Ultrasound For Kidney Stones
Your doctor might recommend an;ultrasound;for kidney stones because it is a quick, safe and easy procedure. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images and does not involve radiation.
During an ultrasound, youll lie on an exam table while a technologist moves a transducer over the part of the body being scanned. A transducer is a handheld device that sends and receives sound waves. The sound waves will then be processed by a computer to produce images.
An ultrasound may provide enough evidence for a kidney stone diagnosis. However, if the images are not clear, your doctor might order a computer tomography scan.
Medical Therapy For Kidney Stones
Most evidence suggests that stones less than 10 mm in diameter have a reasonable chance of passing through the urinary tract spontaneously. You may be offered medical expulsive therapy using an alpha blocker medication, such as tamsulosin. Its important to understand that this is an off-label use of the drug. Rarely, tamsulosin causes a condition called intraoperative floppy iris syndrome that can complicate cataract surgery.
Not all experts feel MET is worthwhile, and its use remains controversial. Discuss your options with your doctor or a urologist.
Dietary Calcium And Kidney Stones
Only lower your calcium intake below that of a normal diet if instructed by your doctor. Decreased calcium intake is only necessary in some cases where absorption of calcium from the bowel is high.;
A low-calcium diet has not been shown to be useful in preventing the recurrence of kidney stones and may worsen the problem of weak bones. People with calcium-containing stones may be at greater risk of developing weak bones and osteoporosis. Discuss this risk with your doctor.
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Kidney Stone Symptoms And When To See A Urologist
Kidney stones can happen to adults of any age and can be extremely inconvenient. If diagnosed early, stones can be treated more quickly. About 11% of men and 7% of women in the United States will experience a kidney stone at some point, and approximately half of those who experience kidney stones will get them again. Its important to know what the symptoms are, and when to see a urologist.
Kidney stones can be debilitating and painful . While a stone forms in the kidney, there may be no signs or symptoms. Most people start experiencing symptoms once the stone is formed and passes into the ureter . The most common kidney stone symptoms include:
You may be experiencing one or more of the above symptoms and think, Should I see a doctor? Are my symptoms that bad? You should make an appointment with a urologist when you experience any of the above symptoms for an extended period of time. If you are worried about your symptoms and think you may have kidney stones, dont hesitate to call and make an appointment. You should especially seek a urologist if you experience:
- Pain so extreme that its hard to move or get up
- Blood in the urine
- Consistent nausea and vomiting in combination with urination symptoms
Conditions Treated By Kidney Doctors
Kidney doctors care for people with a number of different types of kidney disease including:
- Acute kidney injury: Acute kidney disease refers to the rapid onset of kidney disease often related to conditions such as shock , dehydration, kidney problems related to surgery, or inadequate drainage from the urinary tract .
- Chronic renal failure: Chronic kidney disease can be caused by a number of different conditions
There is a wide range of medical problems that can affect the kidneys in different ways. Some of the more common;conditions which can cause kidney failure;include:
- Diabetes : Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the United States
- Kidney disease related to high blood pressure and heart disease
- Kidney stones which cause obstruction
- Congenital kidney problems such as horseshoe kidney
- Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys which can be caused by a number of different processes, including the bacteria which causes strep throat.
- Kidney disease related to lupus
- Polycystic kidney disease: Cystic kidney disease is hereditary, though the severity of the disease, as well as age of onset, can vary
- Autoimmune diseases such as IgA nephropathy
- Kidney failure secondary to liver disease
Chronic kidney disease is described by five stages based on the severity of the disease. Grade 1 kidney failure refers to a mild disease, whereas grade 5 renal failure usually indicates that dialysis or a kidney transplant will be needed.
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How Long Does It Take To Pass A Kidney Stone
The amount of time it can take for you to pass a kidney stone is different from anothers. A stone thats smaller than 4 mm may pass within one to two weeks. A stone thats larger than 4 mm could take about two to three weeks to completely pass.
Once the stone reaches the bladder, it typically passes within a few days, but may take longer, especially in an older man with a large prostate. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so its important to follow up with your healthcare provider if you dont pass the stone within four to six weeks.
Reducing Kidney Stone Risk
Drinking enough fluid will help keep your urine less concentrated with waste products. Darker urine is more concentrated, so your urine should appear very light yellow to clear if you are well hydrated. Most of the fluid you drink should be water. Most people should drink more than 12 glasses of water a day. Speak with a healthcare professional about the right amount of water that’s best for you. Water is better than soda, sports drinks or coffee/tea. lf you exercise or if it is hot outside, you should drink more. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup should be limited to small quantities.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which make the urine less acid. When the urine is less acid, then stones may be less able to form. Animal protein produces urine that has more acid, which can then increase your risk for kidney stones.
You can reduce excess salt in your diet. What foods are high in salt? Everyone thinks of salty potato chips and French fries. Those should be rarely eaten. There are other products that are salty: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even sports drinks.
Some herbal substances are promoted as helping prevent stones. You should know that there is insufficient published medical evidence to support the use of any herb or supplement in preventing stones.
- What food may cause a kidney stone?
- Should l take vitamin and mineral supplements?
- What beverages are good choices for me?
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What Kind Of Treatment Plan Will The Doctor Prescribe
Treatment plans are based on the cause of the stones, but your child’s doctor may prescribe high fluid intake and a low-salt diet to reduce the chances of kidney stone recurrence. The nephrologist may prescribe medications to help prevent stones from forming, such as medications that lower the levels of calcium in the urine or other medications that help substances to dissolve in urine.
