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How Do You Check For Kidney Stones

What To Think About

How To Know If You Have Kidney Stones
  • 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.

Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones often have no single cause, and several factors may increase your risk for getting them. Some of these factors are listed below. They include:

Lack of water

You need to make enough pee to dilute the things that can turn into stones. If you donât drink enough or sweat too much, your pee may look dark. It should be pale yellow or clear.

If youâve had a stone before, you should make about 8 cups of urine a day. So aim to down about 10 cups of water daily, since you lose some fluids through sweat and breathing. Swap a glass of water for a citrus drink. The citrate in lemonade or orange juice can block stones from forming.

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.

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Monitoring And Managing Potentialcomplications

Becauserenal stones increase the risk for infection, sepsis, and ob-struction of theurinary tract, the patient is instructed to report decreased urine volume andbloody or cloudy urine. The total urine output and patterns of voiding aremonitored. Increased fluid intake is encouraged to prevent dehydration andincrease hydrostatic pressure within the urinary tract to promote passage ofthe stone. If the patient cannot take adequate fluids orally, in-travenousfluids are prescribed. Ambulation is encouraged as a means of moving the stonethrough the urinary tract.

Patientswith calculi require frequent nursing observation to detect the spontaneouspassage of a stone. All urine is strained through gauze because uric acid stonesmay crumble. Any blood clots passed in the urine should be crushed and thesides of the urinal and bedpan inspected for clinging stones. The patient isinstructed to report any sudden increases in pain immediately be-cause of thepossibility of a stone fragment obstructing a ureter. Analgesic medications areadministered as prescribed for the re-lief of pain and discomfort.Vital signs,including temperature, are monitored closely to detect early signs ofinfection. UTIs may be associated with renal stones due to an obstruction fromthe stone or from the stone it-self. All infections should be treated with theappropriate anti-biotic agent before efforts are made to dissolve the stone.

What Are The First Signs Of A Kidney Stone

Kidney stones: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Intense pain in your abdomen, side, lower back, and groin area is one of the first tell-tale signs that you are suffering from a kidney stone. Other signs and symptoms that might make you head to the doctor include:

  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Fever and chills
  • Discolored or foul-smelling urine

Though kidney stones are often associated with pain, there are some kidney stones that pass that you might not even know about. This is because they are small and easily pass through your urinary tract. The bigger stones are usually the troublemakers that send you to the doctor for relief.

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Promoting Home And Community

Teaching Patients Self-Care

Becausethe risk of recurring renal stones is high, the nurse pro-vides education aboutthe causes of kidney stones and ways to prevent their recurrence .The patient is encour-aged to follow a regimen to avoid further stoneformation. One facet of prevention is to maintain a high fluid intake becausestones form more readily in concentrated urine. A patient who has shown atendency to form stones should drink enough fluid to excrete greater than 2,000mL of urine every 24 hours , should adhere tothe prescribed diet, and should avoid sudden increases in environmentaltempera-tures, which may cause a fall in urinary volume. Occupations andactivities that produce excessive sweating can lead to severe tem-porarydehydration therefore, fluid intake should be increased. Sufficient fluidsshould be taken in the evening to prevent urine from becoming too concentratedat night.

Urinecultures may be performed every 1 to 2 months the first year and periodicallythereafter. Recurrent UTI is treated vigor-ously. Because prolongedimmobilization slows renal drainage and alters calcium metabolism, increasedmobility is encouraged whenever possible. In addition, excessive ingestion ofvitamins and minerals is discouraged.

Continuing Care

Expectedpatient outcomes may include:

1) Reports relief of pain

2) States increasedknowledge of health-seeking behaviors to prevent recurrence

a) Consumes increased fluid intake

b) Participates in appropriate activity

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 Does The Test Result Mean

A kidney stone analysis identifies the chemical composition of the stone. Common types of kidney stones include:

  • Calcium oxalate
  • 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:

  • Uric acid stone, then it is likely that you produce excess uric acid due to conditions such as gout or disorders of uric acid metabolism. Uric acid stones are more common in men and tend to occur in people with a diet high in animal protein.
  • Struvite stone, then you likely have a specific type of bacterial infection, often in the urinary tract, that leads to the production of excess ammonia. Struvite stones are more common in women.
  • Drug-related stone, then you form stones because of a medication that you take.
  • What Causes Kidney Stones

    Do You Have Kidney Stones? (60 second health check)ð¨â?âï¸?ð©º

    Kidney stones are formed from substances in your urine. The substances that combine into stones normally pass through your urinary system. When they dont, its because there isnt enough urine volume, causing the substances to become highly concentrated and to crystalize. This is typically a result of not drinking enough water. The stone-forming substances are:

    • Calcium.
    • Cloudy, foul-smelling urine, fever, chills or weakness which might be a sign of a serious infection.
    • Blood in the urine.

    Most pediatric kidney stones remain in the kidney, but up to a third may migrate from the kidney and get stuck in a ureter. Stones that remain in the kidney, although often painless, can be the source of recurrent urinary tract infections. Those that lodge in the ureter can create severe colicky pain.

