Diagnosis Of Kidney Stones
Many kidney stones are discovered by chance during examinations for other conditions. Urine and blood tests can help with finding out the cause of the stone. Further tests may include:
- CT scans
- x-rays, including an intravenous pyelogram , where dye is injected into the bloodstream before the x-rays are taken.
How Does Passing A Kidney Stone Feel
Small stones can pass without any symptoms at all, but larger stones can be a problem.
As long as the stone is in the kidney and not blocking the flow of urine, you probably wont feel it. Eventually, the stone leaves the kidney and enters the ureter on its way to the bladder.
The ureters are tiny, about 1/8 inch wide, so if a stone cant move through, its hard for urine to flow.
This can cause swelling and incredibly painful spasms . Youll feel a sharp, stabbing pain in your side or back, below the ribcage. Pain sometimes radiates to the groin and genitals.
You might find that the intensity of the pain changes as you change position and as the stone continues its journey through your urinary tract. Youll probably find it near impossible to lie still, tossing and turning in an effort to stop the pain. Pain can subside for several hours before returning.
- blood in the urine
The pain tends to ease up once the stone reaches the bladder. If the stone is small, or has broken into small pieces, you may not feel it as it flows from the bladder, through the urethra, and out with the urine.
Stones dont usually block the urethra, since its twice as wide as the ureters, but a larger stone can cause resurgence of pain.
- chills, fever
- imaging tests to check for additional stones or other problems
- 24-hour urine collection
- blood work
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.
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Why Is A Nephrostomy Performed
Your doctor may recommend you a nephrostomy if
- You have an obstruction in the urinary flow.
- The size of your kidney stone is very large.
- The treatment for kidney stone fails to relieve your pain .
- You get frequent urine infections due to the kidney stone.
- Your kidneys are getting damaged due to the kidney stone.
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.
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Surgical Treatment Of Kidney Stones
If a kidney stone does not pass out of the body with fluids and pain medications, it may have become lodged in the ureter. A variety of procedures may be considered to remove the stone. These include:
, in which specialized instruments are passed into the ureter through the bladder to withdraw a kidney stone that has become lodged in the lower third of the ureter. A similar procedure may be used to remove or crush the kidney stone using a laser or ultrasonic probe.
- , a procedure that is performed for a kidney stone located in the upper ureter or in the kidney. In this procedure, the kidney stone is pulverized by a machine using painless high-energy sound waves .
In rare cases in which kidney damage has occurred, it may be necessary to remove the affected kidney. This surgery is a .
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Where Is Kidney Stone Pain Located
The sharp pain associated with a kidney stone moves as the stone progresses through your urinary tract. The most common places to feel pain are in your:
- Lower abdomen or groin
- Along one side of your body, below your ribs
- Lower back
However, while pain is certainly the most noticeable symptoms of kidney stones, it’s not always the earliest sign or even the most telling sign, for that matter.
“The pain associated with a kidney stone typically isn’t felt until after its already formed and is passing through your urinary tract,” explains Dr. Kannady. “In addition, due to differences in anatomy, men and women describe kidney stone pain slightly differently. Not to mention that pain itself is relative and everyone has a different threshold for it.”
Plus, the intensity of the pain isn’t necessarily a measure of how problematic the kidney stone might be or become. Smaller stones that are likely to pass on their own can still be very painful. And not every kidney stone that requires medical intervention comes with gut-wrenching pain.
“Any time you’re experiencing pain, it’s important to see your doctor. But if you’re experiencing pain, even if it’s only mind, in combination with the kidney stone symptoms above and, in particular, if you have a fever or severe trouble urinating it’s definitely important to see your doctor,” warns Dr. Kannady.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Kidney Stone
It is not always possible to self-diagnose a kidney stone, though certain signs and symptoms may point to the likelihood that you have a stone. Keep in mind, kidney stones may cause virtually no symptoms early on. In fact, many patients are unaware that they have kidney stones until the stones begin to pass. Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with passing a kidney stone include:
- Pain in the back or flank, typically on one side only
- Lower abdominal pain
- Fever, chills, or sweating
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may be attempting to pass a kidney stone. The only way to determine with certainty whether or not you have a stone, where in the urinary tract the stone currently is, and whether it has a high probability of passing on its own is to obtain a diagnosis from a medical professional using imaging studies and other diagnostic tools.
What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the body’s master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that don’t move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.
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How Small Is Small Enough
The smaller the kidney stone, the more likely it will pass on its own. If it is smaller than 5 mm , there is a 90% chance it will pass without further intervention. If the stone is between 5 mm and 10 mm, the odds are 50%. If a stone is too large to pass on its own, several treatment options are available.
Kidney Stone Symptoms You Should Know
Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone knows how miserable it can make you feel. Kidney stones develop when high levels of salt and other minerals in the urine stick together. Over time, these congealed bits can form stones ranging in size from sand-like grains or small pebbles to chunks of gravel.
