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Do Muscle Relaxers Help Pass Kidney Stones

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Kidney Stones

How can you help a kidney stone pass?

Recovery depends on the type of stone and how it was removed. For a small stone, patients will feel relief as soon as it has passed out of the urinary tract. For larger stones, recovery from surgery might take a few days or weeks. However, kidney stones are usually a symptom of a larger medical problem, so treatment of that underlying condition may take months or years to resolve.

How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed

Usually, it is the sharp and severe pain of a stone moving through the ureter that motivates a patient to see a healthcare professional. The healthcare provider, however, is interested in more than just getting the stone out. Kidney stones are typically a symptom, not a disease, so the healthcare provider will want to know what caused it.

A healthcare professional will ask about medical history and perform a physical examination. Imaging the stone is required for diagnosis, as it determines both the location and size of the stone. Imaging is usually done with an ultrasound or a CT scan . X-rays are seldom used for kidney stone diagnosis these days.

In addition, the provider will usually perform blood tests and urine tests to determine what mineral or substance is causing the stone and possibly determine an underlying cause.

Finally, when the stone passes or is removed, the physician or healthcare provider may want to have it tested to determine the cause of stone formation. Recurrent stone formation is a hazardous condition, so preventing the formation of future stones is an essential part of kidney stone treatment.

There are four types of kidney stones, each with different causes and risk factors:

Things That Can Help You Take A Pass On Kidney Stones

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.

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What Did It Find

  • People taking alpha-blockers were 49% more likely to pass the stone compared with placebo or no treatment . Stone passage occurred in 75.8% of people treated with alpha-blockers compared to 48.4% with placebo or no treatment. Further analyses indicated no difference between alpha-blockers.
  • There was a 57% increased chance of stone passage for people with large stones of 5mm to 10mm treated with alpha-blockers compared to placebo or no treatment .
  • There was no benefit of treatment with an alpha-blocker compared to placebo or no treatment for people with small stones of less than 5mm.
  • People receiving alpha-blockers had a 56% lower risk of surgical intervention than those receiving placebo or no treatment .
  • There were no differences between the groups in adverse events, which were uncommon.

Muscle Relaxants Delivered To The Ureter Can Reduce Contractions That Cause Pain When Passing A Stone

Every year, more than half a million Americans visit the emergency room for kidney stone problems. In most cases, the stones eventually pass out of the body on their own, but the process can be excruciatingly painful.

Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have now devised a potential treatment that could make passing kidney stones faster and less painful. They have identified a combination of two drugs that relax the walls of the ureter the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder and can be delivered directly to the ureter with a catheter-like instrument.

Relaxing the ureter could help stones move through the tube more easily, the researchers say.

We think this could significantly impact kidney stone disease, which affects millions of people, says Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in MITs Department of Materials Science and Engineering, a member of MITs Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the senior author of the study.

This kind of treatment could also make it easier and less painful to insert stents into the ureter, which is sometimes done after a kidney stone is passed, to prevent the tube from becoming blocked or collapsing.

Christopher Lee, a recent Ph.D. recipient in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, is the lead author of the study, which appears today in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Local drug delivery

Ureteral relaxation

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Otc And Narcotic Pain Medication For Kidney Stone Pain

While over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can be used, many people require stronger medications for adequate pain control. These medications include ketorolac or narcoticmedications. Since nausea and vomiting can accompany the pain of kidney stones, it can be necessary for the pain medications to be given intravenously.

Diagnosis Of Kidney Stones During Pregnancy

Urolithiasis in pregnancy is often a diagnostic challenge. Approximately 80-90% of urinary stones are diagnosed after the first trimester completes. Here are various ways to diagnose kidney stones during the pregnancy:

  • Urine Culture: A laboratory assessment of urine culture will confirm the infection. Blood work can check the kidney function and increased serum calcium requires investigation.
  • Radiological diagnosis of kidney stones: It includes magnetic resonance imaging, the risks from radiation are dependent on fetus age. Obtaining the imaging with the lower dose to treat kidney stones is done in some cases. X-rays are absolutely contraindicated as they are risky to the fetus.
  • Ultrasonography for kidney stones: This is the first option for diagnosing kidney stones present in pregnant women. Only specialists can perform the procedure. However, ultrasound does not always show the presence of stones.
  • CT scanning: If the symptoms of kidney stones persist and they are causing complex problems, then CT scanning used for a pregnant woman.
  • Nuclear renography: A radioisotope is injected into a vein which allows the radiologist to look at the kidneys. Nuclear renography allows a radiologist to clearly visualize the kidneys and check their functioning.