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    What Is A Ct Scan Of The Kidney

    Computed tomography is a noninvasive diagnosticimaging procedure that uses a combination ofX-raysand computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part ofthe body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are moredetailed than standard X-rays.

    In standard X-rays, a beam of energy is aimed at the body part beingstudied. A plate behind the body part captures the variations of the energybeam after it passes through skin, bone, muscle, and other tissue. Whilemuch information can be obtained from a standard X-ray, a lot of detailabout internal organs and other structures is not available.

    In computed tomography, the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body.This allows many different views of the same organ or structure. The X-rayinformation is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data anddisplays it in a two-dimensional form on a monitor.

    CT scans may be done with or without “contrast.” Contrast refers to asubstance taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous line thatcauses the particular organ or tissue under study to be seen more clearly.Contrast examinations may require you to fast for a certain period of timebefore the procedure. Your doctor will notify you of this prior to theprocedure.

    Other related procedures that may be used to diagnose kidney problemsincludeKUB X-rays,kidney biopsy,kidney scan,kidney ultrasound,renal angiogram, andrenal venogram.

    Where Do Kidney Stones Come From

    Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys. The crystals grow larger into “stones.” About 80% to 85% of kidney stones are made of calcium. The rest are uric acid stones, which form in people with low urine pH levels.

    After stones form in the kidneys, they can dislodge and pass down the ureter, blocking the flow of urine. The result is periods of severe pain, including flank pain , sometimes with blood in the urine, nausea, and vomiting. As the stones pass down the ureter toward the bladder, they may cause frequent urination, bladder pressure, or pain in the groin.

    “If you experience any of these symptoms, see your primary care physician,” says Dr. Eisner. “He or she will likely perform a urinalysis and a renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, or CT scan to confirm kidney stones are the source of your pain and determine their size and number.”

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    How Long Does A Uti Last

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    If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.

    Types Of Kidney Stones

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    The different types of stones are made of different types of substances. It’s important to know the type of stone you have, so you can know what may have caused it and how to prevent it.

    If you pass a kidney stone, you should take it to your doctor so they can send it to the lab and find out what kind it is:

    • Calcium stones. Most kidney stones are made from calcium, in the form of calcium oxalate. There are two kinds of calcium stones:

    • Calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a substance made daily by your liver. Some fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and chocolate, are high in it. Your body absorbs the substance when you eat these foods. Other things that can make the concentration of calcium or oxalate in your urine to rise are taking high doses of vitamin D, intestinal bypass surgery and certain metabolic disorders.

    • Calcium phosphate. This type of stone happens more often in people with metabolic conditions, like renal tubular acidosis or with people who take medications to treat migraines or seizures.

  • Struvite stones. These can form from a urinary tract infection . The bacteria that cause the infection make ammonia build up in your urine. This leads to formation of the stones. The stones can get large very quickly.

  • Uric acid stones. These form in people who lose too much fluid because of chronic diarrhea or malabsorption eating a high-protein diet or having diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Certain genetic factors also may increase your risk of uric acid stones.

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    Risk Factors For Kidney Stones

    The greatest risk factor for kidney stones is making less than 1 liter of urine per day. This is why kidney stones are common in premature infants who have kidney problems. However, kidney stones are most likely to occur in people between the ages of 20 and 50.

    Different factors can increase your risk of developing a stone. In the United States, white people are more likely to have kidney stones than black people.

    Sex also plays a role. More men than women develop kidney stones, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .

    A history of kidney stones can increase your risk. So does a family history of kidney stones.

    Other risk factors include:

    In the case of a small kidney stone, you may not have any pain or symptoms as the stone passes through your urinary tract.

    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

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    What Is A Kidney Stone

    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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    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.

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    Can A Large Kidney Stone Cause An Injury

    Your risk of injury from a kidney stone can go up based on the size and location of the stone. A larger stone could get stuck in a ureter, causing pressure to build up. This can lead to renal failure and, in the worst-case scenario, you could lose your kidney. The chance of passing a 1 cm stone is less than 10%, and stones larger than 1 cm typically dont pass.

    How Do The Kidneys Work

    The body takes nutrients from food and converts them to energy. Afterthe body has taken the food that it needs, waste products are leftbehind in the bowel and in the blood.

    The kidneys and urinary system keep chemicals, such as potassium andsodium, and water in balance, and remove a type of waste, called urea,from the blood. Urea is produced when foods containing protein, such asmeat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body.Urea is carried in the bloodstream to the kidneys.

    Two kidneys, a pair of purplish-brown organs, are located below theribs toward the middle of the back. Their function is to:

    • Remove liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine

    • Keep a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood

    • Produce erythropoietin, a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells.

    • Regulate blood pressure

    The kidneys remove urea from the blood through tiny filtering unitscalled nephrons. Each nephron consists of a ball formed of small bloodcapillaries, called a glomerulus, and a small tube called a renaltubule.

    Urea, together with water and other waste substances, forms the urineas it passes through the nephrons and down the renal tubules of thekidney.

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