What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
Treating Small Kidney Stones
Small kidney stones may cause pain until you pass them, which usually takes 1 or 2 days.
A GP may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help with pain.
To ease your symptoms, a GP might also recommend:
- drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day
- anti-sickness medicine
You might be advised to drink up to 3 litres of fluid throughout the day, every day, until the stones have cleared.
To help your stones pass:
- drink water, but drinks like tea and coffee also count
- add fresh lemon juice to your water
- avoid fizzy drinks
- do not eat too much salt
Make sure you’re drinking enough fluid. If your pee is dark, it means you’re not drinking enough. Your pee should be pale in colour.
You may be advised to continue drinking this much fluid to prevent new stones forming.
If your kidney stones are causing severe pain, your GP may send you to hospital for tests and treatment.
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones
Anyone can get a kidney stone, but some people are more likely than others to have them. Men get kidney stones more often than women do. Kidney stones are also more common in non-Hispanic white people than in people of other ethnicities. You may also be more likely to have kidney stones if:
- You have had kidney stones before.
- Someone in your family has had kidney stones.
- You dont drink enough water.
- You follow a diet high in protein, sodium and/or sugar.
- You have had gastric bypass surgery or another intestinal surgery.
- You have polycystic kidney disease or another cystic kidney disease.
- You have a certain condition that causes your urine to contain high levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid or calcium.
- You have a condition that causes swelling or irritation in your bowel or your joints.
- You take certain medicines, such as diuretics or calcium-based antacids.
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Why You Get Stones
Part of preventing stones is finding out why you get them. Your health care provider will perform tests to find out what is causing this. After finding out why you get stones, your health care provider will give you tips to help stop them from coming back.
Some of the tests he or she may do are listed below.
Medical and Dietary History
Your health care provider will ask questions about your personal and family medical history. He or she may ask if:
- Have you had more than one stone before?
- Has anyone in your family had stones?
- Do you have a medical condition that may increase your chance of having stones, like frequent diarrhea, gout or diabetes?
Knowing your eating habits is also helpful. You may be eating foods that are known to raise the risk of stones. You may also be eating too few foods that protect against stones or not drinking enough fluids.
Understanding your medical, family and dietary history helps your health care provider find out how likely you are to form more stones.
Blood and Urine Tests
When a health care provider sees you for the first time and you have had stones before, he or she may want to see recent X-rays or order a new X-ray. They will do this to see if there are any stones in your urinary tract. Imaging tests may be repeated over time to check for stone growth. You may also need this test if you are having pain, hematuria or recurrent infections.
How Are Kidney Stones Treated
Once diagnosed, your healthcare provider will first determine if you even need treatment. Some smaller kidney stones may leave your system when you urinate. This can be very painful. If your provider decides that you do need treatment, your options include medications and surgery.
Medications. Medications may be prescribed to:
- Your healthcare provider may recommend that you take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or, if youre in the emergency room, an IV narcotic.
- Manage nausea/vomiting.
- Relax your ureter so that the stones pass. Commonly prescribed medicines include tamsulosin and nifedipine .
You should ask your healthcare provider before you take ibuprofen. This drug can increase the risk of kidney failure if taken while youre having an acute attack of kidney stones especially in those who have a history of kidney disease and associated illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Surgery. There are four types of surgeries used to treat kidney stones. The first three are minimally invasive, meaning that the surgeon enters your body through a natural opening , or makes a small incision.
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Get Care From An Expert
Kidney stonesare formed when there are more of certain chemicals in the urine than fluid to dilute forming a crystal. That crystal tries tomake its way out of your system through the urinary tract. Sadly, the urethrais smaller than the stone, so its a painful process. Symptoms of kidney stones can include intense pain inthe lower abdomen or back, blood in your urine, or a blockage that stops youfrom being able to urinate. If the pain you are feeling resemblesone of the stories above, get to your healthcare provider fast. They can helpwith some of the pain and put a treatment plan together.
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.
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Lifestyle And Home Remedies For Kidney Pain:
How to get rid of kidney pain at home? Here are some effective home remedies that are natural, safe and affordable, without any side effects.
You may want to try:
- Heat ;A heating pad on your abdomen, back or side can help to relieve the symptoms of kidney pain
- Hydration;;Staying hydrated can help ease kidney pain. Drink plenty of water, but do avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Pain Relief The natural home remedies below can provide pain relief, ease and treat the cause of the kidney pain, while healing, and promoting healthy kidney function.
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.
- What food may cause a kidney stone?
- Should l take vitamin and mineral supplements?
- What beverages are good choices for me?
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Who Is At Risk For Kidney Stones
Anyone may develop a kidney stone, but people with certain diseases and conditions or those who are taking certain medications are more susceptible to their development. Urinary tract stones are more common in men than in women. Most urinary stones develop in people 20 to 49 years of age, and those who are prone to multiple attacks of kidney stones usually develop their first stones during the second or third decade of life. People who have already had more than one kidney stone are prone to developing further stones.
In residents of industrialized countries, kidney stones are more common than stones in the bladder. The opposite is true for residents of developing areas of the world, where bladder stones are the most common. This difference is believed to be related to dietary factors. People who live in the southern or southwestern regions of the U.S. have a higher rate of kidney stone formation, possibly due to inadequate water intake leading to dehydration than those living in other areas. Over the last few decades, the percentage of people with kidney stones in the U.S. has been increasing, most likely related to the obesity epidemic.
