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How To Know If You Have Kidney Stones

Urge To Urinate Or Frequent Urination

How To Know If You Have Kidney Stones

Sometimes people with kidney stones feel like they need to peea lot. This symptom depends on where the stone is located.;Stones that are close to the bladder will have a lot of bladder symptoms: frequency, urgency, needing to get to the bathroom quickly, and going small amounts, Dr. Pearle notes.

The reason? Stones irritate the walls of the bladder and that manifests as the bladder contracting, she says, which makes you feel like youve gotta go.

If not a lot of pee comes out, you might think youre having trouble passing urine. But those bladder contractions can occur even if your bladder is empty, Dr. Peale explains. Unless the stone is actually in the urethra, there shouldnt really be trouble urinating, she says. You should always be making urine.

Kidney Stone Causes And Risk Factors

Both men and women can get kidney stones, but menâs chances of getting them are about double that of womenâs.

Itâs often hard to figure out what caused a kidney stone. But they happen when your urine has high levels of certain minerals. These include:

  • Calcium
  • Oxalate
  • Uric acid

If you donât have enough urine in your body to water down the high concentration of minerals, stones can form. Think about stirring up your favorite drink from a powder mix. If you donât add enough liquid — say, water or juice — the powder will clump up and turn into hard, dry chunks.

Things that can raise your risk for kidney stones include:

  • What you eat

Early Diagnosis Is Important

The underlying cause of kidney pain plays a key role to determine the treatment plan. And if the pain does link to a problem in the kidney, early treatment is necessary before the problem becomes advanced. Advanced kidney problem is more difficult to treat. Thats why, its important to diagnose the cause clearly as well as take the appropriate treatment as early as possible.

Generally, its recommended to see doctor promptly if you have some of the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in the back. Mild back pain usually improves with some lifestyle measures. But if it persists, seek help!
  • If you have unusual fatigue, fever, or/and body aches.
  • And if you have recently had a UTI .
  • Several tests to help diagnose pain in the kidney area include; urine tests, blood test, or sometime imaging tests .

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    • fever and chills
    • urine that smells bad or looks cloudy

    The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.

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    Kidney stones and passing a kidney stone, in particular are notorious for being painful. Theyre also surprisingly common. In fact, 11% of men and 6% of women in the United States will have a kidney stone at least once in their lifetime.

    While kidney stone pain is unmistakable, its also possible to have a kidney stone and not even know it. If the stone is small enough to pass through your urinary tract, it may cause little to no pain at all; but if its large and gets stuck, you may have severe pain and bleeding.

    Kidney stones that cause symptoms or cannot pass on their own need to be treated by a medical professional.

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    What Is Kidney Pain

    Kidney pain is discomfort that comes from the area where your kidneys are. It’s often described as a dull ache, you feel in your sides, back, or belly. But pain in these areas isn’t always a sign of a kidney issue. It’s easy to mistake kidney pain for ordinary back pain. But there are some differences in how kidney pain feels and where it’s located compared to back pain.

    Kidney pain has many possible causes, and some could be serious. It’s important to let your doctor know if you notice pain that you think may be coming from one or both of these organs.

    Where are your kidneys?

    Your kidneys are two small organs shaped like beans. You have one on each side of your body. They’re each about the size of your fist. They’re below your rib cage on both sides of your spinal cord.

    Your kidneys have important jobs. They clean out water, acids, and waste from your blood. They make urine so your body flushes out the waste. If they’re diseased or damaged in some way, they can’t do their work to maintain a healthy balance of salts, minerals like calcium, and water in your blood.

    Your kidneys also make hormones that help you manage your blood pressure, keep your bones strong, and make red blood cells.

    So it’s important to watch for any signs of kidney disease or damage, like 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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    How Long Does A Uti Last

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    If you have a UTI, its best to get it treated right away before any complications develop . Its possible for a UTI to get better on its own, but most of the time, it wont. While home remedies can help ease some of the discomfort, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic that is a much quicker and more effective treatment. An antibiotic will start working immediately and, depending on how complicated your UTI is, may clear it up in a matter of days. Be sure to always take your medication how your doctor prescribes.

