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How Can You Test For Kidney Stones

Risk Factors You Can Control

How can you diagnose KIDNEY STONES?

Things you can control include:

  • How much fluid you drink. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine light yellow or clear like water .
  • Your diet. Diets high in protein, sodium, and oxalate-rich foods, such as dark green vegetables, increase your risk for kidney stones. If you think that your diet may be a problem, schedule an appointment with a dietitian and review your food choices.
  • Being overweight. This can cause both insulin resistance and increased calcium in the urine, which can result in a greater risk for kidney stones.
  • Medicine. Some medicines, such as acetazolamide and indinavir , can cause kidney stones to form.
  • Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones

    If you develop kidney stones composed of calcium, you may be tempted to stop eating foods that include calcium. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. If you have calcium oxalate stones, the most common type, its recommended that you have a diet higher in calcium and lower in oxalate.

    Foods that are high in calcium include:

    • Cows milk.

    Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.

    Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones

    The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although there is a risk of recurrence . Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.

    Its possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make dietary changes to prevent future stones.

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    Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy

    Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is the most common and least invasive way of treating stones. ESWL uses a special machine called a lithotripter to send shock waves through the skin into your child’s body.

    The lithotripter focuses the shock waves at the precise point where the stone is located, in much the same way that a magnifying lens can focus sunlight to create intense heat. This causes the stone to break into small fragments. Many shock waves are applied slowly, often several thousand. This may take up to an hour. The pieces will then pass in the urine over the following days.

    When the shock waves enter the skin, they are not focused, so they do no damage to the skin or internal organs. However, there can be some discomfort with this procedure, and it is very important that the child remain still during the procedure so that the shock waves can be accurately targeted. For this reason, general anesthesia is used.

    After treatment, it may take up to three months for all fragments to pass, depending upon the position of the stone. The overall success rate of ESWL is about 85 percent. Stones in the lower pole of the kidney are less likely to pass. Very hard stones, such as those made of cystine or certain kinds of calcium stones, may not fragment very well.

    What Is A Kidney Stone

    How To Get Rid From Kidney Stones

    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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    When Is It Ordered

    Kidney stone analysis is ordered when you have passed a kidney stone and it has been filtered out of the urine or when a stone has been removed from your urinary tract.

    Sometimes, your healthcare practitioner may suspect that you have a kidney stone and will search for a stone either in voided urine or within your body using imaging tests when you have signs and symptoms such as:

    • Severe pain in the side of the back that may move to the groin
    • Abdominal pain
    • Uric acid
    • Struvite stones associated with a bacterial infection

    These four types make up about 95% to 99% of kidney stones, with calcium oxalate stones being the most common.

    Less common stones include:

    • Cystinestones associated with an inherited excess of cystine excretion
    • Drug-relatedstones that are associated with drugs such as guaifenesin, indinavir, triamterene, atazanavir, and sulfa drugs

    However, stone analysis does not give the reason that the stone formed.

    You may have an underlying disease or condition that may produce and/or release an excess of a specific chemical into the urine. Not drinking enough fluids and/or having urine with a high or low pH can contribute to your risk of forming stones. Preventing kidney stones from developing again depends upon identifying and addressing the cause of stone formation.

    In general, if you have a:

  • Cystine stone, then you likely produce excess cystine as the result of a rare hereditary disorder .
  • If You’re In Severe Pain

    If you have severe pain that could be caused by kidney stones, your GP should refer you to hospital for an urgent scan:

    • adults should be offered a CT scan
    • pregnant women should be offered an ultrasound scan
    • children and younge people under 16 should be offered an ultrasound if the ultrasound does not find anything, a low-dose non-contrast CT scan may be considered

    Page last reviewed: 30 April 2019 Next review due: 30 April 2022

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    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    • Do I have a kidney stone or is there another reason for my symptoms?
    • What type of kidney stone do I have?
    • What size is my kidney stone?
    • Where is my kidney stone located?
    • How many kidney stones do I have?
    • Do I need treatment or will I be able to pass the kidney stone?
    • Should I be tested for kidney disease?
    • What changes should I make to my diet?
    • What type of procedure should I have to get rid of the stones?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Kidney stones can be frustrating at best and agonizingly painful at the worst. To stop your situation from getting worse, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The pain can get severe, and surgery might be necessary. Remember: dont skip your prescriptions, drink lots of water and follow any dietary guidelines. Also, remember that kidney stones are a temporary condition. They wont bother you forever.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2021.

