It Has Been Said That Passing A Kidney Stone Is The Closest A Man Will Get To Experiencing The Pain Of Labor And Childbirth But Is That True
Sure, theres heavy breathing, moaning and pain involved. But, is having a kidney stone comparable to giving birth?
As it turns out, theres no cut-and-dried answer. Kidney stones can range in size, from a grain of sand to the size of a golf ball.
Kidney stone pain can be very severe, and many patients report it as the worst they have ever experienced, according to Mike Nguyen, MD, urologist at USC Urology of Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. But, how does this compare to the pain of childbirth? It turns out that the reported amount of pain in both situations is almost identical.
How Kidney Stones Are Diagnosed And Treated
Kidney stones can be diagnosed through X-ray, ultrasound, or CAT scan and are typically found after a person visits the emergency room or makes an appointment with their primary care physician because of the pain theyve been experiencing.
Dr. Propp says most patients pass their kidney stones, leading to significant relief of their symptoms. But some kidney stones require surgery to remove them. Doctors sometimes prescribe medication to either manage the pain associated with kidney stones or to help the stone pass. The smaller the stone is the more likely it is to pass on its own, not requiring surgery, says Dr. Coogan.
Decode the outrageous hospital lingo that doctors and nurses use behind your back.
What Will The Er Do For My Kidney Stones
If youâve ever had a kidney stone, then you know how painful they can be. Although you may decide to head to the emergency room for kidney stone relief, your experience can be more painful than the kidney stone. Long wait times, overcrowded waiting rooms and chaos. This is not what you need right now.
Before you call an ambulance for kidney stones or yell at your spouse to drive you to the ER, you should have a reasonable expectation of âwhat will the ER do for my kidney stones?â
As board-certified urologists whoâve been on call for the ER, allow VirtuCare experts to guide you. You donât have to go through this painful experience alone.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Kidney Stone
Routine screening for kidney stones common but not recommended for all people.
Kidney stones can be detected using imaging such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. The best imaging currently available for kidney stone detection is a CT scan.
If you have crystals in your urine, that does not mean that you have a kidney stone. Crystals in the urine are common. If you have crystals in your urine along with other symptoms of kidney stones, you should see a doctor for an exam and imaging.
When And How Soon To See A Doctor If You Suspect A Stone
At the time of a first kidney stone attack, people often arent sure what is going on and need to be seen by a doctor to make sure the symptoms arent the result of a more serious problem, such as appendicitis, says Lieske.
As a general rule, you need to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain that makes sitting still or getting comfortable impossible
- Pain with nausea and vomiting
- Pain with fever and chills
- Blood in the urine
- A strong need to urinate
- A burning sensation while urinating
If you cant see your doctor that day, head to the ER.
If stone pain and fever develop, go directly to the ER, says Timothy F. Lesser, MD, a urologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California. A kidney stone with a urinary tract infection may cause and must be treated immediately.
If urine is trapped behind a kidney stone that is blocking the ureter, the urine can become infected, says Seth K. Bechis, MD, a urologist at UC San Diego Health in San Diego. This, in turn, can cause an infection of the kidney tissue or result in the infection spreading to the bloodstream, causing sepsis, he explains.
While men are more prone to kidney stones than women, women are more likely to get UTIs, says Lieske. So its not surprising that women are also more likely to get a urinary infection associated with their kidney stones, he says.
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Treating Renal Colic And Pain Management
See your doctor if you have symptoms of renal colic or urinary stones. Your doctor can do tests to look for increased levels of substances that form stones in your blood or urine. A CT scan can look for stones in your kidneys and other urinary organs.
If you have a large stone, your doctor can do one of these procedures to remove it and relieve renal colic:
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy : This procedure uses shock waves aimed at your kidneys to break up the stones into very small pieces. You then pass the stone fragments in your urine.
- Ureteroscopy: Your doctor inserts a thin, lighted scope up through your urethra and bladder to remove the stone.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: This procedure uses tiny instruments inserted through a small cut in your back to remove a stone. You will be asleep during this procedure.
In the short term, your doctor will give you medicines to relieve the pain of renal colic. Options include:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- drugs to prevent muscle spasms
- opioid medicines
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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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.
Others Experience And Advice
I asked my doctor, why do my kidneys hurt at night? I have felt this on and off pain for many years now, but lately the pain has become more severe. After undergoing many tests, my doctor found a large kidney stone, which is going to be treated by blasting using laser treatment. I am so relieved because I have been taking pain killers for so long, and hopefully now it is all going to be better.
Anyone that has kidney pain, worse lying down? It is very difficult to sleep at night, with pain in right kidney. It gets worse when I turn side to side, so much so that I have to grab my mattress just to turn over.
I have just been diagnosed with kidney stone which causes severe pain that is far worse at night. But now I am receiving medications that seem to make my condition improve. I can now sleep at night peacefully. So if you think you have kidney pains, dont suffer see your doctor right away.
