How To Avoid Kidney Stones
Here are the five ways to help prevent kidney stones:
Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups. It may help to include some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice. The citrate in these beverages helps block stone formation.
Eat calcium rich foods: Dietary calcium binds to oxalate in your intestines and thereby decreases the amount of oxalate that gets absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted by the kidney. This lowers the concentration of oxalate in the urine, so there is less chance it can bind to urinary calcium. That leads to decreased risk of kidney stones.
Reduce sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. So, a low-sodium diet is recommended for the stone prone. Current guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg. If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily intake to 1,500 mg. This will also be good for your blood pressure and heart.
Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones. If you suffer from stones, your doctor may advise you to avoid these foods or to consume them in smaller amounts.
Kidney Stones Feel Like A Stomachache
MYTH BUSTED: Kidney stones are more along the lines of a contraction, and some people it is more severe than labor, so go ask your mom if labor is just like a stomachache and send us her reaction. Trust us, the pain can range from a stabbing sensation to pain along the lines of menstrual cramps. Its definitely not a tummy ache.
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.
What Are The Treatments For Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on the size of the stone, what it is made of, whether it is causing pain and whether it is blocking your urinary tract. To answer these questions and to figure out the right treatment for you, your doctor might ask you to have a urine test, blood test, x-ray and/or CT scan. A CT scan sometimes uses contrast dye. If you have ever had a problem with contrast dye, be sure to tell your doctor about it before you have your CT scan.
If your test results show that your kidney stone is small, your doctor may tell you to take pain medicine and drink plenty of fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract. If your kidney stone is large, or if it is blocking your urinary tract, additional treatment may be necessary.
One treatment option is shock wave lithotripsy. This treatment uses shock waves to break up the kidney stones into small pieces. After the treatment, the small pieces of the kidney stone will pass through your urinary tract and out of your body with your urine. This treatment usually takes 45 minutes to one hour and may be done under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
In rare cases, a surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy is needed to remove a kidney stone. During the surgery, a tube will be inserted directly into your kidney to remove the stone. You will need to be in the hospital for two to three days to have and recover from this treatment.
How Often Do Kidney Stones Recur
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have 4 Kidneys
Kidney Stones In Children And Teens
Kidney stones have become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years. They can occur in children of any age, even premature infants, but most stones occur in teens.
Kidney stones happen when minerals and other substances normally found in urine join together to form a hard stone in the urinary tract. They can also form if there is not enough of other substances in the urine that help stop stones from forming.
Stones typically form in the kidney and ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. They rarely form in the bladder.
What Should I Think About When Deciding
There are many things to think about when deciding which option might be best to help lower your chance of getting another calcium stone. You and your doctor should talk about:
- Your eating habits and the changes to your diet and lifestyle you may be asked to make
- The possible benefits of making changes to your diet
- The possible benefits and side effects of taking medicines to lower your chance of getting another kidney stone
- The costs of the medicines
Also Check: Does Kidney Infection Cause Diarrhea
Can Kidney Stones Come Back
If youve ever had to pass a kidney stone you know how painful it could be, but the worst part is that if youve had kidney stones in the past, you have a good chance of getting them again. Not drinking enough water is the leading cause of kidney stones, but what else puts you at risk for this?
The pain from passing a kidney stone is often compared to the pain women go through when delivering a baby and to think that if you dont take care of yourself you run the risk of getting them again. Symptoms can include severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs, pain on urination, urinating little or more than usual, and many others.
If You Meet All Of The Following This Information Is For You
- You have had a kidney stone in the past.
- Your doctor told you that your kidney stone was a calcium stone . The research for this summary was only on people with calcium stones. If you do not know what type of stone you had, the information in this summary may still be useful to you.
- You want to know about options to lower your chance of getting another calcium stone.
- And you are age 18 or older. The information in this summary is from research on adults.
Recommended Reading: Yerba Mate Kidney Stones
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.
