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.
The Struvite Kidney Stone
Why they start
Because urine is filled with urea, soil bacteria that get into the urinary tract can;break it down to ammonia and create struvite from the magnesium and phosphate urine always contains.
You might wonder how soil bacteria get into the urinary system.
Because we eat them, with foods that are not cooked, and they become part of the intestinal bacterial population from an early age. In us and around us, they find a way into the urinary system, especially in women whose shorter urethra makes entry easier.;No matter how skillfully used, any;instrument put into the bladder can carry our personal soil bacteria with it.
What they do
Because they live among molds and fungi, soil bacteria easily mount resistances to antibiotics, so antibiotics given for a urinary tract infection will tend to kill sensitive bacteria and select out those that can resist them.
Soil bacteria can produce struvite stones de novo, or infect calcium stones to produce a mixed stone. Either way, struvite stones are infected by their very nature. They can become huge. Their bacteria can injure the kidneys, even enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis.
Treatment is a mix of thoughtful surgery and selection of antibiotics after such surgery to kill bacteria that remain. If the stones are;a mixture of struvite and calcium crystals, new calcium stones need to be prevented.
Kidney Stones And Possible Symptoms
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that filter the waste chemicals out of your blood and make urine. A kidney stone is a hard piece of material that forms inside your kidney when tiny mineral crystals in your urine stick together.
Symptoms of kidney stones may include:
- Sharp pain in your back, side, lower belly , or groin that may come and go
- Nausea and vomiting
- The feeling of sand or small particles passing through when you urinate
- Pain when you urinate
- Feeling like you need to urinate but cannot
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Why Kidney Stones Can Be A Problem
Stones dont always stay in the kidney. Sometimes they pass from the kidney into the ureters. Ureters are small and delicate, and the stones may be too large to pass smoothly down the ureter to the bladder.
Passage of stones down the ureter can cause spasms and irritation of the ureters. This causes blood to appear in the urine.
Diagnosis of kidney stones requires a complete health history assessment and a physical exam. Other tests include:
- blood tests for calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, and electrolytes
- blood urea nitrogen and creatinine to assess kidney functioning
- urinalysis to check for crystals, bacteria, blood, and white cells
- examination of passed stones to determine their type
The following tests can rule out obstruction:
The contrast dye used in the CT scan and the IVP can affect kidney function. However, in people with normal kidney function, this isnt a concern.
There are some medications that can increase the potential for kidney damage in conjunction with the dye. Make sure your radiologist knows about any medications youre taking.
How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones
The best way to prevent most kidney stones is to drink enough fluids every day. Most people should drink eight to 12 cups of fluid per day. If you have kidney disease and need to limit fluids, ask your doctor how much fluid you should have each day. Limiting sodium and animal protein in your diet may also help to prevent kidney stones. If your doctor can find out what your kidney stone is made of, he or she may be able to give you specific diet recommendations to help prevent future kidney stones.
If you have a health condition that makes you more likely to have kidney stones, your doctor might tell you to take medicine to treat this condition.
Never start or stop any treatment or diet without talking to your doctor first!
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Getting A Diagnosis And Treatment
Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
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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.
Diagnostic Tests For Kidney Stones
Your doctor conducts an initial physical exam and may order several tests, including blood and urine tests and imaging exams, to determine whether you have kidney stones and to diagnose the particular type and location. If you have passed a stone or had one surgically treated, your doctor may analyze the stone to determine its type and suggest additional testing to find out if you have more.
All of these tests may be scheduled on the same day as your doctors visit. Our radiologists and urologists can also review the results of scans youve had done at other medical facilities.
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How Are Kidney And Bladder Stones Diagnosed And Evaluated
Imaging is used to provide your doctor with valuable information about the kidney or bladder stones, such as location, size and effect on the function of the kidneys. Some types of imaging that your doctor may order include:
- Abdominal and pelvic CT: This is the most rapid scanning method for locating a stone. This procedure can provide detailed images of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra, identify a stone and reveal whether it is blocking urinary flow. See the Safety page;for more information about CT procedures.
- Intravenous pyelogram : This is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses iodinated contrast material injected into veins to evaluate the urinary system. See the Safety page;for more information about x-rays.
- Abdominal and Pelvic ultrasound: These exams use sound waves to provide pictures of the kidneys and bladder and can identify blockage of urinary flow and help identify stones.
For more information about ultrasound performed on children, visit the pediatric abdominal ultrasound page.
Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones
Some people are more at risk to get kidney stones:
- Caucasians are more likely to get kidney stones than African Americans.
- Although stones happen more often in men, the number of women who get kidney stones has been increasing.
- Kidney stones strike mostly people between age 20 and 40.
- Once a person develops a kidney stone, he or she is more likely to get another.
- Youre more likely to get kidney stones if:
- You dont drink enough fluids and tend to be dehydrated.
- You drink high amounts of tea and dark sodas, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
- You eat foods high in protein, sodium, and dark green vegetables .
- You are overweight. This increases your bodys insulin resistance, which increases the amount of calcium in your urine. In turn, this increases your kidney stone risk.
- You take medicines such as diuretics and anti-viral medicines. Some medicines increase your risk of getting kidney stones.
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The End Of A Very Long Post
Thats my parade.
The common animals and the rarer animals have gone by, and you have glimpsed the main ones, big and small.
The one point is what it was at the beginning. Each kind of kidney stone has its own ways, and treatment requires we know which one you have.
Likewise, for whatever that one may be, it is good to know as much about it as you can know. For long term prevention of stones is hard to come by and;ultimately what the patience and and consistency of patients themselves matters most.
Track down old reports and pull them together.
Keep copies and send everything to the doctors who care for you.
Imaging Tests That Help Doctors Diagnose Kidney Stones
Doctors typically diagnose kidney stones based on a physical exam, signs and symptoms youre experiencing , and imaging tests. ;Imaging tests that examine the kidneys, the bladder, and the ureters help doctors identify stones, says Sean Hashmi, MD, a nephrologist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.
The most common imaging tests used for diagnosing kidney stones are:
- Computerized Tomography Scan;This imaging test creates three-dimensional images of the abdomen and pelvis, does not require a contrast dye, and can be performed with a low dose of radiation, says Dr. Hashmi. ER doctors often order a CT scan for a suspected kidney stone because the test helps them make a quick and accurate diagnosis.
- Ultrasound;An ultrasound uses sound waves to create real-time images of the body. Doctors may use this test to diagnose kidney stones in pregnant women and other people who want to avoid radiation. One drawback of using ultrasound in the ER is that it may only be moderately accurate for diagnosing kidney stones, according to a review study published in February 2018 in;The Journal of Emergency Medicine. 30877-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”>7);Ultrasound can miss small stones in the kidney or stones in the ureter.
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Going A Small Amount At A Time
Large kidney stones sometimes get stuck in a ureter. This blockage can slow or stop the flow of urine.
If you have a blockage, you may only urinate a little bit each time you go. Urine flow that stops entirely is a medical emergency.
These symptoms happen because of shared nerve connections between the kidneys and GI tract . Stones in the kidneys can trigger nerves in the GI tract, setting off an upset stomach.
The nausea and vomiting can also be your bodys way of responding to intense pain .
Treatment For Kidney Stones
Your doctor can determine if sound-wave therapy can resolve the problem or if surgery is indicated due to stones being too large to pass, causing infection or other damage. If you are able to pass the stone on your own, saving it for your urologist to examine can help your doctor determine what causes your stones and what can be done to prevent additional ones from forming.
If you would like more information about kidney stones and their treatment, schedule a consultation at the Advanced Urology Institute location nearest you or visit the website.
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Uric Acid Stone Formers
The stones can be orange red, large, and numerous
The stones can be red or orange because uric acid crystals absorb hemoglobin breakdown products that;are red orange pigments;in;urine. Sometimes uric acid crystals pass in urine as a red orange gravel.
Uric acid does not have to connect itself to some other atom or molecule to make a crystal, in the way that calcium must bond with oxalate or phosphate ions to make calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate crystals. When pH is low enough to extinguish its charge, uric acid can crystallize;very fast, in seconds, and pass as an orange gravel in the urine. If retained, such crystals can grow rapidly into large stones. Because there is much more uric acid in urine than there is oxalic acid, uric acid stones can grow;very large and rapidly. Some;fill up the entire collecting system of the kidney.
Urine pH controls stone formation
But because the whole process depends almost completely on the acidity of the urine, uric acid stones are very easy to treat. Just a modest amount of supplemental alkali will make the urine of almost any patient alkaline enough that the hydrogen atoms are removed from the one crucial charged nitrogen. Water can bond there so uric acid remains in solution.;Because so simple, treatment prevents stones with certainty. Relapse need never occur.
Mixed stones require special care
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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