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Physiological Changes That Cause Kidney Stones In Pregnant Women

  • Bodily changes affect the urinary tract and increase the risk for kidney stone formation.
  • Position and the growing size of the uterus tend to restrict the flow of the urine. Thus, too often urine is retained in the kidneys and the bladder. This can result in the development of stones in the urinary tract.
  • If a pregnant female frequently catches urinary infections, she is more prone to kidney stones.
  • Changes in the levels of the minerals and vitamins during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters heighten the chances of kidney stone formation.

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What Are The Implications

What causes kidney stones? – Arash Shadman

The evidence for using alpha-blockers for people in the UK with renal colic remains uncertain. On balance, it is likely that alpha-blockers help clear larger stones in uncomplicated cases and lower the rates of surgical intervention. However, the improvement in expulsion rate was smaller in the better quality trials such as the one conducted in a UK population.

If a size based approach is used to inform the decision, this will require imaging which is better than ultrasound for measuring stone size. CT scans are not currently routine practice despite guidelines recommending their use. This may have cost and workforce implications.

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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.

What Size Kidney Stones Require Surgery

Stones that are less than 5 mm in diameter can usually be passed without invasive surgery. Larger stones will require shock wave lithotripsy or ureteroscopy. Stones larger than 2 centimeters or complex stones in the kidney will require percutaneous nephrolithotomy. However, the urologist will consider factors other than just stone size when deciding on surgery, such as kidney health, obstruction of the flow of urine, the rate of stone growth, infection, symptoms, other illness, and patient needs.

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Kidney Stones While Pregnant: Symptoms To Monitor

Kidney stones are solid masses that develop when calcium binds with other materials in your urine, creating calcifications that build up and are unable to pass through the vessels that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder. As this buildup forms a blockage in those vessels, a number of kidney stone symptoms in pregnancy may develop, including:

  • Pain when urinating. This is often sharp pain that can make urinating unbearable.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting. The discomfort of kidney stones, as well as the buildup of urine in your kidneys, can make you feel sick.
  • Blood in your urine. The development of hematuria in pregnancy can be very alarming to pregnant mothers who fear the blood is a sign of miscarriage or other health problems, although bloody urine caused by kidney stones is not a serious health concern by itself.
  • Sharp back or abdominal pain. This may be a sign of urinary retention in pregnancy, caused by a kidney stone blockage that is backing up urine in one or both kidneys. Pregnant women should also be aware that urine buildup stretching and swelling the kidneysa condition known as hydronephrosisis also more likely in later stages of pregnancy as the baby is producing its own urine. For this reason, be aware that kidney stones could complicate your management of hydronephrosis in pregnancy.

Are Nsaids Safe To Take If You Have Kidney Disease

NSAIDs are usually safe for occasional use when taken as directed. However, if your doctor has told you that you have low kidney function, NSAIDs might not be right for you. These medications should only be used under a doctors care by patients with kidney disease. Also, they might not be the best choice for people with heart disease, high blood pressure or liver disease. Some of these drugs affect blood pressure control. High doses over a long period of time can also lead to chronic kidney disease and even progress to kidney failure.

For people without kidney disease, the recommended dose of aspirin can be safe if you read the label and follow the directions. When taken as directed, regular use of aspirin does not seem to increase the risk of kidney disease in people who have normal kidney function. However, taking doses that are too large may temporarily and possibly permanently reduce kidney function. In people with kidney disease, aspirin may increase the tendency to bleed.

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Relaxing Drug Combo Could Make Passing Kidney Stones Less Painful

Kidney stones are a health problem that one in 10 people will go through in their lifetimes, and while manageable, they can be quite painful. Now, researchers at MIT have found a particular combination of two drugs that can relax urinary tract tubes, allowing stones to be passed more easily.

Kidney stones are small lumps of hardened minerals that form in the kidneys. They normally just pass out of the body on their own, but the experience is far from pleasant they can cause severe pain as they move through the ureter, the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder.

So for the new study, the researchers set out to investigate whether delivering muscle relaxants directly to the ureter could make passing stones less painful. To do so, they first tested 18 different drugs on human ureteral cells grown in a dish in the lab, and measured the muscle-relaxing effects of each.

After extensive searching and analysis, they found two that worked particularly well nifedipine, which is currently used to treat high blood pressure, and a rho kinase inhibitor, which treats glaucoma. And these two drugs worked even better together.

The drug combo was tested on ureters taken from pigs, and found that they could reduce the number and length of contractions of the tubes. Its these contractions that cause the pain, as the ureter presses up against the hard stone inside.

