How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Kidney Stones
Health care professionals use your medical history, a physical exam, and lab and imaging tests to diagnose kidney stones.
A health care professional will ask if you have a history of health conditions that make you more likely to develop kidney stones. The health care professional also may ask if you have a family history of kidney stones and about what you typically eat. During a physical exam, the health care professional usually examines your body. The health care professional will ask you about your symptoms.
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.
Does Kidney Stone Pain Come And Go
What are kidney stones and how are they treated? Because of the length of time a stone can accumulate, some people may experience kidney stone symptoms for a short period of time. The pain of a kidney stone can last anywhere from one to four weeks after it begins to hurt.
Kidney stones can be prevented in many ways, but there is no one-size-fits-all diet. If your diet does not cause your stones to form, you may be eating a healthy diet. Nonetheless, you can make dietary changes to prevent stones from forming. You should drink plenty of fluids and limit your salt intake each day. You should not consume more calcium than is appropriate if you are taking calcium supplements. For the majority of people, it is usually possible to obtain enough calcium from their diet without supplements if they consume three to four portions per day. If you eat calcium-rich foods with meals, your urine oxalate level may typically be lower.
The stone has now reached the bladder. This is the final stage, which is the most painful. Contractions in the bladder can result in severe pain. It is possible that the bladder will even burst, releasing the stone and urine. There are several possible treatments for kidney stones. The stone is sometimes passed through a urinary tract tube. A stone cannot be removed by hand, so surgery is required. When your Stone is particularly painful or if you have other symptoms that are worrying, it is critical to seek medical attention.
Don’t Miss: Can Smoking Affect Your Kidneys
Urology Of Greater Atlanta
The team at Urology of Greater Atlanta in Sandy Springs, GA, provides thorough exams and diagnostic testing to identify and locate kidney stones.
After reviewing your symptoms and medical and family history, your doctor completes a physical exam and takes blood and urine samples for testing. The team also uses diagnostic imaging studies, including CT scans, X-ray , and ultrasound, to gather more information about your condition.
Lets look closer at these diagnostic methods.
How Doctors Diagnose Kidney Stones
If youre experiencing symptoms of kidney stones, most notably pain in the abdomen or on one side of your lower back, youll likely want to see your doctor as soon as you can. Stones can be diagnosed by a primary care physician, urologist, or nephrologist, but in many cases the pain is so sudden and intense that people head straight to the emergency room , with one report finding more than one million visits to the ER because of kidney stones in a single year.
Regardless of where you receive care, you can expect to undergo some combination of imaging tests, urine tests, and blood tests to confirm your diagnosis of kidney stones. Some of these tests can help determine the cause of your stones, too.
Comparing Kidney Stone Testing In Children And Adults
Kidney stones are more common in adults but can also occur in children of any age. In general, kidney stone testing is similar in adults and children. Tests typically include a physical exam, a review of symptoms, imaging, urinalysis, and blood tests.
The biggest difference in kidney stone testing in children and adults is that ultrasound is more frequently used as the initial form of imaging in children. This is done to reduce a childâs exposure to the radiation from CT scanning. However, in some cases, the benefits of follow-up CT scanning after an ultrasound may be greater than the risks.
As in adults, children may have additional testing after passing a kidney stone to better understand its composition and their risks for developing kidney stones again in the future.
Causes Of Kidney Stones
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 .
A history of kidney stones can increase your risk. So does a family history of kidney stones.
Other risk factors include:
narcotic medications. The presence of infection requires treatment with antibiotics. Other medications include:
- allopurinol for uric acid stones
- thiazide diuretics to prevent calcium stones from forming
- sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate to make the urine less acidic
- phosphorus solutions to prevent calcium stones from forming
- ibuprofen for pain
- naproxen sodium for pain
Read Also: Can High Bp Cause Kidney Damage
Can Kidney Stones Cause Lower Back And Hip Pain
When a stone reaches a height of 3 millimeters or more, it obstructs the ureter as it travels from the kidneys to the bladder. This movement, which is commonly felt in the lower back, right / left flank, or groin, can be excruciatingly painful.
Kidney stones are most commonly accompanied by severe abdominal or lower back pain. An appendix is an area of the abdomen that is inflamed. Other symptoms may be misinterpreted as an UTI if they appear as a result of kidney stones. If you have any of these symptoms, you should always consult a doctor.
If you have back pain, fever, or discomfort, see a doctor as soon as possible. Mild backaches, fevers, and discomfort, as well as mild headaches, should be evaluated by a doctor or pharmacist who can prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you have severe backaches or fever, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Kidney Testing: Everything You Need To Know
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend you have one or more kidney tests to check the health of your kidneys.
If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk for chronic kidney disease. Your doctor will likely recommend you have one or more kidney tests to check the health of your kidneys. The sooner you know the health of your kidneys, the sooner you can take steps to protect them. Knowledge is powerlearn about what these tests do and what your results could mean.
Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys become damaged over time and cannot filter blood as well as they should. Diabetes is a leading cause of CKD, which often causes no symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged.
The good news is that if you find and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to keep CKD from getting worse and prevent other health problems such as heart disease. But the only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested.
If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to prevent complications like CKD. Your doctor will want to check your kidney health, usually by testing your urine and blood.
You May Like: Is 100 Cranberry Juice Good For Your Kidneys
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.
|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.
Kidney Stones And Sciatica: What You Need To Know
Kidney stones are a common occurrence, affecting up to 10% of the population. While most kidney stones are small and cause no symptoms, some can grow large enough to cause pain. In some cases, kidney stones can also cause lower sciatica pain when sitting. Sciatica is a condition that causes pain in the lower back and legs. The pain is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the feet. Kidney stones can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain to radiate down the leg. While kidney stones are a relatively common cause of sciatica, there are other potential causes. If you experience lower back and leg pain, it is important to see a doctor to rule out other potential causes.
