recovery periods. However, in recent years an improved understanding of kidney stone disease, along with advances in surgical technology, has led to the development of minimally invasive and even noninvasive treatments for people with kidney stones.
At Johns Hopkins, we believe that the treatment of a patients stones requires an approach that is unique to that individual. We offer a complete range of state-of-the-art treatment options, including ESWL , ureteroscopy and PERC, and we will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each therapy as they apply to your situation. Our goal is to provide each patient with a clear understanding of the nature of their stone burden as well as the most appropriate course of treatment.
Diagnosis: Low Urine Ph
Citrate supplements, such as potassium citrate, will raise the pH of your urine, making stones, such as those composed of uric acid, less likely to form. If your blood potassium level is high, your doctor may prescribe sodium bicarbonate or Bicitra.
Lower protein intake
A diet high in protein will reduce urinary pH. As a general recommendation, limit your daily protein intake to 12 ounces per day of beef, poultry, fish and pork. Twelve ounces is equivalent in size to about three decks of cards. This will be plenty of protein to meet your bodys needs.
Increase fluid intake
No matter what your diagnosis, you should drink enough water to produce at least 2 liters of urine per day.
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How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, do a physical exam, and likely run some diagnostic tests. Those include a urinalysis, to check your pee under a microscope for bacteria and white blood cells, which your body makes to fight infection, and a urine culture to help find out what kind of bacteria is causing the infection, the NIDDK says. Your doctor may even take a blood sample to check for bacteria or other organisms in your blood, the Mayo Clinic says.
Other tests that might come up include an ultrasound, a CT scan, or a form of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram, which involves injecting a contrast dye to take X-rays of your bladder when its full and while youre peeing, per the Mayo Clinic.
What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
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Symptom Of Kidney Stone: Blood In Your Urine
Because stones tend to have those jagged surfaces, they can scrape along through your system, causing abrasions and inflammation.
That can lead to some blood in the urine, Dr. Zhao says. In some cases, you can actually see the blood in your pee. Thats called gross hematuria. In other cases, the blood in your urine is microscopic and can only be picked up on lab workthats known as microscopic hematuria.
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Tips To Avoid Kidney Stones
- Drink plenty of fluid, especially water. This is the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of getting another kidney stone. Aim for at least 2 ½ liters to 3 liters of fluid each day. People with cystine stones may want to aim for 4 liters .
- It may be helpful to limit animal protein, including meat, fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs.
- Eat calcium-rich foods instead of taking supplements.
- If you want to take a vitamin C supplement, make sure you take less than 1000 milligrams per day. High amounts of vitamin C may increase your risk of stones.
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Things That Can Help You Take A Pass On Kidney Stones
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
If youve ever passed a kidney stone, you probably would not wish it on your worst enemy, and youll do anything to avoid it again. “Kidney stones are more common in men than in women, and in about half of people who have had one, kidney stones strike again within 10 to 15 years without preventive measures,” says Dr. Brian Eisner, co-director of the Kidney Stone Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Symptoms Of A Kidney Stone
Small stones move into the bladder and out of the body with minimal symptoms.
Larger stones, though, can become lodged in the ureter, block urine flow and cause sharp pain in your back, side, lower abdomen or groin, and blood in your urine. Symptoms may also include burning urination, nausea, and fever. Fever could indicate a serious infection, a reason to call to your doctor immediately.
The location of your pain signals the location of your kidney stone:
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Can Kidney Stones Go Away
Most causes of kidney pain, including urinary tract infections and kidney stones, will not stop hurting on their own without treatment. The back muscles, on the other hand, can heal themselves and the pain can go away. Some kidney stones can pass through your body on their own without treatment.
How Do You Prevent A Kidney Infection
People who have recurrent kidney infections and urinary tract infections may be able to prevent them in some cases:
- Increase fluid intake
- Urinate after intercourse
- It is believed this could help flush out germs that can enter the bladder. There is no evidence this prevents bladder infections but it is not harmful.
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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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Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps kidney stones dissolve. Add 2 tablespoons to 6-8 ounces of water and drink it throughout the day to reap the benefits. You can also use it as a salad dressing if youd rather taste it on food.
If youre a diabetic, watch your blood sugar levels when drinking apple cider vinegar.
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What Do Kidney Stone Symptoms Feel Like
Youâre probably already aware that passing a kidney stone can be incredibly painful. Perhaps youâve 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 itâs felt and how bad it can get itâs not the only symptom to be aware of.
âKidney stones are fairly common and often painful, but theyâre also treatable and even preventable,â says Dr. Chris Kannady, urologist at Houston Methodist. âIf you think you might have a kidney stone, itâs important to see your doctor as soon as possible since delaying care for a kidney stone can lead to serious complications.â
But, when all youâve heard about kidney stones is how much they hurt, how can you tell if your pain might be kidney stone pain?
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How Long Does It Take A Kidney Stone To Form
You can have kidney stones for years without knowing theyre there. As long as these stones stay in place within your kidney, you wont feel anything. Pain from a kidney stone typically starts when it moves out of your kidney. Sometimes, a stone can form more quickly within a few months.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors. They might do a 24-hour urine test to check how quickly you develop stones.
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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.
Can Kidney Stones Go Away On Their Own
Kidney stones develop in about one out of 11 Americans. They tend to be more prevalent among men, diabetics, and obese people.
Small kidney stones dont typically cause problems, and you might not feel any pain or any symptoms. Larger ones can cause severe pain, but most stones pass on their own.
When a stone doesnt pass naturally, you may need a medical procedure to break it up so it can pass or be removed altogether.
At Stone Relief Center, board-certified urologic surgeon William Cooper Buschemeyer III, MD, and our professional team have home remedy tips you can use to help them pass.
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Editorial Sources And Fact
Whos Most Likely To Get Kidney Stones What Are The Risk Factors
White men in their 30s and 40s are most likely to get kidney stones. However, anyone can develop kidney stones.
There are several risk factors for developing kidney stones. These include:
- Not drinking enough liquids.
- Having a diet that includes the substances that form the stones .
- Having a family history of kidney stones.
- Having a blockage in your urinary tract.
Certain medical conditions can also increase your risk of developing stones. This is because they may increase or decrease levels of the substances that make up a kidney stone. These conditions can include:
- Hypercalciuria .
Certain foods can also place you at risk of a kidney stone. These foods include:
- Meats and poultry .
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What Is The Treatment For Kidney Stones
Most stones will pass out in your pee within 36 weeks without needing any treatment. During this time, you may experience renal colic that will generally be treated with pain relief medicines from your GP or emergency clinic.
If the pain is controlled and your stone is known to be small, generally the best course of treatment is to wait for several days or weeks for the stone to pass into your bladder.
If, however, the stone is too large to pass or doesnt pass with time, you will need treatment. The choice of which type of treatment is best for you will be made by your urologist, depending on many factors such as the size and position of the stone.
The treatment can be in one of the following forms:
- Ureteroscopy a small, narrow telescope is passed up through your bladder to the stone so that the stone can be removed or broken .
- Lithotripsy a special machine is used that sends shock waves through your body to break up the stone into tiny pieces that will later pass in your pee.
- Percutaneous surgery a telescope is passed through your skin on your back to see and remove the stone. This is reserved for stones that are large and still in a kidney.
- Open surgery nowadays it is very rare to require a cutting operation to remove a stone but it is sometimes the best option.