What Are The Symptoms
Kidney stone sufferers may tell you that trying to pass a kidney stone is the worst pain they have ever experienced in their lifetime . Some of the most common signs and symptoms of kidney stones include the following:
- Sudden, severe pain that waxes and wanes in intensity. Common areas afflicted include the back, groin, abdomen, side, and genitals.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine or abnormal urine colors
- Frequent and painful urination
Though kidney stones are not normally life-threatening situations, they are typically not a pleasant experience. And its not unusual to suffer from so much pain that you make your way to the emergency room to find out what is going on.
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.
Treatment For Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones can be treated without surgery. Ninety per cent of stones pass by themselves within three to six weeks. In this situation, the only treatment required is pain relief. However, pain can be so severe that hospital admission and very strong pain-relieving medication may be needed. Always seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering strong pain.
Small stones in the kidney do not usually cause problems, so there is often no need to remove them. A doctor specialising in the treatment of kidney stones is the best person to advise you on treatment.
If a stone doesnt pass and blocks urine flow or causes bleeding or an infection, then it may need to be removed. New surgical techniques have reduced hospital stay time to as little as 48 hours. Treatments include:
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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.
When Should You See A Doctor
Consult a doctor for any discomfort symptoms or signs that suggest kidney stones. Visiting your doctor or visiting an emergency room to check for kidney stone symptoms in these situations:
- You are experiencing a series of intense and severe abdominal pain.
- Your urine appears like blood or pink
- The pain of the groin or flank is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fever. It can also be accompanied by chills, chills, or fever.
- Only small amounts of urine
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Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
How To Treat Kidney Stones Naturally
It may take a few weeks to clear the kidney stone. You can try at-home remedies for kidney stones for up to six weeks to attempt to clear them. If the pain in your kidneys is so intense that you require to consult a physician or a specialist, you can use expulsive therapy to eliminate kidney stones in just only a couple of days.
What do you need to do at home to remove a kidney stone on your own to alleviate the extreme pain?
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Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
Rather than having to undergo treatment, it is best to avoid kidney stones in the first place when possible. It can be especially helpful to drink more water since low fluid intake and dehydration are major risk factors for kidney stone formation.
Depending on the cause of the kidney stones and an individual’s medical history, changes in the diet or medications are sometimes recommended to decrease the likelihood of developing further kidney stones. If one has passed a stone, it can be particularly helpful to have it analyzed in a laboratory to determine the precise type of stone so specific prevention measures can be considered.
People who have a tendency to form calcium oxalate kidney stones may be advised to limit their consumption of foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, beets, wheat germ, and peanuts. Also drinking lemon juice or lemonade may be helpful in preventing kidney stones.
What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that stick together to form small “pebbles.” They are usually painless while they remain in the kidney. But they can cause severe pain when small pieces leave the kidney and travel through the narrow tubes to the bladder.
Symptoms of a kidney stone include severe pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist, usually on only one side of the back. The pain may spread to the lower abdomen, groin, and genital area. Other symptoms include blood in the urine , painful or frequent urination , and nausea and vomiting.
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Here Are Some Sample Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Removing Kidney Stones:
- How long should I wait for my kidney stone to pass on its own?
- How much water should I drink to help a kidney stone move along faster?
- What foods should I eat and which ones should I avoid if I have a kidney stone?
- When is it time to take further medical action?
- What non-surgical methods for removing kidney stones can you perform and what are their recovery times?
- What is lithotripsy?
If your doctor suspects that you do have a kidney stone, there are several tests that can help determine your next steps:
- Blood tests can reveal if there is excess calcium or uric acid in your blood.
- A 24-hour urine collection test can show if youre excreting too many stone-forming minerals or too few stone-preventing substances.
- X-rays and ultrasounds will show the actual kidney stones in your urinary tract.
The Evaluation For Kidney Stones
If your , imaging is often the first step in an evaluation. For many years the standard of care was a type of abdominal x-ray called an intravenous pyelogram . In most medical centers, this has been replaced by a type of computed tomography called unenhanced helical CT scanning. In some cases, such as when a person has impaired renal function or a contrast dye allergy, renal ultrasound may be used as an alternative.