    References

    What To Think About

    How can I be tested for kidney disease?
    • About 80% of kidney stones in the ureters can be seen on an X-ray.
    • A computed tomography scan of the ureters and kidneys is one way to find kidney stones. To learn more, see the topic CT Scan of the Body.
    • Ultrasound may also be used to find kidney stones. To learn more, see the topic Abdominal Ultrasound.
    • Another test that can be done to find a kidney stone is intravenous pyelogram . During IVP, a dye is put into a vein in your arm. As the dye moves to the kidneys, X-rays are taken to watch the movement of the dye and see where a stone may be. To learn more, see the topic Intravenous Pyelogram .
    • Most kidney stones have calcium in them. A low-calcium diet does not often prevent stones from forming. To learn more about lowering your chance for a kidney stone, see the topic Kidney Stones.
    • Knowing the type of kidney stone helps guide the best treatment choice.

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    Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented

      Rather than having to undergo treatment, it is best to avoid kidney stones in the first place when possible. It can be especially helpful to drink more water since low fluid intake and dehydration are major risk factors for kidney stone formation.

      Depending on the cause of the kidney stones and an individual’s medical history, changes in the diet or medications are sometimes recommended to decrease the likelihood of developing further kidney stones. If one has passed a stone, it can be particularly helpful to have it analyzed in a laboratory to determine the precise type of stone so specific prevention measures can be considered.

      People who have a tendency to form calcium oxalate kidney stones may be advised to limit their consumption of foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, beets, wheat germ, and peanuts. Also drinking lemon juice or lemonade may be helpful in preventing kidney stones.

      How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed

      Your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history and possibly order some tests. These tests include:

      • Imaging tests: An X-ray, CT scan and ultrasound will help your healthcare provider see the size, shape, location and number of your kidney stones. These tests help your provider decide what treatment you need.
      • Blood test: A blood test will reveal how well your kidneys are functioning, check for infection and look for biochemical problems that may lead to kidney stones.
      • Urine test: This test also looks for signs of infection and examines the levels of the substances that form kidney stones.

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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.

      Why Kidney Stones Can Be A Problem

      Kidney Stones Symptoms Australia

      Stones dont always stay in the kidney. Sometimes they pass from the kidney into the ureters. Ureters are small and delicate, and the stones may be too large to pass smoothly down the ureter to the bladder.

      Passage of stones down the ureter can cause spasms and irritation of the ureters. This causes blood to appear in the urine.

      Sometimes stones block the flow of urine. This is called a urinary obstruction. Urinary obstructions can lead to kidney infection and kidney damage.

      Diagnosis of kidney stones requires a complete health history assessment and a physical exam. Other tests include:

      • blood tests for calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, and electrolytes
      • blood urea nitrogen and creatinine to assess kidney functioning
      • urinalysis to check for crystals, bacteria, blood, and white cells
      • examination of passed stones to determine their type

      The following tests can rule out obstruction:

      The contrast dye used in the CT scan and the IVP can affect kidney function. However, in people with normal kidney function, this isnt a concern.

      There are some medications that can increase the potential for kidney damage in conjunction with the dye. Make sure your radiologist knows about any medications youre taking.

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      Sign Up For The Deep Dive Into Kidney Stones

      A patient story, myths debunked, and stone-sized video content.

      • fever and chills
      • urine that smells bad or looks cloudy

      The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.

      Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

      Many people with kidney stones have no symptoms. However, some people do get symptoms, which may include:

      • a gripping pain in the back usually just below the ribs on one side, radiating around to the front and sometimes towards the groin. The pain may be severe enough to cause nausea and vomiting
      • blood in the urine
      • cloudy or bad smelling urine
      • shivers, sweating and fever if the urine becomes infected
      • small stones, like gravel, passing out in the urine, often caused by uric acid stones
      • an urgent feeling of needing to urinate, due to a stone at the bladder outlet.

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      What Are Kidney And Bladder Stones

      Kidney or bladder stones are solid build-ups of crystals made from minerals and proteins found in urine. Bladder diverticulum, enlarged prostate, neurogenic bladder and urinary tract infection can cause an individual to have a greater chance of developing bladder stones.