As Always Consult Your Physician
If you feel you may be suffering from kidney stone symptoms, your first course of action should always be to consult your physician. Dr. Cornell is a well-respected, board certified urologist serving the greater Houston area. Contact our office today to get a referral if you are suffering from urinary or kidney pain.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have 4 Kidneys
What Will This Summary Tell Me
This summary will tell you about:
- Changes you can make to your diet and/or medicines you can take that could help lower your chance of getting another calcium stone
- What research says about how well making changes to your diet and taking medicines work to lower the chance of getting another calcium stone
- Possible side effects of the medicines
What Are The Costs Of Medicines To Lower Your Chance Of Getting Another Calcium Stone
Thiazide diuretics, citrates, and allopurinol are all available in generic form and are usually not very expensive. The costs to you for these medicines depend on:
- Your health insurance
- Review Medicines for Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Review of the Research for Adults With Kidney Disease and Diabetes or High Blood PressureJohn M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers. 2005
- Review Medicines for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Review of the Research for AdultsJohn M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers. 2005
- Review Antipsychotic Medicines for Treating Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: A Review of the Research for Adults and CaregiversJohn M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers. 2005
- Review Medicines for Psoriatic Arthritis: A Review of the Research for AdultsJohn M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers. 2005
- Review Medicines To Treat Alcohol Use Disorder: A Review of the Research for AdultsJohn M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers. 2005
You May Like: Wine For Kidney Stones
Can You Pass A Kidney Stone Without Knowing
Once in your bladder, the kidney stone may pass through the urethra while you are urinating . Or, it may break into such small fragments that you dont notice it passing. Your kidney stone is still inside the kidney.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Va Disability Rating For Kidney Disease
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Seltzer Water Cause Kidney Stones
What Do Kidney Stone Symptoms Feel Like
You’re probably already aware that passing a kidney stone can be incredibly painful. Perhaps you’ve heard someone compare the pain to childbirth. Or maybe someone mentioned their experience with kidney stones completely recalibrated how they rate pain. Ouch.
But while the most-discussed kidney stone symptom is often the pain where it’s felt and how bad it can get it’s not the only symptom to be aware of.
“Kidney stones are fairly common and often painful, but they’re also treatable and even preventable,” says Dr. Chris Kannady, urologist at Houston Methodist. “If you think you might have a kidney stone, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible since delaying care for a kidney stone can lead to serious complications.”
But, when all you’ve heard about kidney stones is how much they hurt, how can you tell if your pain might be kidney stone pain?
Is Kidney Stone Pain Worse When Lying Down
In some cases, the symptoms may be very subtle and build up slowly. In other cases, they may come on suddenly, with no early warning signs. This pain can be severe and may lead to nausea or vomiting, or both. People often experience sharp, stabbing pain, and common measures such as rest or lying down do not relieve it.
Also Check: Red Wine Kidney Stones
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:
Risk Factors For Kidney Stones
There are many risk factors for forming kidney stones. Some of the most common ones are:
- Family tendency to form stones
- A diet high in salt, meat, and processed foods, and low in fruits and vegetables
- Low urine output from not drinking enough fluid
Other risk factors include:
- Specific inherited conditions
- Certain medicines, such as the seizure drug topiramate, for example, or the blood pressure drug furosemide, which removes excess water from the body
- Blocked urine flow
- Kidney infection
- Not enough physical activity, as when wearing a cast after surgery. This can cause calcium to leave the bones, so that an excess amount builds up in the urinary tract and contributes to stone formation.
- Bowel disease
- Surgery for weight loss
Also Check: Does Seltzer Water Cause Kidney Stones
Should You Go To Er For Kidney Stones
If you do suspect a kidney stone, a trip to an emergency room is advisable, especially if you are experiencing intense, uncontrollable pain. At the hospital, doctors can make the diagnosis and provide treatment for an active kidney stone. Imaging such as x-rays, or a CT scan, will confirm if a stone is present.
Does It Hurt To Pee Out A Kidney Stone
Pain or burning during urination Once the stone reaches the junction between the ureter and bladder, youll start to feel pain when you urinate . Your doctor might call this dysuria. The pain can feel sharp or burning. If you dont know you have a kidney stone, you might mistake it for a urinary tract infection.
Recommended Reading: Is Cranberry Juice Good For Your Liver And Kidneys
What Treatments Are Available
Because of the pain caused by kidney stones, many people find that they need pain relief. Many describe it as the worst pain theyve ever felt.
If you have a kidney stone, you will be encouraged to drink a lot of water if you dont have a medical condition that limits the amount you may have. The extra fluid is to help wash the stone through your urinary system.
If the stone doesnt pass within a reasonable amount of time, your doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . Shock waves are sent through to the stone to break them down into smaller pieces that can be passed. Sometimes, surgery may be needed.
The stone should be removed because of the high risk of infection, which could in turn lead to sepsis.