How Do Health Care Professionals Treat Kidney Stones
Health care professionals usually treat kidney stones based on their size, location, and what type they are.
Small kidney stones may pass through your urinary tract without treatment. If youre able to pass a kidney stone, a health care professional may ask you to catch the kidney stone in a special container. A health care professional will send the kidney stone to a lab to find out what type it is. A health care professional may advise you to drink plenty of liquids if you are able to help move a kidney stone along. The health care professional also may prescribe pain medicine.
Larger kidney stones or kidney stones that block your urinary tract or cause great pain may need urgent treatment. If you are vomiting and dehydrated, you may need to go to the hospital and get fluids through an IV.
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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How Will I Know If I Have A Kidney Stone
To find out the size and type of kidney stone you have, your doctor may do tests, including:
- Blood tests to show if there is too much calcium or uric acid in your blood
- Urine tests to show the type of wastes that are in your urine. For this test, your doctor may ask you to collect your urine over two days.
- Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan or X-ray, to show kidney stones in your urinary tract
If you get kidney stones often, your doctor may ask you to urinate through a strainer to catch stones that you pass. Your doctor will then find out what they are made of to decide what is causing your kidney stones and how to prevent them.
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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.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Kidney Stones
Apple cider vinegar can be consumed in many ways to get rid of kidney stones. It will also provide you other health benefits. To treat kidney stones you can mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and mix in a glass of water. Do not over consume this mixture. You can also use apple cider vinegar as a salad dressing as well.
Dr. Anil Kumar Varshney describes another way of using apple cider vinegar and describes, “Take two tablespoons of olive oil, one-two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of lemon juice. This concoction increases lubrication and helps pass the stones easily.” Along with this also drink plenty of water throughout the day and choose healthy diet.
Apple cider vinegar can help you deal with kidney stones naturally. But you should not completely rely on home remedies to treat kidney stones. Before trying any home remedy you must consult your doctor. Proper treatment is extremely necessary to fight kidney stones.
Dr. Anil Kumar Varshney Senior Director- Urology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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What Is Apple Cider Vinegar
Known for treating many skin conditions and other ailments, apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples. The acetic acid content kills bad bacteria and fosters the growth of good bacteria. This makes apple cider vinegar a natural antibiotic that effectively resolves immunity, digestive and skin problems. The good part is that it causes no harmful side effects.
How To Pass Kidney Stones Fast
Kidney stones form a solid mass that grows when the chemicals and minerals in the urine harden and turn crystal-like. Once someone is struck with kidney stones, they would like to get rid of it at the earliest and would not want to have it back and go through the same. The struggle kidney stones can take through is very tough to be handled. A kidney stone can be in varied sizes, and the size of the kidney stone affects the transition cycle of the pain and naturally as well. There’s no known cause for kidney stone formation, but there can be a particular lifestyle or behavioral motivation attached to such kidney stone formation. Choose to try out some home remedies to get rid of kidney stones without any surgical methodology. It has been seen that kidney stones smaller than 4mm pass easily within a month or so, whereas stones larger than 4mm or 6mm can need treatment and will take a lot more time to pass.
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What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are solid masses of crystalized minerals and salts that develop inside the kidneys and along the urinary tract. Kidney stones happen as the result of a buildup of these minerals in your urine, especially when your urine is concentrated. They vary in size and are often quite painful.
Kidney stones may cause nausea, fever, and painful urination. Theyre quite common, especially if youve had them before or if they run in your family.
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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Natural Remedies To Fight Kidney Stones At Home
Kidney stones are a common health problem.
Passing these stones can be incredibly painful, and unfortunately, people who have experienced kidney stones are more likely to get them again (
However, there are a few things you can do to reduce this risk.
This article explains what kidney stones are and outlines 8 dietary ways to fight them.
Don’t Underestimate Your Sweat
Saunas, hot yoga and heavy exercise may be good for your health, but they also may lead to kidney stones. Why? Loss of water through sweating – whether due to these activities or just the heat of summerleads to less urine production. The more you sweat, the less you urinate, which allows for stone-causing minerals to settle and bond in the kidneys and urinary tract.
One of the best measures you can take to avoid kidney stones is to drink plenty of water, leading you to urinate a lot. So, be sure to keep well hydrated, especially when engaging in exercise or activities that cause a lot of sweating.
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Why Do Doctors Examine The Contents Of The Stone
There are four types of stones. Studying the stone can help understand why you have it and how to reduce the risk of further stones. The most common type of stone contains calcium. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet. The kidney usually removes extra calcium that the body doesn’t need. Often people with stones keep too much calcium. This calcium combines with waste products like oxalate to form a stone. The most common combination is called calcium oxalate.
Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.
How To Pass Kidney Stones At Home
Kidney stones can only exit the body via urine. Stones that are smaller than 5mm can usually pass easily. Larger stones will generally require medical intervention. Depending on the kidney stones size and location, the length of time it will take to pass varies. Thankfully, there are many natural home remedies for passing kidney stones at home effectively.
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Keeping Kidney Stone Pain Under Control
If you are experiencing the intense discomfort of kidney stones , pain control is a top priority. A 2018 analysis of multiple randomized trials looked at different pain relief medicines given to people treated in the emergency department for acute renal colic. It compared nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with paracetamol or opioids. The study found NSAIDs offered effective pain relief with fewer side effects than paracetamol or opioids. NSAIDs directly inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, which decreases activation of pain receptors and reduces renal blood flow and ureteral contractions.
Staying Hydrated Is Key
Drinking plenty of fluids is a vital part of passing kidney stones and preventing new stones from forming. Not only does the liquid flush out toxins, but it also helps move stones and grit through your urinary tract.
Although water alone may be enough to do the trick, adding certain ingredients can be beneficial. Be sure to drink one 8-ounce glass of water immediately after drinking any flavored remedy. This can help move the ingredients through your system.
Talk to your doctor before getting started with any of the home remedies listed below. They can assess whether home treatment is right for you or if it could lead to additional complications.
If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid using any remedies. Your doctor can determine whether a juice may cause side effects for you or your baby.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- What pain medicine should I take?
- Will I need surgery?
- Will the stone pass by itself?
- Should I change my diet?
- Are there any other lifestyle changes I should make?
- Will I get more kidney stones in the future?
- Are my children at higher risk of kidney stones?
- When should I call my doctor?
- If my pain is bad enough, should I go to the emergency room?
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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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.
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.
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It’s Not Just The Oxalate
Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, and even chocolate and tea. Some examples of foods that contain high levels of oxalate include: peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes. Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones, the leading type of kidney stones.
A common misconception is that cutting the oxalate-rich foods in your diet alone will reduce the likelihood of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. While in theory this might be true, this approach isn’t smart from an overall health perspective. Most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.
It is important to eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form.
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.
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