Some are soft, some are sort of crushable, some are more crystaline and some are more solid, like a petrified rock, says Margaret Pearle, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Kidney stones can pass in your urine without any need for treatment. But when a stone gets lodged in a bad place, especially in the uretersthe narrow passageways that allow urine to move from the kidneys to the bladderthe pain can get pretty intense. Larger stones may even block the flow of urine. That being said, stones that remain in the kidneys may not cause any pain or symptoms at all. As long as theyre not obstructing urine flow or associated with infection, they can be left alone.
A variety of factors like diet, certain medical conditions , and family history of the issue can increase the risk for developing kidney stones. One of the most important and easily correctable risk factors is dehydration. Boosting your daily water intake can reduce your risk of forming kidney stones in the first place.
Here are the key warning signs of kidney stones, plus what you can do to get rid of these little troublemakers.
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Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy And Nephrolithotripsy
A doctor may recommend these surgeries for people with large or irregularly shaped kidney stones.
Both surgeries begin after a person receives general anesthetic. To access the kidney, a surgeon makes a small incision in the back and inserts a nephroscope, which is a small fiber-optic camera.
If the surgeon removes the kidney stone through a tube, they are performing a nephrolithotomy procedure.
A nephrolithotripsy procedure, on the other hand, involves breaking down the kidney stones with sound waves and removing the fragments with a suction device.
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.
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Pain Or Burning With Urination
If it hurts to pee, a kidney stone may be to blame. Some people experience this type of pain as a stone travels through the ureter, getting closer to the bladder.
But its more likely, Dr. Pearle says, that any burning with urination is caused by an infection, such as a urinary tract infection, than by kidney stones. In one study, 8% of kidney stone patients had a UTI.
How Do I Know If I Have Ureteral Obstruction
If you suspect you have ureteral obstruction, you should see your doctor. Some of the signs of a blocked ureter are similar to symptoms of other conditions that need treatment, such as urinary tract infections , having pain, or not getting good urine output even when you drink plenty of fluids. Its important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
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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.
Back Side Or Groin Pain
A kidney stone can go undetected until it starts to act up, and then, watch out. Some people say its a pain worse than childbirth. Sometimes kidney stone pain starts as a dull ache, but it can quickly escalate to severe cramping or sharp, wincing pain.
You usually feel it in your back or side, underneath your rib cage. The pain can radiate into your lower abdomen or groin. Kidney stones in men can cause pain in the testicles or tip of the penis.
It is very episodic, colicky pain, says Dr. Pearle. It can be horrible one minute and then it just completely subsides the next.
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Get Rapid Relief From Kidney Stones At Your Nearest Emergency Room In Frisco Or Fort Worth Tx
The pain and frustration of kidney stones can be debilitating and wreak havoc on a persons everyday life. Not only that, but some kidney stones can cause dangerous complications when left untreated. Dont sacrifice your comfort, health, and safety when it comes to kidney stones. If you suspect you may be passing a kidney stone or have previously been diagnosed with kidney stones that are now causing you painful or worrisome symptoms, visit your nearest iCare ER & Urgent Care location in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX today. Our exceptional and compassionate team of board-certified emergency physicians looks forward to giving you the relief and confidence you deserve.
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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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The 4 Stages Of Passing A Kidney Stone
Your kidneys work hard to remove fluid and waste from the body. During this process, kidney stones can sometimes form. Kidney stones are hardened mineral deposits that can form in the urinary tract. They often pass unnoticed or can be extremely painful and require treatment.
This article provides a look at the four main stages of passing a kidney stone.
Effective Treatment At St Pete Urology
At St Pete Urology, we provide a multidisciplinary approach to treating and managing kidney stones of all sizes. We have assembled a highly integrated team of nephrologists, urologists, radiologists and dietary and metabolic specialists to ensure comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and proper assessment of the risks leading to the formation of kidney stones. By applying the latest technology in treating kidney stones and a broad range of noninvasive and minimally-invasive procedures for removing small and large stones, we guarantee only the highest quality and successful treatment to all our patients. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology site.
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How Long Should It Take To Pass A Kidney Stone
6 weeksFollow these guidelines if you have calcium kidney stones:
- Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
- Eat less salt.
- Have only 2 or 3 servings a day of foods with a lot of calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters, and tofu.
- Eat lemons or oranges, or drink fresh lemonade.
- Limit how much protein you eat.
How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history and possibly order some tests. These tests include:
- Imaging tests: An X-ray, CT scan and ultrasound will help your healthcare provider see the size, shape, location and number of your kidney stones. These tests help your provider decide what treatment you need.
- Blood test: A blood test will reveal how well your kidneys are functioning, check for infection and look for biochemical problems that may lead to kidney stones.
- Urine test: This test also looks for signs of infection and examines the levels of the substances that form kidney stones.
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