A family history of kidney stones is also a risk factor for developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are more common in Asians and Caucasians than in Native Americans, Africans, or African Americans.
Uric acid kidney stones are more common in people with chronically elevated uric acid levels in their blood .
How To Take Apple Cider Vinegar
You can drink ACV if you have kidney stones. It can also be taken regularly as a preventive measure.
Always drink diluted ACV. Undiluted ACV can harm tooth enamel and burn your throat. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after consuming it.
There are several options for taking ACV.
The simplest way to take it is to add 12 tablespoons to a glass of water. Try adding 1 tablespoon of raw honey if you want to make it sweeter.
Its thought that adding lemon juice to ACV can enhance its positive effects on health. This is because lemon juice also contains citrate, which helps to further lower acidity levels in the urine. The citrate can also help prevent new stones from forming and existing stones from becoming bigger. Add 2 ounces of lemon juice to the ACV water.
For whats been called a powerful kidney stone home remedy, combine:
- 12 tablespoons of ACV
- 2 ounces of lemon juice
- 2 ounces of olive oil
Drink this concoction followed by a glass of water.
Another option is to mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of ACV in a glass of warm or lukewarm water. Sodium bicarbonate is the active ingredient in baking soda. It can help alkalize your body and make your urine less acidic. This is thought to help get rid of kidney stones and prevent them from coming back.
You can add ACV to your meals by including it as an ingredient in a host of homemade products, including:
- salad dressings
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Treatment Of Kidney Stones
For smaller kidney stones, pain relievers may be the only treatment needed. On average it takes five to seven days to pass a kidney stone, says Dr. Abromowitz. It may pass sooner. And if the stone is very high in the ureter, it can take up to two weeks.
Larger stones that block urine flow or cause infection may require surgery, such as:;;
- Shock-wave lithotripsy, a noninvasive procedure using high-energy sound waves to break stones into fragments that pass out in the urine
- Ureteroscopy, in which an endoscope is inserted through the ureter to retrieve or break up the stone;
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy or nephrolithotripsy, used for very large or irregularly shaped stones. For both procedures, a small incision is made in the back to provide access for a nephroscope, a miniature fiberoptic camera, and other small instruments. Your doctor then either removes the stone or breaks up and removes the stone .;
For ongoingprevention of recurring kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe increasing fluid intake, changing diet, controlling weight, and taking medication.
To learn more about kidney stones, talk to your doctor or health care provider or search for a provider.
Where Do Kidney Stones Come From
Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys. The crystals grow larger into “stones.” About 80% to 85% of kidney stones are made of calcium. The rest are uric acid stones, which form in people with low urine pH levels.
After stones form in the kidneys, they can dislodge and pass down the ureter, blocking the flow of urine. The result is periods of severe pain, including flank pain , sometimes with blood in the urine, nausea, and vomiting. As the stones pass down the ureter toward the bladder, they may cause frequent urination, bladder pressure, or pain in the groin.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, see your primary care physician,” says Dr. Eisner. “He or she will likely perform a urinalysis and a renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, or CT scan to confirm kidney stones are the source of your pain and determine their size and number.”
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When To See A Doctor For Your Kidney Infection
You need to see your doctor for treatment if the following symptoms appear:
- Constant dull pain on one side of your back or hip.
- Experiencing fatigue, fever and body aches.
- A recent urinary tract infection.
- You need to go to the hospital for kidney stone pain, if the pain is getting worse comes sudden, regardless of having blood or not in the urine.
How To Relieve Kidney Pain At Home
Dealing with kidney pain can be debilitating and is far from fun. If the pain is severe, it will interrupt your life and cause excessive levels of discomfort from day-to-day. Knowing how to relieve kidney pain at home will help you stay comfortable and safe while youre treating the underlying problem. Try out the following home remedies and;always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or serious concerns.
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Passing Kidney Stones: 2
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , in Cambridge, may have found a combination of drugs that can relieve the pain of passing a kidney stone. They performed their study in pigs.
Anyone who has ever passed a kidney stone knows that it can be a painful experience. Every year, over half a million people in the United States experience this pain, and about 1 in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point. Kidney stones usually leave the body without a doctors intervention, but this can be a slow, painful process.
However, the experience may soon be a thing of the past, according to a new study appearing in Nature Biomedical Engineering .
The team behind this research has found a combination of two drugs that can relax the walls of porcine ureters. Potentially, these medications could prevent kidney stones from causing such severe pain in humans.
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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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Do I have a kidney stone or is there another reason for my symptoms?
- What type of kidney stone do I have?
- What size is my kidney stone?
- Where is my kidney stone located?
- How many kidney stones do I have?
- Do I need treatment or will I be able to pass the kidney stone?
- Should I be tested for kidney disease?
- What changes should I make to my diet?
- What type of procedure should I have to get rid of the stones?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney stones can be frustrating at best and agonizingly painful at the worst. To stop your situation from getting worse, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The pain can get severe, and surgery might be necessary. Remember: dont skip your prescriptions, drink lots of water and follow any dietary guidelines. Also, remember that kidney stones are a temporary condition. They wont bother you forever.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2021.