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.
What You Need To Know About Kidney Stones
Aug 07, 2019Cedars-Sinai Staff
Passing a kidney stone is said to be some of the most severe physical pain a person can experience.
You may picture someone passing a kidney stone in excruciating pain while a small rock moves through their bladder, but according to Dr. Brian Benway, director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Program, pain peaks much earlier in the stones journey.
Nothing subtle about a kidney stone
Contrary to popular belief, passing a kidney stone once it reaches the bladder isnt the painful part, says Dr. Benway.
The pain usually starts once the stone has migrated from the kidney into the ureter, the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.
Basically, for the first-timer with a kidney stone, the symptoms are not subtle.
The pain is usually sudden and quite severe on one side of your back and it can cause immediate nausea and vomiting, says Dr. Benway
Basically, for the first-timer with a kidney stone, the symptoms are not subtle.
This sudden pain will begin to ebb and flow after the first few hours, gradually getting better after a few days. Dr. Benway says you shouldnt wait for the pain to easeseek evaluation right away.
Along with pain, kidney stones can sometimes be associated with infection, which will present itself as a fever, he says.
Go to the ER right away if you have strong pain with nausea or fever.
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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Blocked Ureter And Kidney Infection
A kidney stone that blocks the ureter can lead to a kidney infection. This is because waste products are unable to pass the blockage, which may cause a build-up of bacteria.
The symptoms of a kidney infection are similar to symptoms of kidney stones, but may also include:
- a high temperature of 38C or over
- chills and shivering
Kidney stones are usually formed following a build-up of certain chemicals in the body.
This build-up may be any of the following:
- uric acid a waste product produced when the body breaks down food to use as energy
- cysteine an amino acid that helps to build protein
Certain medical conditions can lead to an unusually high level of these substances in your urine.
You’re also more likely to develop kidney stones if you don’t drink enough fluids.
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.
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Types Of Kidney Stones
Doctors break down kidney stones into types. Knowing which kind you have could affect the treatment you get. They include:
Calcium stones: These are the most common ones. Even just eating some foods very high in oxalates, such as rhubarb, or taking unusually high levels of vitamin D, can boost your chances of getting this type. You could get this kind if you typically donât drink enough water or if you sweat a lot and donât replace the fluids you lose.
Cystine stones: This is the least common typeThis is the least common type and due to a genetic mutation. In this situation your kidneys have trouble reabsorbing a compound called cystine, which ends up in the urine at higher levels and causes stones to form.
Struvite stones: Infections, especially in the urinary tract, can cause this kind of stone.
Uric acid stones: Eating large amounts of animal proteins can lead to uric acid buildup in your urine. That can eventually form a stone either with or without calcium. Risk factors include gout, diabetes, and chronic diarrhea.
Kidney Stone Pain: Firsthand Recollections Of The Experience
Ive never had a kidney stone. I dont know what its like. Thats why I spent hours reading personal experiences to understand kidney stone pain better. Wikipedia told me the basics, and ArsTechnica, StraightDope, and Reddit gave me the personal stories and recollections that created an overall picture of how unpleasant and dreadfully painful kidney stones can be .
Was bad enough that I left the party and went to myoffice and spent a large part of the night rolling backand forth on the floor in my cube debating calling my ex to come get me. Sheended up laughing, then took me to the hospital. I still owe her for helpingme.
It was what I can imagine a knife stuck in my back beingtwisted all around would feel like.
A female nurse told me it’s the worst pain a man canever feel, because a man can’t go through labor. I had mine when I was 25 itlooked like a coffee grain. Before it passed, I literally thought I was goingto die. They gave me a morphine shot right in the vein, and it didn’t do athing. They followed that with Vicodin and I passed out. I woke up a few hourslater feeling just ok.
Someone told me that the pain from a kidney stone isclose to what a woman feels while having a baby. If that is true, I don’t blamethem at all for screaming.
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Its Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Besides being painful, what arekidney stones?
Theyre solid formations of minerals and salts that crystalize in urine in the kidneys when concentrations are high. They can be as tiny as a grain of sand to pebble-size and larger. And they can develop at any age, from infants to the elderly.
Although some stones remain in the kidneys, others travel through the ureter and into the bladder, explains Howard Abromowitz, MD.
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.
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Treating And Preventing Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones are small enough to be passed in your pee, and it may be possible to treat the symptoms at home with medication.
Larger stones may need to be broken up or removed with surgery.
It’s estimated up to half of all people who have had kidney stones will experience them again within the following 5 years.
To avoid getting kidney stones, make sure you drink plenty of water every day so you do not become dehydrated.
It’s very important to keep your urine pale in colour to prevent waste products forming into kidney stones.
The kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that are roughly 10cm in length.
They’re located towards the back of the abdomen on either side of the spine.
The kidneys remove waste products from the blood. The clean blood is then transferred back into the body and the waste products are passed out of the body when you pee.
