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How Do You Diagnose Kidney Stones

How Successful Are These Treatments

Kidney stones: Mayo Clinic Radio

In short dubious at best. There have been many reports of people using these natural methods, but the efficacy is unsubstantiated. Some people report success, but none of these treatments are based in scientific fact. For every anecdotal success story posted online, there are hundreds more stories of failures . So, what natural remedies DO work?

4. Lab Grade Chanca Piedra

Lab grade chanca piedra has shown high rates of success in kidney stone treatment. This herbal remedy breaks down and prevents the development of new kidney stones. The clinical benefits of all-natural Chanca Piedra are related to ureteral relaxation and to a putative reduction of the excretion of urinary crystallization promoters such as calcium. It first grabbed the attention of the scientific community in a 2002 study on rodents which demonstrated it slowed or halted kidney stone growth. Further studies indicated lab grade Chanca Piedra actually interferes with the process that would normally cause stones to form.

Professor Dr. Nestor Schor speaking about his research on lab grade Chanca Piedra:

Treatment with Phyllanthus niruri strongly inhibited the growth of the stones and reduced the number of stones

These results show that Phyllanthus niruri has an inhibitory effect on crystal growth

Where Do Kidney Stones Comefrom

Before we can identify the stages of passing a kidney stone, we need to know from where the kidney stones come.

Kidney stones occur when certain substances such ascalcium, oxalate, and uric acid concentrate on forming crystals in the kidney.Crystals grow on rocks. Almost 80% of -85% of kidney stones arecalcium. The others are uric acid stones that form in people whose urine has alow pH.

Once the kidneys formed, they can break loose andpass through the urine, preventing the flow of urine. The result is years ofsevere pain, including lateral pain , seldom with blood in the urine, vomiting, and vomiting.When the kidneys enter the bladder through the ureter, they can cause frequenturination, bladder pressure, or groin pain.

If any of these indications occur, contactyour GP, Dr. Eisner. You will probably need to do a urinalysis anda kidney ultrasound, an abdominal x-ray or a CT scan to confirm that kidneystones are the cause of your condition and to determine their size and number.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Kidney Stones

Certain medical conditions may be related to impaired kidney function and kidney stones issues. Common examples are chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the metabolic syndrome.

Other medical conditions that are shown as related to kidney stones may include:

  • Urinary tract infection .
  • Ephedrine, alone or in combination with guaifenesin.

When this situation occurs, discontinuation of the medication is usually necessary.

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Can Kidney Stones Cause Uti

Kidney stones can cause UTI. Kidney stones of metabolic origin can cause obstruction in the ureter and lead to the development of urinary tract infection . This relationship between urinary stones and UTI is well known and is mentioned in the medical literature as :

  • kidney stones that develop following UTI.
  • kidney stones that get complicated by UTI.

In other words, kidney stones can increase the risk of UTI, or making an existing UTI become worse.

How Common Are Kidney Stones

Kidney Stone Symptoms, Causes and Natural Remedies

Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives.

The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3.8% in the late 1970s to 8.8% in the late 2000s. The prevalence of kidney stones was 10% during 20132014. The risk of kidney stones is about 11% in men and 9% in women. Other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity may increase the risk for kidney stones.

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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

How Well Does Ultrasound Detect Stones

An alternative to CAT scan is renal and bladder ultrasounds. The advantage of the renal ultrasound is that they do not expose patients to radiation and the costs are typically cheaper than the CAT scans are. The renal ultrasounds will often miss smaller stones and stones that are in the tube that drains the kidney to the bladder, the ureter.

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Imaging Tests To Check For Kidney Stones

Two imaging tests to check for kidney stones are a CT scan and an ultrasound. If the first imaging test is not clear, you may need a second test.

In the past, a CT scan was often used as the first imaging test to check for kidney stones. But, because a CT scan exposes people to radiation, the emergency doctor may suggest an ultrasound instead as the first imaging test.

