How To Pass A Kidney Stone Easily
The occurrence of kidney stones is increasing within the United States. Currently, men have a 10 percent chance of developing a kidney stone during their lifetime, while women face a seven percent likelihood throughout their lives.
As more cases arise, individuals are discovering that these mineral buildups often inflict tremendous pain and internal discomfort. The removal of a kidney stone often comes in the form of passing it through the urinary system.
In the event of a diagnosed kidney stone, and based upon your doctors recommendations, there are approaches to helping the foreign body pass more easily.
Getting A Kidney Stone To Pass
After identifying the size and location of your kidney stone, follow the recommended treatment by your doctor. The vast majority of small kidney stones are able to be passed without medical intervention and can be helped with these steps:
Drinking water: By consuming as much as 3 liters of water a day, this will help flush out your renal system.
Take pain medication: Kidney stones can be extremely painful, therefore, taking pain medication like ibuprofen can help make the passing less agonizing.
Get an alpha-blocker from your doctor: An alpha-blocker can help relax your ureter and progress the kidney stone through your system.
Cut out the right foods: Removing high-oxalate foods like spinach, beets, potatoes, and nuts, as well as animal protein can help limit kidney stone minerals from forming.
Drink juice: Consuming juices from lemons, basil, and dandelion roots can provide compounds that regulate uric acid levels and help breakdown calcium deposits.
For larger stones , medical treatment is often required to enable kidney stones to be passed through the body. Common methods of care include soundwave therapy, surgery, and using a ureteroscope.
Shock Wave Therapy: A process called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy creates vibrations targeted at kidney stones to break the larger minerals into smaller pieces that can be passed by the body.
Making It Easier To Pass The Stone
Alpha blockers are believed to make it easier for the stones to pass out of the body. They relax the muscles in the lower part of the bladder. Alpha blockers are medications used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia . They have not been approved for the treatment of kidney stones. But particularly the alpha blocker tamsulosin is sometimes used off-label.
According to current research, alpha blockers can help pass stones. An analysis of 67 studies showed this to be true for kidney stones that are about 5 to 10 millimeters in diameter.
- Without alpha blockers, the stones passed within four weeks in about 50 out of 100 people.
- With alpha blockers, the stones passed within four weeks in about 73 out of 100 people.
So the treatment helped 23 out of 100 people to pass the stone.
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Let Kidney Stones Pass
Stones can 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 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.
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.
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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.
What Does Passing A Kidney Stone Feel Like 5 Stories To Consider
If youve ever wondered what passing a kidney stone feels like, a quick search on the internet can give you a bit of a clue.
For instance, in a forum on Thumper Talk, one poster shared a story of how pain on the left side of their back appeared out of nowhere, disappeared after a couple of hours, and then came back in the middle of the night. After going to the emergency room and learning that the problem was a kidney stone, follow-up doctors appointments were set. However, the pain went away in the meantime. It wasnt completely over, though, because about two weeks later the person felt a pain similar to giving birth.
And in a discussion board on What to Expect, a website dedicated to pregnancy and parenting, one poster shared the following: s I sat down I had this pain like needles or someone pinching my with sharp nails. I felt like if I pushed my pee out it would hurt more & something would come out. Thats exactly what the poster did, and she noticed this little rock looking thing both when she wiped and another in the toilet. The same experience happened once again after that, but it wasnt until she went to her doctor that she found out she had actually passed kidney stones.
Plus, there are some people who pass kidney stones and dont even realize it. With any luck, youll be one of them.
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How Will I Know If I Have A Kidney Stone
To find out the size and type of kidney stone you have, your doctor may do tests, including:
- Blood tests to show if there is too much calcium or uric acid in your blood
- Urine tests to show the type of wastes that are in your urine. For this test, your doctor may ask you to collect your urine over two days.
- Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan or X-ray, to show kidney stones in your urinary tract
If you get kidney stones often, your doctor may ask you to urinate through a strainer to catch stones that you pass. Your doctor will then find out what they are made of to decide what is causing your kidney stones and how to prevent them.
Options For Treatment Include:
Instead of treating the stones, you and your doctor wait to see if they grow or pass. Small stones that do not cause discomfort may not require treatment. But if the stones grow larger or pass into the ureter and cause pain, they may require treatment later.
In some circumstances , medication can be used to dissolve stones in the kidney, with no surgical procedure needed.
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What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the body’s master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that don’t move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.
Causes Of Kidney Stones
The most common cause of kidney stones isdehydration. Youre not drinking enough water to dilute the concentration of minerals in your urine . Recommended water consumption is about two liters or half a gallon of water a day.
Water is the best fluid to drink in order to prevent kidney stones, Dr. Abromowitz explains. But water from a well is very high in solutes, which increases your chance of kidney stones. So i f youre drinking well water, you ought to have a purification system on it. Every year I see patients who develop a kidney stone for this reason.
Other kidney stone risk factors include:
- Too little or too much exercise
- Being overweight
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Effective Treatment At St Pete Urology
At St Pete Urology, we provide a multidisciplinary approach to treating and managing kidney stones of all sizes. We have assembled a highly integrated team of nephrologists, urologists, radiologists and dietary and metabolic specialists to ensure comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and proper assessment of the risks leading to the formation of kidney stones. By applying the latest technology in treating kidney stones and a broad range of noninvasive and minimally-invasive procedures for removing small and large stones, we guarantee only the highest quality and successful treatment to all our patients. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology site.