What Can Cause Urethra Pain After Passing Kidney Stones
While pain can ease once the stone reaches your bladder, it can become painful again as it leaves your body through the urethra. Passing a large stone can irritate the urethra, but it should be temporary.
Urethral pain can be due to a number of factors aside from passing a kidney stone. Continuing urethral pain should be assessed by a doctor.
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Tip : Taking Pain Killers
First things first, I do not recommend taking painkillers or medications without consulting your doctor. However, in some instances, when the pain is so severe and you have been diagnosed with a past history of stone, taking a tablet like paracetamol or any other low dose NSAID may help.
Never, take these medications on an empty stomach though. Take them after food preferably with a glass of water. Never take two or more different painkillers together. Also, avoid all opioid-based painkillers!
Again I strictly do not recommend medications without a prior consultation. I hope I made myself clear!. Furthermore, when you are popping in a painkiller, take a minute to read the instructions on the label before taking the tablet.
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.
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Kidney Stone Causes And Risk Factors
Both men and women can get kidney stones, but menâs chances of getting them are about double that of womenâs.
Itâs often hard to figure out what caused a kidney stone. But they happen when your urine has high levels of certain minerals. These include:
- Uric acid
If you donât have enough urine in your body to water down the high concentration of minerals, stones can form. Think about stirring up your favorite drink from a powder mix. If you donât add enough liquid — say, water or juice — the powder will clump up and turn into hard, dry chunks.
Things that can raise your risk for kidney stones include:
- What you eat
- Some medications like triamterene , a diuretic that treats high blood pressure antiseizure drugs corticosteroids and protease inhibitors like indinavir sulfate for HIV.
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.
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If You Think You Have A Kidney Stone
If you have been diagnosed with a kidney stone, please call 362-8200 to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment we will do our best to make sure you are seen promptly. You may be directed to the emergency department if you are experiencing intractable nausea, vomiting, pain or fever so that urgent treatment can be given.
We have a very limited number of same-day appointments therefore, it is likely that you will be directed to the emergency department for rapid evaluation. There, they will obtain scans and labs that will help confirm the diagnosis of kidney stones. From that information, we can make an informed decision about your treatment.
If you have recently passed a stone, you should have close follow-up with a urologist. Our team of stone experts can accommodate you at any of our clinic locations.
What Are The Common Causes
These stones can be the result of:
- Family history: you are more likely to get these stones if someone else in your family has dealt with them
- Personal history: if youve had kidney stones before, it increases the risk of getting them in the future
- Dehydration: resulting from not drinking enough water, excessive sweat, or a dry climate
- Obesity: being overweight is linked with higher risk of kidney stones
- Diets: if youre eating lots of salt, protein and sugar, youre raising your risk of these stones
- Medications: vitamin C, dietary supplements, excessive use of laxatives, and some drugs for migraines and depression can raise your chances of this condition
- Medical conditions: inflammatory bowel disease and chronic diarrhea can affect the way you absorb calcium and water, increasing your risk
These risk factors may lead too little liquid and too much waste. As a result, rather than passing waste substances in your urine, minerals and salts, waste materials you normally pass when you use the bathroom, may clump together and form crystals.
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How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones
There are several ways to decrease your risk of kidney stones, including:
- Drink water. Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses every day . Staying hydrated helps you urinate more often, which helps flush away the buildup of the substances that cause kidney stones. If you sweat a lot, be sure to drink even more.
- Limit salt. Eat less sodium. You may want to connect with a dietician for help with planning what foods you eat.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, try to lose some pounds. Talk to your healthcare provider about an ideal weight.
- Take prescriptions. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some medications that help prevent kidney stones. The type of medication may depend on the type of stones you get.
Getting A Kidney Stone To Pass
After identifying the size and location of your kidney stone, follow the recommended treatment by your doctor. The vast majority of small kidney stones are able to be passed without medical intervention and can be helped with these steps:
Drinking water: By consuming as much as 3 liters of water a day, this will help flush out your renal system.
Take pain medication: Kidney stones can be extremely painful, therefore, taking pain medication like ibuprofen can help make the passing less agonizing.
Get an alpha-blocker from your doctor: An alpha-blocker can help relax your ureter and progress the kidney stone through your system.
Cut out the right foods: Removing high-oxalate foods like spinach, beets, potatoes, and nuts, as well as animal protein can help limit kidney stone minerals from forming.
Drink juice: Consuming juices from lemons, basil, and dandelion roots can provide compounds that regulate uric acid levels and help breakdown calcium deposits.
For larger stones , medical treatment is often required to enable kidney stones to be passed through the body. Common methods of care include soundwave therapy, surgery, and using a ureteroscope.
Shock Wave Therapy: A process called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy creates vibrations targeted at kidney stones to break the larger minerals into smaller pieces that can be passed by the body.
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