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Signs You May Have A Kidney Stone And When To Go To The Er
If you have ever suffered from a kidney stone, you know just how uncomfortable and frustrating these urinary tract stones truly are. In fact, many people consider passing a kidney stone to be among the most painful experiences one can go through. Because the symptoms of a kidney stone often mimic the symptoms of unrelated conditions, however, you may not always realize when you are passing a stone. The dedicated team of board-certified ER physicians and expert staff at iCare ER & Urgent Care in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX are proud to provide rapid evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for kidney stones to help patients feel comfortable again as soon as possible. Learn more about kidney stones here, including what signs and symptoms may mean an urgent visit to your nearest ER is warranted.
Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
While not all kidney stones can be prevented, there are ways to lower your risk of developing one or developing another one. The first and foremost way would be to drink enough fluids to ensure your urinary system gets flushed out well.
Your doctor could recommend that you avoid certain types of foods, but that is an individual call. For certain types of stones, sometimes medications are prescribed to help reduce the risk as well.
If you suspect sepsis, call 9-1-1 or go to a hospital and tell your medical professional, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT SEPSIS.
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Would you like to share your story about sepsis or read about others who have had sepsis? Please visit Faces of Sepsis, where you will find hundreds of stories from survivors and tributes to those who died from sepsis.
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Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones
The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although there is a risk of recurrence . Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.
Its possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make dietary changes to prevent future stones.
What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract.
Stones vary in size. Some are as small as the period at the end of this sentence a fraction of an inch. Others can grow to a few inches across. Some kidney stones can become so large they take up the entire kidney.
A kidney stone forms when too much of certain minerals in your body accumulate in your urine. When you arent well hydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated with higher levels of certain minerals. When mineral levels are higher, its more likely that a kidney stone will form.
About 1 out of every 11 people in the United States will get a kidney stone. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes .
Smaller kidney stones that remain in the kidney often dont cause any symptoms. You might not notice anything is amiss until the stone moves into your ureter the tube that urine travels through to get from your kidney to your bladder.
Kidney stones are typically very painful. Most stones will pass on their own without treatment. However, you may need a procedure to break up or remove stones that dont pass.
Here are eight signs and symptoms that you may have kidney stones.
2 ). Some people whove experienced kidney stones compare the pain to childbirth or getting stabbed with a knife.
4 ). Your doctor might call this dysuria.
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When Should You Go To The Er For Kidney Stones
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM:
- Intolerable kidney stone pain despite prescription pain medications
- Fever > 101 F
- Mental status changes
These can be signs of a urinary tract infection along with a kidney stone blockage. A kidney infection at the time of a kidney stone requires emergent drainage of your kidney to prevent sepsis or even death.
Why Does My Right Kidney Hurt
The Renal Tumors or Cysts happens commonly due to Renal Traumas or Obstructional disease. Maybe there is an obstruction like Kidney Stone or a Blood clot.
Kidney Pain on the right side of the kidney might also prompt rare conditions like Renal Vein Thrombosis or Polycystic Kidney Disease .
Renal Vein Thrombosis is a formation of clots in the vein that drains blood from the kidneys. It ultimately guides for cutting the drainage of one or both kidneys and the clots possible migration to other parts of the body.
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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
- blood work
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 stone’s journey.
Nothing subtle about a kidney stone
“Contrary to popular belief, passing a kidney stone once it reaches the bladder isn’t 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 shouldn’t 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.”
Treating the stone
Capturing the stone
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Reducing Kidney Stone Risk
Drinking enough fluid will help keep your urine less concentrated with waste products. Darker urine is more concentrated, so your urine should appear very light yellow to clear if you are well hydrated. Most of the fluid you drink should be water. Most people should drink more than 12 glasses of water a day. Speak with a healthcare professional about the right amount of water that’s best for you. Water is better than soda, sports drinks or coffee/tea. lf you exercise or if it is hot outside, you should drink more. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup should be limited to small quantities.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which make the urine less acid. When the urine is less acid, then stones may be less able to form. Animal protein produces urine that has more acid, which can then increase your risk for kidney stones.
You can reduce excess salt in your diet. What foods are high in salt? Everyone thinks of salty potato chips and French fries. Those should be rarely eaten. There are other products that are salty: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even sports drinks.
Some herbal substances are promoted as helping prevent stones. You should know that there is insufficient published medical evidence to support the use of any herb or supplement in preventing stones.
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Fever And Chills Along With Your Back Pain
This could also mean that you have a urinary tract infection.
If you have any of these symptoms, along with your back pain, you should call your doctor right away.
If your pain is unbearable, is associated with fevers or chills, or you have nausea and vomiting that is preventing you from keeping down fluids or medications, you should seek immediate medical attention, Nguyen says.
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