The research was published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Medications To Help Pass Kidney Stones

If you are passing a kidney stone, your chances of successful stone passage are strongly related to stone factors including the size of the stone and its location. Small stones less than 4mm in size have an almost 80% chance of passage while larger stones measuring 8mm or greater have a less than 40% chance of spontaneous passage. Stones that are just starting to move out of the kidney have a 50% chance of passage while stones just about to drop into the bladder have an 80% chance of passage.

Wouldnt it be great if you could take something to improve your chances of passing your stone? It turns out there are medications your doctor can prescribe for you which may be effective. This treatment is known as medical expulsive therapy. The most commonly used medication for this purpose is tamsulosin . Other similar medications used to facilitate stone passage include alfuzosin, nifedipine, doxazosin, and terazosin. These medications are known as alpha-blockers and are normally used to relieve prostate obstruction in men or to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension .

How do they work in stone passage?

How well do they work?

The takeaway on medical expulsive therapy

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Alternative Kidney Stone Treatment Options

People who suffer with kidney stones are increasingly exploring alternative treatment options for prevention and removal of kidney stones. There are several alternative treatment options for helping to relieve pain caused by kidney stones and for also helping to prevent and remove kidney stones from the urinary tract.

Some alternative treatments include the following:

  • Herbal medicines are used as alternative kidney stone treatment. This form of treatment has generated significant interest within recent times and in some cases, they have proven to be effective in treating some kidney stone. Patients should, however, do some research before embarking on a course of herbal treatment. Seek the advice of a competent qualified Naturopath .

  • Homeopathy is another alternative treatment option used to help treat kidney stones patients. Homeopathy is a blend of natural science and medical science to treat medical conditions, including kidney stones.

Again, the importance of consulting a qualified and knowledgeable Naturopath cannot be overemphasized.

  • Acupressure is used mainly to alleviate pains associated with kidney stones. It involves pressuring the body at certain points, to relieve pain.

  • Acupuncture is another alternative treatment for relieving pain, caused by kidney stones. It is a traditional Chinese treatment that involves the insertion of fine needles at various points beneath the skin.

Study Summary: A Well

Urinary/Kidney Stones – Overview (signs and symptoms, risk factors, pathophysiology, treatment)

This meta-analysis is based on 16 studies of -antagonists and 9 studies of nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker.1 The studies were identified by a comprehensive search strategy that included Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register from January 1980 to January 2007. The authors included all randomized trials or controlled clinical trials of medical therapy for adults with acute ureteral colic.

The authors assessed the studies for quality using the Jadad scale, a validated scale of study quality. Higher scores represent better quality, including better documentation of randomization, blinding, and follow-up. The authors specified their planned sensitivity analyses, and used the random effects model to synthesize the results, which tends to provide a more conservative estimate of the effect.

In other words, this was a very well done meta-analysis.

Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria: 13 of -antagonists, 6 of nifedipine, and 3 of both. In 13 of the 16 studies of -antagonists, tamsulosin was the study drug. The results from the terazosin and doxazosin studies were included with the tamsulosin studies. The Jadad quality scores of the 22 studies were fairly low, with a median of 2 on the 5-point scale. The most common deduction was because the study was not double-blinded.

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Kidney Stones And Their Symptoms

Small, hard mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys, kidney stones can affect any part of the urinary tract from the kidneys to the bladder. Often, stones form when urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.

Some of the main symptoms of kidney stones manifest in severe pain in your back or side below your ribs. One of the most common ways stones reveal themselves is through problems with urination. These can include:

  • Pain while urinating
  • Urine that smells differently than it normally does
  • An urge to urinate more often than usual
  • Blood in the urine that appears brown, pink or red

Be sure to see a doctor if these symptoms are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, chills or fever, which could indicate the presence of an infection.

Methocarbamol May Interact With Other Medications

Methocarbamol oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Symptoms: How Do You Experience While Passing Kidney Stones Is It Too Painful

The movement of kidney stones within the kidney and their passing into the ureter leads to the following symptoms:

  • A person would experience severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs region
  • Pain is experienced in lower abdomen and groin region which travels through the back of the body
  • The pain may have a wave-like movement and its intensity would vary
  • The person can experience pain during urination
  • The color of urine might change from yellow to pink or red or brown
  • The urine may have a cloudy or foul-like smell
  • The person may nausea or vomiting
  • There might be a continuous urge to urinate
  • The frequency of urination might increase
  • The person may urinate small amounts of urine in short intervals of time
  • If an infection occurs, then the person may get fever and chills


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