If your child has an inherited condition that leads to kidney stones, doctors will create an individualized plan of care based on the nature and symptoms of the disorder. These conditions include cystinuria, primary hyperoxaluria, Dent disease, and other conditions that may increase stone risk.
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Kidney Stones And Possible Symptoms
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that filter the waste chemicals out of your blood and make urine. A kidney stone is a hard piece of material that forms inside your kidney when tiny mineral crystals in your urine stick together.
Symptoms of kidney stones may include:
- Sharp pain in your back, side, lower belly , or groin that may come and go
- Nausea and vomiting
- The feeling of sand or small particles passing through when you urinate
- Pain when you urinate
- Feeling like you need to urinate but cannot
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Imaging Tests For Detecting Kidney Stones
Your doctor can diagnose kidney stones by examining your blood and urine. A blood test can show your doctor if theres too much uric acid or calcium in your blood. A urine test lets your doctor see the level of minerals in your urine. It also shows a lack of certain substances in your urine to prevent kidney stones from forming. Both tests will tell your doctor if you have an infection.
Your doctor may also suggest an imaging test to confirm the presence of kidney stones. Here are common scans used to test and diagnose kidney stones:
Risk Factors For Kidney Disease
Since kidney disease can become serious before symptoms are present, it’s important to have a high index of suspicion and be aware of conditions which predispose you to kidney disease. People who are at greater risk of developing renal failure include those with:
- Long-standing high blood pressure
- Heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure
- Other vascular diseases such as cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease
- A family history of kidney disease
- Prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Celebrex
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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 .
How To Diagnose Kidney Stones
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998. This article has been viewed 23,001 times.
The diagnosis of renal colic depends on recognizing signs and symptoms, as well as performing diagnostic tests. If you do in fact have an obstruction caused by a kidney stone, you will need to receive treatment for this, most likely in the hospital setting.
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Common Causes Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are caused when chemicals in your urine begin to stick together and form a crystal. As more crystals join together, they become a stone. Kidney stones are most often caused by calcium oxalate, but others are formed with struvite, uric acid, or cystine.
While many people dont have a specific reason why they developed kidney stones, they may form in some people who dont drink enough water or fluids to flush out their kidneys. People who consume foods high in protein, sugar and sodium can also be at risk for kidney stones. Some stones develop as the result of an infection, , , or other medical conditions.
Can Kidney Stones Come Back
After the kidney stone has passed or after it is removed, another stone may form. People who have had a kidney stone in the past are more likely to get another stone in the future.
If you have had a kidney stone, talk with your health care professional about your risk of getting another one. Ask your health care professional what steps you can take to lower your risk of getting another kidney stone.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease
In order to understand the more common symptoms of kidney disease, it’s helpful to review the structure and function of the kidneys. Your kidneys are located on;your flanks, near your spine. Injuries to your back or side below your diaphragm may cause injuries to your kidneys.;Your kidneys perform several important functions. These include filtering your blood to remove toxins, maintaining the proper levels of electrolytes to ensure proper functioning of your cells, and maintaining fluid balance in your body.
If you become dehydrated, your kidneys initially work to restore the fluid status to your body, but kidney injuries may occur with prolonged or severe dehydration. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, the level of sodium and potassium in your body may be affected.;Electrolyte problems with kidney disease can be serious, Since the right amount of potassium is necessary for proper functioning of your heart, kidney problems may result in abnormal heart rhythms.;
Abnormal blood pressure, whether high or low can result in kidney damage. Kidney damage, in turn, can cause problems with regulating your blood pressure.
The kidneys are also responsible for making a hormone involved in the production of red blood cells. For this reason, kidney disease can result in anemia, a lower red blood cell count.
Some people have urinary problems, such as difficulty urinating. Occasionally people also have flank pain, due to the location of the kidneys.
How Kidney Stones Are Treated
Treatment is tailored according to the type of stone. Urine can be strained and stones collected for evaluation.
Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day increases urine flow. People who are dehydrated or have severe nausea and vomiting may need intravenous fluids.
Other treatment options 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.
How Do I Make Sure My Child Doesn’t Get More Stones
Effective prevention depends largely upon why the stones are forming. A metabolic evaluation of your child is necessary, in consultation with a pediatric nephrologist, to identify risk factors for stone formation. After this metabolic evaluation is completed, your doctor will better understand what is causing the stones and how best to prevent your child from developing more stones. Sometimes, medications are required to help prevent future kidney stones.
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water, not only when he is thirsty, but also through the day. Keeping hydrated is extremely important. An excellent way to determine if your child is properly hydrated is by checking the color of the urine; if it’s clear, he or she is adequately hydrated. If urine is yellow, he or she is dehydrated.
Many sport drinks have added sodium, so be sure to check the label before drinking them and avoid drinks with high amounts of sodium. Water is always the best way to stay hydrated and decrease your child’s chances of developing stones. Citrate is generally good to have in the urine. We encourage children to drink lemonade because it may be a source of natural citrate.
Exercise, exercise, exercise! Although fit children can develop kidney stones, many experts believe obesity may be related to higher incident rates. Make sure your child keeps hydrated while exercising. If there is a family history of kidney stones, pay extra attention to diet, exercise, and water consumption.
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Part 1 Of 3: Recognizing Signs And Symptoms