Questions About Imaging Tests To Check for Kidney Stones

Question Ultrasound
What is it? A CT scan uses x-rays and computers to create three dimensional pictures of your urinary tract . An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of your kidneys and bladder. It is like the ultrasound used to look at the baby in the womb of a pregnant woman.
How is it done? You lie still on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped machine. A CT scan does not hurt. You lie on your back or side, and a health care professional moves a small device around on your belly. An ultrasound does not hurt.
Does it expose you to radiation? Yes, a CT scan exposes you to radiation. Radiation raises the risk of getting cancer. No, an ultrasound does not expose you to radiation.

What Are The Symptoms Of Uric Acid Stones

How Do You Treat Kidney Stones?

All types of kidney stones produce similar symptoms, including one or more of the following:

  • Pain in the lower back, sides, abdomen or groin the pain is the result of irritation or blockage inside the kidneys or urinary system
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urine that smells bad or is cloudy during a urinary tract infection

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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.


Preventing Future Kidney Stones

Having one kidney stone means you might develop kidney stones in the future. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent kidney stones from forming:

  • Drink about 2-1/2 liters of water per day unless a doctor advises otherwise. How much water each person needs may vary.
  • Maintain a low-salt diet.
  • Limit animal protein to 6 to 8 ounces a day.
  • Lower sugar consumption.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
  • If you take a vitamin C supplement, make sure its less than 1,000 milligrams per day.

If you have a history of kidney stones, a dietician can review your eating habits and provide specific dietary tips that can help lower risks of kidney stones.

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Warning Signs You May Have A Kidney Stone

Kidney stones are able to crystallize somewhere in the urinary tract when urine becomes concentrated. Therefore, one of the most important preventative measures is to drink enough water each day at least 64 ounces is the recommended daily value by most healthcare providers.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have a kidney stone present in your urinary tract:

  • Severe pain in the back, side, or below the ribs
  • Pain that travels to the lower abdomen or groin area
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pink, red, brown urine coloring
  • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
  • Persistent feeling of needing to urinate
  • Urinating often
  • Urinating in small amounts
  • Blood in the urine

If you have any combination of these symptoms, it may be tempting to self-diagnose yourself with a kidney stone and try and pass the mineral deposit without seeing a urologist. However, for your long-term safety, it is recommended to visit a physician in order to rule out other medical concerns.

Your urologist will be able to confirm your suspicion of a kidney stone via a variety of tests, including:

Blood testing: Can identify if too much calcium or uric acid is present in your blood.

Urine testing: Can show the levels of stone-forming minerals and stone-preventing minerals.

X-rays: Can help reveal kidney stones present in the urinary tract. However, smaller stones may be missed.

CT scans: A more in-depth version of x-ray scans, a CT scan can give clear and quick images from multiple angles.

Vitamin D And Kidney Stones

How Do you Detect Kidney Stones?

The connection between vitamin d and kidney stones has been evaluated in many published studies. According to research, vitamin D levels were significantly higher in kidney stone patients compared to healthy adults . On the other hand, vitamin D intake in typical amounts was not statistically associated with risk of kidney stone formation .

The bottom line: vitamin D is an important vitamin that plays a key role in many body functions. Research data suggests that 50% of Americans have vitamin D deficiency . For this reason, it is very important to make sure you are not deficient in vitamin D. If you are at a risk of developing kidney stones, you may want to consult your doctor in order to determine the exact amount of vitamin D you need.

To learn more about the importance of vitamin D to a healthy immune system, risks of vitamin D deficiency and the best ways to get vitamin D, see: Vitamin D and your immune system.

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If I Have Had A Kidney Stone Should I Avoid Calcium

You should work with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment for you. If you had a stone with calcium in it, your healthcare practitioner may have you decrease your intake a modest amount, but the clinical picture is often less black and white than taking more or less. Some people absorb extra calcium from their food, but some excess calcium in the urine is related to an excess of sodium, so people who have had calcium-containing stones are often told to decrease salt intake rather than reducing calcium intake. Taking large doses of supplemental calcium may play a role in kidney stone formation. Sometimes drastic reductions in calcium can worsen stone formation as well as affect bone health.

