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.
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.
What Can The Patient Expect After Treatment
The recovery time is usually fairly brief. After treatment, the patient can get up to walk almost at once, Many people can fully resume daily activities within one to two days. Special diets are not required, but drinking plenty of water helps the stone fragments pass. For several weeks, you may pass stone fragments.
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What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of This Treatment
The main advantage of this treatment is that it treats kidney stones without an incision. As a result, hospital stays and recovery time are reduced.
But, while SWL can work, it doesn’t always work. After SWL, about 5O% of people will be stone free within a month. In others, stone fragments of various sizes remain. Sometimes a repeat procedure is needed.
SWL has the potential to cause kidney injury. Whether or not SWL causes or leads to the development of high blood pressure and diabetes remains controversial. These possibilities are still being studied. You should ask your doctor about risks and benefits of SWL in your situation.
S For Preventing Kidney Stones
If youve ever had a kidney stone, you surely remember it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the tiny stone passes through your urinary plumbing and out of the body. For many, kidney stones arent a one-time thing: in about half of people who have had one, another appears within seven years without preventive measures.
Preventing kidney stones isnt complicated, but it does take some determination.
Kidney stones form when certain chemicals become concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. The crystals grow into larger masses , which can make their way through the urinary tract. If the stone gets stuck somewhere and blocks the flow of urine, it causes pain.
Most stones occur when calcium combines with oxalate. Stones can also form from uric acid, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism.
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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.
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How Do Kidney Stones Form
Most stones form just under the inner surface of the kidney. Small crystals in your urine fuse together, similar to the way salt crystals form from evaporating saltwater.
More crystals can bind over time until a stone is formed. The stone can then continue to grow bigger and ultimately become so heavy that it breaks off within the kidney. Once free to move around, it can either stay in the kidney or try to pass down the ureter.
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How Fast Can A Kidney Stone Form
ByLewis Stonham | Submitted On May 17, 2009
Oftentimes, people who begin to experience severe low back and abdominal pain might be suffering from what are known in the medical profession as renal calculi. In laymens terms, these are called kidney stones. And the question How fast can a kidney stone form? is one of a host of queries almost every calculi sufferer eventually asks. To get the answer, there are a few things that should be understood.
To begin with, a kidney stone can form in either one of the pair of kidneys most humans are born with one on the left flank, or dorsal aspect near the lower back, and the other on the right. The kidneys themselves are responsible for filtering out waste products and water from the bloodstream. All of these products, and the water that goes with them, ends up as urine to be excreted from our bodies as waste.
According to medical statistics, something like 15 percent of all Americans will experience at least one instance of kidney stone development in their lifetime. In this regard, theyre a relatively common medical problem, though the pain they can cause can be quite significant in some cases. Kidney stones can end up forming in the kidney due to a number of factors, dehydration being one of them.
Medication For Kidney Stones
For most people with recurrent calcium stones, a combination of drinking enough fluids, avoiding urinary infections, and specific treatment with medications will significantly reduce or stop new stone formation.
Certain medications such as thiazide diuretics or indapamide reduce calcium excretion and decrease the chance of another calcium stone. Potassium citrate or citric juices are used to supplement thiazide treatment and are used by themselves for some conditions where the urine is too acidic.
For people who have a high level of uric acid in their urine, or who make uric acid stones, the medication allopurinol will usually stop the formation of new stones.
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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 Do Doctors Treat Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on:
- The size of the stone
- The type of stone
- If the stone is causing you pain
- If the stone is blocking your urinary tract
If your kidney stone is small, your doctor may have you take pain medicine and drink fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract and out through your urine .
If your kidney stone is large or if it is blocking your urinary tract, a different treatment may be needed. Treatment options include:
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When To See A Doctor
In many cases, small kidney stones can pass on their own and dont require any treatment.
If youre able to manage your pain with over-the-counter medications and dont have any signs of infection or severe symptoms like nausea or vomiting, you may not need treatment.
However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:
- blood in the urine
What Causes Kidney Stones
- By Kevin R. Loughlin, MD, MBA, Contributor
Stone disease has plagued humanity since ancient times. Kidney stones have been identified in Egyptian mummies. The Hippocratic oath describes their treatment: I will not use the knife, not even verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.
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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.
What Other Treatment Choices For Kidney Stones Are Available
Drug treatment is being studied with such drugs as such as calcium channel blockers , steroids and alpha-adrenergic blockers. The idea is that the stone might be dissolved with medication. Other drugs such as K-citrate, thiazides or allopurinol are prescribed to prevent new stones from developing. Most doctors agree that more medical trials are needed.