      If a kidney stone becomes lodged in the ureter or urethra, it can cause constant severe pain in the back or side, vomiting, hematuria , fever, or chills.

      If bladder stones are small enough, they can pass on their own with no noticeable symptoms. However, once they become larger, bladder stones can cause frequent urges to urinate, painful or difficult urination and hematuria.

      In Addition To Stone Testing What Other Lab Tests Might Be Done

      How To Know If You Have Kidney Stones

      Blood, urine, and 24-hour urine tests are often ordered to determine whether you produce excess chemicals that may contribute to the formation of kidney stones and to evaluate your overall health. The test results can help distinguish between a probable stone and other conditions that may have similar symptoms but require different treatment. Testing may include:

      • Blood and 24-hour urine tests for calcium, uric acid, creatinine, and sometimes oxalate, citrate, phosphate, and/or cystine
      • Urinalysis to detect red and white blood cells, crystals, signs of infection, and to measure urine pH
      • Complete blood count to evaluate white blood cells for signs of infection

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      Who Gets Kidney Stones What Are The Risk Factors

      Kidney stones are common. According to the most recent data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 11 percent of men and 6 percent of women in the United States have kidney stones at least once during their lifetime. Men are affected more often than women, and overweight and obese people are more likely to get a kidney stone than people of normal weight.

      Risk factors include:

      • Gender men are more likely than women to develop a kidney stone
      • Age older people are more affected
      • Race Caucasians are at higher risk
      • Family History
      • Certain medications including, indinavir , acyclovir , diuretics , sulfadiazine
      • Associated conditions including, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, gout, hyperparathyroidism
      • Anatomic conditions urinary obstruction, UPJ obstruction, urinary stasis

      Once you have a kidney stone, you are also more likely to develop a future kidney stones.

      The UCLA study Prevalence of kidney stones in the United States published in European Urology reported on the risk factors that make a person especially likely to develop a kidney stone.

      What Is Being Tested

      Kidney stones are small, hard masses that form within the kidneys. Kidney stone testing uses one or more test methods to examine and determine the composition of the stone. This is done in order to help identify the cause of the stone and, where possible, to prevent the formation of more stones.

      The kidneys are part of the urinary tract, which also consists of two ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. The kidneys filter waste out

      Kidney stones are small, hard masses that form within the kidneys. Kidney stone testing uses one or more test methods to examine and determine the composition of the stone. This is done in order to help identify the cause of the stone and, where possible, to prevent the formation of more stones.

      The kidneys are part of the urinary tract, which also consists of two ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. The kidneys filter waste out of the blood and produce urine, which is transported from the kidneys to the bladder through the tube-like ureters. Urine is eliminated from the bladder through the urethra. This is a continual process of waste filtration, urine production, and elimination.

      According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 11% of men and 6% of women in the U.S. will have kidney stones at least once in their life. In the U.S., more than half a million people go to the emergency room each year with kidney stones and about a million visit their healthcare provider.

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      Simpler Test That Can Be Done In Doctors Office Offers Results In 30 Minutes

      May 22, 2020

      UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. An improved urine-testing system for people suffering from kidney stones inspired by nature and proposed by researchers from Penn State and Stanford University may enable patients to receive results within 30 minutes instead of the current turnaround time of a week or more.

      Kidney stones occur due to buildup of certain salts and minerals that form crystals, which in turn stick together and enlarge to form a hard mass in the kidneys. The stones move into the urinary tract and can cause blood in the urine, considerable pain and blockages in the urinary system.

      Metabolic testing of a kidney stone patients urine to identify metabolites such as minerals and solutes that cause stones to form is key for preventing future ones. This testing is currently done by requiring the patient to collect their urine over a 24-hour period in a large container. The container is then sent to a lab for analysis and the results normally come back in 7 to 10 days.

      Manipulation of biological fluids in a SLIPS-LAB device. The fluids include urine, saliva, tracheal aspirate , plasma and whole blood. Credit: Video provided by Pak Kin Wong.

      Wong said that expensive special equipment is required to detect urinary solutes and minerals for a test result. The urine sample, therefore, has to be shipped to a commercial diagnostic lab for testing. To solve this, the research team developed a biomimetic detection system called slippery liquid-infused porous surface -LAB.

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