Locating The Kidney Stone
Having a kidney stone pass easily also involves where the location of the mineral buildup is within the renal system. While formation takes place inside the kidneys, the hardened stones can also be found in the ureters the thin tubes that allow urine to pass from the kidneys into the bladder. After moving through the kidneys and ureters, kidney stones can be located inside the bladder, waiting to exit the body.
Research has shown that kidney stones inside the ureter, which are closer to the bladder, have a 79 percent chance of passing on their own. Kidney stones higher up in the ureter only have shown a 48 percent chance of passing without medical treatment.
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The Location Of The Kidney Stone
Kidney stones are formed in the kidneys and can get stuck in several locations to cause pain.
Calyceal stones lodge themselves in the calyceal of the kidneys, which connect the main filtration areas of the kidney to the ureter, allowing urine to be transferred to the bladder. Renal pelvic stones sit in the middle of the kidney, above the ureteropelvic junction that connects the calyceal to the ureter. Finally, kidney stones that get stuck in the opening of the ureter are called upper ureteral stones.
The pain from kidney stones usually comes about when the stone is lodged in the urinary tract from the kidney. Stones causing blockage of a kidney may be completely painless. It’s also common to feel pain when the stone moves through the urinary tract to the bladder and when it is finally excreted from the body.
Ultrasound Shock Wave Therapy
In ultrasound shock wave therapy, sound waves are used to break up the stones. The stone fragments are then flushed away in the urine. This treatment is also referred to as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . A machine is used to send sound waves from outside of the body through the tissue to the stones. Shock wave therapy typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes when treating simple kidney stones . It can often be done without having to spend the night in hospital. The treatment outcome can be checked using ultrasound or x-ray scans.
Shock wave therapy is especially suitable for kidney stones that are smaller than 20 millimeters in diameter. If the stones are in the upper third of the ureter, they shouldnt be any bigger than 10 millimeters, though.
During shock wave therapy
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What Happens After Passing A Kidney Stone
Many people arent sure how to recognize when theyve passed a kidney stone. You may also wonder after passing a kidney stone what to expect. The most painful phase of kidney stones usually occurs between the time the stone forms and when it enters the ureter. During this period, you may experience symptoms such as pain in the sides, painful urination, or blood in the urine.
Once a stone enters the bladder, youre more likely to feel pressure than severe pain. The urge to urinate frequently is common at this stage. However, stones may make urination difficult. You may have to exert effort to expel the stone, which will be visible in the toilet. A feeling of relief usually occurs once the stone is passed.
There Are A Number Of Reasons To Treat A Kidney Stone Even If It Is Not Causing Any Painful Symptoms
Recurring urinary tract infections
Some kidney stones may be infected, and in many cases, despite proper antibiotic treatment, the infection cannot be cleared from the stone. In such cases, the only way to remove the infection completely is to remove the stone.
These are extremely large stones that grow to fill the inside of the kidney. There are serious health risks associated with these stones, and left untreated they are associated with an increased risk of kidney failure.
For example, the Federal Aviation Administration will not allow a pilot to fly until all stones have been cleared from his or her kidney. Other occupations also do not allow for the unplanned passage of a kidney stone.
The patient who, whether for business or otherwise, travels to locales where medical care is not reliable may wish to consider preventive treatment.
After thorough consideration of all options available to them, many patients elect to remove their stones at a time when it is convenient for them.
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Complications Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can range in size from a grain of sand to that of a pearl or even larger. They can be smooth or jagged, and are usually yellow or brown. A large stone may get stuck in the urinary system. This can block the flow of urine and may cause strong pain.
Kidney stones can cause permanent kidney damage. Stones also increase the risk of urinary and kidney infection, which can result in germs spreading into the bloodstream.
Kidney Stone Pain And How To Treat It
Heather LindseyIgor Kagan, MDAnna Koldunova/Shutterstock
Pain is the most common symptom of kidney stones, and, unfortunately, it can be excruciating. Many women describe the pain of passing a kidney stone as worse than childbirth, notes Seth K. Bechis, MD, an associate professor of urology at UC San Diego Health.
That said, the pain does vary from person to person, adds Dr. Bechis. If the stone does not cause a blockage as it moves through the urinary tract, a person may not experience any pain. Others may have pain in their back near the kidneys, which sit on either side of the spine below the rib cage, or in their lower abdomen or groin, he says.
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Treatment Options For Kidney Stones
Small kidney stones often pass out of the body on their own. As long as they don’t cause severe pain or complications, treatment isnt necessary. Larger kidney stones usually need to be treated. Depending on how large the kidney stones are and where they’re located, they can be destroyed or removed using an .
Most kidney stones with a diameter of less than 5 millimeters, and about half of all stones between 5 and 10 millimeters, pass out of the body on their own. These smaller kidney stones are often flushed out in the urine after one or two weeks.
If its thought that a stone will probably be flushed out without any treatment, doctors generally recommend waiting. If the kidney stone causes pain as it travels through the ureter , painkillers like ibuprofen or diclofenac can provide relief.
Larger stones that cause problems will usually have to be broken up or surgically removed. That needs to be done if
- the stone isn’t passed within four weeks,
- there are complications,
- it causes severe colic , or
- the stone is larger than 10 millimeters in diameter.
Uric acid stones can sometimes be dissolved using medication.
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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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.