When SWL is not appropriate or doesn’t work, some people will need ureteroscopy, a technique that goes through the bladder to reach the stone or percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a technique that goes through a small incision created in your back. Some people, in extremely rare cases, even need open surgery, a technique that involves a larger incision in your abdomen. The medical terms for kidney stone surgery are ureterolithotomy or nephrolithotomy.
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When Surgery Is Necessary
If you think you might have a kidney stone, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If youre found to have one, your doctor can help you determine whether to try to pass the stone naturally, take medication, or get the stone surgically removed.
In some circumstances, your doctor might recommend immediate surgical removal without a waiting period. This will usually be because the stone is too big to pass naturally or is blocking urine flow. If the stone is blocking the flow of urine, it can lead to an infection or renal damage.
In other circumstances, your doctor might recommend waiting to see if you can pass the stone on your own. You should check in with your doctor often during this time to see if anything is changing, especially if you have new symptoms.
During the waiting period, your doctor might recommend surgery if the stone continues to grow, youre having unmanageable pain, or you develop signs of infection, such as a fever. Infection, fever, kidney damage, intractable pain, or intractable vomiting are all indications for immediate surgery.
Diagnosis Of Kidney Stones
Many kidney stones are discovered by chance during examinations for other conditions. Urine and blood tests can help with finding out the cause of the stone. Further tests may include:
- CT scans
- x-rays, including an intravenous pyelogram , where dye is injected into the bloodstream before the x-rays are taken.
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What Happens If I Get A Cystine Stone
he goal of treatment is to help keep stones from forming by reducing the amount of cystine in your urine. With less cystine in your urine, stones are less likely to form. It is important to work with your healthcare provider to reach this goal. Kidney stones can cause a lot of pain. You may need to take pain relievers while you wait for the stone to pass out of your body.
If a stone is very large and painful, or if it blocks the flow of urine, you may need surgery to remove it. There are a few different types of surgeries to help get rid of the stones. These include:
- Percutaneous nephrostolithotomy : a procedure that involves passing a special instrument through your skin and into your kidney to take out the stones or break them apart.
- Ureteroscopy: a tiny instrument is passed into the bladder, and then up the ureter , to remove the stone.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy : a procedure that uses shock waves to break up large stones into smaller pieces. However, this procedure does not work as well for cystine stones compared to other types of kidney stones.
Types Of Kidney Stones
There are four main types of stones:
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When Can Swl Be Used
SWL works better with some stones than others. Very large stones cannot be treated this way. The size and shape of stone, where it is lodged in your urinary tract, your health, and your kidneys’ health will be part of the decision to use it. Stones that are smaller than 2 cm in diameter are the best size for SWL. The treatment might not be effective in very large ones.
SWL is more appropriate for some people than others. Because x-rays and shock waves are needed in SWL, pregnant women with stones are not treated this way. People with bleeding disorders, infections, severe skeletal abnormalities, or who are morbidly obese also not usually good candidates for SWL. lf your kidneys have other abnormalities, your doctor may decide you should have a different treatment. lf you have a cardiac pacemaker, a cardiologist will decide if you can have SWL.
Urine Contacts The Tissue Plaque
Most of the plaque you see in the picture is inside the shiny membrane that covers the papillary surface. So long as the membrane covers it stones cannot form. But where the stone grew that membrane gave way. Urine bathed the exposed plaque and minerals from that urine formed the initial hydroxyapatite binding site that shows up at the bottom of the stone in the right hand panel of the picture.
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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 Treatments Are Available
Because of the pain caused by kidney stones, many people find that they need pain relief. Many describe it as the worst pain theyve ever felt.
If you have a kidney stone, you will be encouraged to drink a lot of water if you dont have a medical condition that limits the amount you may have. The extra fluid is to help wash the stone through your urinary system.
If the stone doesnt pass within a reasonable amount of time, your doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . Shock waves are sent through to the stone to break them down into smaller pieces that can be passed. Sometimes, surgery may be needed.
The stone should be removed because of the high risk of infection, which could in turn lead to sepsis.
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What Are The Types Of Kidney Stones
There are four types of kidney stones:
Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones. They form when calcium mixes with oxalate in your urine. These form when you are not getting enough fluids or calcium.
Uric stones are also a common type of kidney stone. High levels of a natural chemical called purine in your body can cause a high level of a chemical called urate that can create these kidney stones. This type of kidney stone tends to run in families.
Struvite stones are less common than calcium and uric stones. Struvite stones can happen when bacteria from upper urinary tract infections get into your urinary tract.
Cystine stones are caused by a rare condition called cystinuria that is passed down in families. Cystinuria causes a natural chemical called cystine to leak into your urine. When there is too much cystine in your urine, kidney stones can form. These stones can get stuck in your kidneys, bladder or anywhere in your urinary tract. Most people with cystinuria will get many stones in their life. It is a lifelong condition that can be treated but not cured.