Moving, job issues, money issues, personal issues, and everyday life are all possible causes of sciatica. Nerves with pinching characteristics, such as spinal stenosis and disc herniations, exist. An MRI can be used to diagnose this. Kidney stones and urinary tract infections can occur together.
It is more likely that dull or sharp pain in the low back is caused by a muscle pull, spinal issue, such as sciatica, or an injury. Kidney pain is typically felt higher up in the back, though it may be felt slightly lower.
You May Like: What Is The Best Position To Pass A Kidney Stone
You Have A History Of Kidney Stones
Have you had kidney stones in the past? Even if you dont have a painful kidney stone right now, you may benefit from seeing the doctor.
A history of kidney stones makes you more likely to experience more in the future. In fact, 50% of people with kidney stones get another within seven years.
The good news is that proactive care can help lower your risk. Our team evaluates your overall health, including your diet and any medications youre taking, to see what might be causing your kidney stones.
Then, we help you implement lifestyle changes to help prevent stones. Eating a balanced diet, avoiding certain foods, and drinking plenty of water can reduce your risk of stones. If you consistently get the same type of kidney stones, preventive medication may also be an option for you.
Dont hesitate to schedule a doctors appointment if youre suffering from painful kidney stones. Our team at Advanced Urology specializes in a range of treatment options to relieve your symptoms and treat the stones.
or request your first appointment online now at one of our offices. Were in Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Culver City, and San Pedro, California.
What Are The First Signs Of A Kidney Stone
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.
Recommended Reading: Does A Ct Scan Show Kidney Stones
Can Kidney Stones Cause Pain In Hip And Leg
Kidney stones can cause pain in the hip and leg because they are located in the kidney, which is in close proximity to the hip and leg. The pain is caused by the stone pressing on the kidney, which can cause the kidney to become inflamed. The pain can also be caused by the stone pressing on the nerves that run from the kidney to the hip and leg.
A kidney stone is thought to occur in one in every ten people over the age of 20. Kidney stones are irregularly shaped masses or crystals that form in the urinary tract. Dehydration, diet, medical conditions, medications, or a family history of kidney stones are all possible causes of kidney stones. A physician gives us some pointers for early warning signs and symptoms. Nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of a kidney stone. Because of the presence of urine, the pain is usually temporary, and it will pass away as soon as it passes around the stone. Some people have infections that recur.
Kidney stones are possible, as are kidney stones in general. If you have a kidney stone that is infected, it can be life threatening. A stone may cause fever and chills in addition to other symptoms. Dr. De recommends using a urine mesh screen or a strainer to screen the urine. Your doctor will be able to advise you on how to reduce your risk of kidney stones.
How Common Are Kidney Stones
Researchers have concluded that about one in ten people will get a kidney stone during their lifetime. Kidney stones in children are far less common than in adults but they occur for the same reasons. Theyre four times more likely to occur in children with asthma than in children who dont have asthma.
Recommended Reading: How Do They Do An Ultrasound Of Your Kidneys
Identification Tests And Treatment
Not all kidney stones are alike. Some are painful, some are not. Some are small, some are large. And one stone may have a different makeup over the other. To assess the type of kidney stone you have, your doctor may ask you to collect your stones as they pass to determine the type. This can be done through straining your urine. Collection of urine over a number of days can also aid your doctor in determining the characteristics of your urine to determine an overabundance or lack of certain minerals.
Once your doctor identifies the type of kidney stone you are suffering from, its size, and other characteristics, a more solid treatment plan can be delivered. Some stones pass on their own and you might be sent home with some pain medication and instructions to increase your fluid intake while the stone passes.
Medications: If you are suffering from kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe you a narcotic for pain and treatment for infection. Some commonly prescribed medications include diuretics, phosphorus solutions, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, allopurinol.
Lithotripsy: This treatment method using sound waves to break up large stones. Once the large stones are broken up, the smaller parts can more easily pass through the urinary tract. Lithotripsy treatment often requires low doses of anesthesia because it can be rather painful and cause bruising on surrounding organs.
Tests For Kidney Stones
There are several ways your doctor can test for kidney stones. They include:
Imaging tests: Doctors have various ways of taking a peek inside your body to see whatâs going on. They might try:
- X-rays. They can find some stones, but little ones might not show up.
- CT scans. A more in-depth type of scan is called computed tomography, or CT scan. A CT scan is a special kind of X-ray. The equipment takes pictures from several angles. A computer then puts all the X-rays, called âslices,â together into more detailed images than standard X-rays can give you. A CT scan is often used in emergencies, because it gives such clear and quick images to help doctors make a fast diagnosis.
- Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create pictures of your insides.
If you have a kidney stone, these tests can help tell your doctor how big it is and exactly where itâs located.
You donât need to do anything to prepare for an imaging test. You may be told to drink more fluids to help pass the stone.
Urine tests: These can detect stone-forming minerals in your pee or find out if you lack substances that help stop them from forming. You might collect a urine sample over the course of a day or two.
Also Check: Can A Blood Test Check For Kidney Problems
When Should I See A Doctor About My Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be extremely painful when they move from your kidneys through your urinary system and out of your body. But not all kidney stones need medical treatment, so how do you know if you should go to the doctor for your symptoms?
The medical team at Advanced Urology offers comprehensive care for kidney stones whether you have stones right now or youre hoping to avoid painful stones in the future. We diagnose and treat all types of kidney stones.
Consider a trip to the doctor for your kidney stones if