You will also have blood tests, including tests for renal function . Your doctor may suggest other blood tests as well. A urinalysis will be obtained and if infection is suspected, a urine culture will be sent.
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How Can You Prevent Kidney Stones
Although its not always clear what causes kidney stones, Dr. Chang says theres at least one thing you can do to prevent them: Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of fluids: six to eight glasses a day, he advises. This dilutes the urine, because what we dont want is really concentrated urine where calcium ions can bind together easily. Instead, we want those calcium ions to be distributed across a larger volume of urine, which theoretically should also flush out the kidneys better in the event that a stone is trying to form.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments For Kidney Stones
Factors that influence stone passage include the stones size and location. The larger a stone is, the less likely that it will pass without surgery. Surgical treatment is usually recommended for stones 0.5 centimeters in size and larger, as well as for patients who fail conservative management. The procedures used today to remove stones are minimally invasive and highly effective. The most common techniques include shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Our endourology team performs over a thousand of these procedures every year, using the latest technology.
Shockwave lithotripsy is the least invasive procedure and is done on an outpatient basis. Using X-ray or ultrasound imaging to identify the stone, shockwaves are applied from outside the body to break the stone into smaller fragments that are then passed in the urine. SWL is an option for kidney stones up to 2 centimeters in size that are not located in the lower part of kidney, depending on other patient factors.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is the best option for larger kidney stones or when there are other complicating anatomic factors. PCNL involves making a half-inch incision in the back through which the surgeon extracts stones using a nephroscope. Patients typically require a one-night hospital stay, followed by a brief recovery period at home.
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What Causes Kidney Stones
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:
- 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.
When To See A Doctor
A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience severe pain in the lower abdomen or genitals. Many kidney stones are treatable using fluid therapy and pain medications.
However, stones can get stuck in the urinary tract or damage the urinary tissues. This usually requires immediate surgery.
A doctor should assess the following symptoms:
- persistent lower abdominal or lower back pain lasting longer than 4 weeks
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Overview About The Kidney Stones
Experiencing the kidney stone disease is very painful. Kidney stones are crystalline salts which are accumulated over the time in the kidneys. Its cause can be excessive calcium, oxalate, uric acid, and dehydration. Its main symptoms include pain in the lower side of the abdomen, groin area and blood in the urine. Sometimes granules are even passed in the urine as an indication of kidney stones and it also causes pain and bruising in the lining or urinary system.
Kidney stones are either of small size or large size. Small size kidney stones can pass on their own however large size stones require some treatment along with the procedure for their removal which is done by the physician. Also, the time required for the small stones to pass on their own can depend on its size and location. The farther in the urinary tract the stone is present away from the kidneys lesser is the time taken by it to pass out from the system.
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.
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Finding A Fair Price For Your Lithotripsy
Did you know the national average cost for lithotripsy is $19,000? New Choice Health takes the guesswork out of healthcare by allowing you to compare facilities and find a fair price to remove kidney stones. Use New Choice Healths cost comparison tool to make a more informed decision and to save money on lithotripsy today.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages
One advantage of this surgery is that it is the most effective technique for making sure a patient is stone-free. Most patients leave the hospital stone free. Occasionally, though, another procedure will be needed to remove a stone.
Even though it involves an incision, it is less invasive than a full open surgery to treat the kidney stone. Because it is among the more difficult surgeries, it is performed by surgeons with specialized training. Urologists and radiologists may work together on these surgeries.
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Take Steps To Bypass Kidney Stones
Even though kidney stones can be common and recur once youve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them. Here are some strategies that can help:
1. Drink enough water. A 2015 meta-analysis from the National Kidney Foundation found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. It takes about 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily to produce that amount.
2. Skip high-oxalate foods. Such foods, which include spinach, beets, and almonds, obviously raise oxalate levels in the body. However, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods, such as chocolate and berries, are okay.
3. Enjoy some lemons. Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. “Studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk,” says Dr. Eisner.
4. Watch the sodium. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams . If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.
Avoid Sugary Or Caffeinated Drinks
Carbonated, caffeinated, and alcoholic drinks can all increase a persons risk of developing kidney stones.
Research suggests that drinking caffeine can also lead to kidney stones .
Also, foods high in sugar, salt, and fat are known to increase the risk of kidney deposits and intensify the symptoms.
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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.