Diagnosis And Initial Management Of Kidney Stones


Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Am Fam Physician. 2001 Apr 1 63:1329-1339.

The diagnosis and initial management of urolithiasis have undergone considerable evolution in recent years. The application of noncontrast helical computed tomography in patients with suspected renal colic is one major advance. The superior sensitivity and specificity of helical CT allow urolithiasis to be diagnosed or excluded definitively and expeditiously without the potential harmful effects of contrast media. Initial management is based on three key concepts: the recognition of urgent and emergency requirements for urologic consultation, the provision of effective pain control using a combination of narcotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in appropriate patients and an understanding of the impact of stone location and size on natural history and definitive urologic management. These concepts are discussed with reference to contemporary literature, with the goal of providing tools that family physicians can use in the emergency department or clinic.

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Whats The Urinary Tract How Does It Work

Your urinary tract is vital to your body because it gets rid of waste and extra fluid. Its made up of both your kidneys, two ureters, your bladder and your urethra. Each organ has an important job :

  • Kidneys: Your fist-sized, bean-shaped kidneys are located on either side of your spine, below your rib cage. Each day they filter 120 to 150 quarts of your blood to remove waste and balance fluids. Your kidneys make one to two quarts of urine every day.
  • Ureters: After your kidney creates urine, the liquid travels through the tube-shaped ureter to the bladder. There is one ureter per kidney. Kidney stones can pass through the ureters or, if theyre too big, get stuck in them. You may require surgery if the stone is too large.
  • Bladder: Between your hip bones is your bladder, an organ that stores urine. It stretches to hold about one and a half to two cups.
  • Urethra: Like a ureter, your urethra is a tube through which urine passes. Its the final stop of the urinary tract where your urine leaves your body. This is called urination.

Alternate Remedies For Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Increasingly, more people are interested in attempting at-home treatments for kidney stones to decrease the use of medicines, procedures and surgeries. A number of alternative remedies have been acknowledged for the treatment of kidney stones. We will present these below and discuss their likelihood of success.

1. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

Sounds awful, doesnt it? Some people do claim success in mixing a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil to help dissolve kidney stones as a home remedy. Proponents of this method claim that at the first notice of symptoms, mix five ounces of olive oil with five ounces of lemon juice. Drink this combination straight and then drink a glass of water. Repeat the process again in the late afternoon. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well through the day as well as extra lemon juice, if possible. Continue this treatment regimen for several days until the stone passes. It is thought that the lemon juice could help break down the kidney stones and the olive oil would aid in lubrication to pass the stone more easily. Extra-virgin olive oil is thought to be the best olive oil ingredient to use because it is the thickest and healthiest.

Warning: Lemons are very acidic and can destroy tooth enamel and contribute to heartburn or ulcers.

Our patient surveying indicates some success in a very limited number of kidney stone patients. We give it 2 out of 5 stars.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

3. Coke and Asparagus

We give this remedy 1 out of 5 stars.

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Tips For Seeing Your Doctor About A Kidney Stone

If you suspect you have a kidney stone, here are some ways to prepare for your doctors appointment:

  • Write down your symptoms and questions you want to ask your doctor.
  • Be prepared to talk about any underlying medical conditions you have, as well as your medical history and medication youre taking, says Shidham.
  • Keep track of how much you drink throughout the day, says Daniel Marchalik, MD, a urologist and director of ambulatory urologic surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC.
  • Share information about your dietary habits, which can raise of lower your risk of kidney stones, adds Dr. Marchalik.
  • Send or bring prior medical reports, including results of imaging tests and laboratory work, says Prakash N. Maniam, MD, a urologist at Poinciana Medical Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
  • Drink some water so youre ready to give urine sample for your doctor to examine, says Dr. Maniam.
  • If you pass a kidney stone, keep it and bring it to the appointment so doctors can analyze it and identify what kind it is, says Marchalik.

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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Can Children Get Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.

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