    How Kidney Stones Are Diagnosed

    How Do I Know If I Have a Kidney Stone – Chelsie Ferrell, PA

    There are several tools doctors can use to diagnose kidney stones, according to the NIDDK. After talking to you about your symptoms and doing a physical exam, your doctor may order these tests as well:

    • Urinalysis: This is a test of your pee that can show whether your urine contains high levels of minerals that form kidney stones. A urinalysis can also tell whether your pee has blood, bacteria, or white blood cells in it .

    • Blood tests: Your doctor may want to take a sample of your blood to test for high levels of certain minerals that can lead to kidney stones.

    • Abdominal X-Ray: This is a picture of your abdominal area that can potentially show the location of kidney stones in your urinary tract. One major caveat, though: Not all kidney stones can be seen on X-ray.

    • Computed Tomography Scan: CT scans use a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create images of your urinary tract. In some cases you might be given an injection of contrast medium, a dye or other substance that makes certain things inside your body easier to see during imaging tests.

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    Whats The Urinary Tract How Does It Work

    Your urinary tract is vital to your body because it gets rid of waste and extra fluid. Its made up of both your kidneys, two ureters, your bladder and your urethra. Each organ has an important job :

    • Kidneys: Your fist-sized, bean-shaped kidneys are located on either side of your spine, below your rib cage. Each day they filter 120 to 150 quarts of your blood to remove waste and balance fluids. Your kidneys make one to two quarts of urine every day.
    • Ureters: After your kidney creates urine, the liquid travels through the tube-shaped ureter to the bladder. There is one ureter per kidney. Kidney stones can pass through the ureters or, if theyre too big, get stuck in them. You may require surgery if the stone is too large.
    • Bladder: Between your hip bones is your bladder, an organ that stores urine. It stretches to hold about one and a half to two cups.
    • Urethra: Like a ureter, your urethra is a tube through which urine passes. Its the final stop of the urinary tract where your urine leaves your body. This is called urination.

    What Is A Uti Anyway

    A UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens when bacteria enters into any part of your urinary system, which includes the urethra, the bladder, the kidneys or the uterus. If not flushed out of the system, the bacteria can lead to an infection, or a UTI.

    If youve ever had a UTI , you probably havent forgotten the symptoms. UTIs are very unpleasant, to say the least, and are often accompanied with one or more of the following:

    • A burning sensation when urinating

    • A strong urge to urinate often, usually passing only small amounts of urine at a time.

    • Cloudy and/or strong smelling urine

    • Pelvic pain

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    What Causes Back Pain And Nausea

    Back pain and nausea often occur at the same time. Frequently, pain related to digestive or intestinal issues can radiate to the back. This can occur if you have biliary colic, a condition in which gallstones obstruct the gallbladder.

    Morning sickness associated with pregnancy can cause nausea. Back pain is also common with pregnancy, as the weight of the growing fetus puts strain on the back. Often these symptoms arent a cause for concern for pregnant women. However, when nausea occurs after the first trimester, it may be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is a condition in which blood pressure becomes too high. If youre pregnant and experience nausea into your second trimester, seek medical advice.

    Other conditions that can cause back pain and nausea include:

    Make an appointment with your doctor if your back pain continues for more than two weeks after your nausea subsides.

    This information is a summary. Seek medical attention if you suspect you need urgent care.

    What Are Kidney Stones

    How do you know if you have a kidney stone?

    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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    Tests For Kidney Stones

    There are several ways your doctor can test for kidney stones. They include:

    Imaging tests: Doctors have various ways of taking a peek inside your body to see whatâs going on. They might try:

    • X-rays. They can find some stones, but little ones might not show up.
    • CT scans. A more in-depth type of scan is called computed tomography, or CT scan. A CT scan is a special kind of X-ray. The equipment takes pictures from several angles. A computer then puts all the X-rays, called âslices,â together into more detailed images than standard X-rays can give you. A CT scan is often used in emergencies, because it gives such clear and quick images to help doctors make a fast diagnosis.
    • Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create pictures of your insides.

    If you have a kidney stone, these tests can help tell your doctor how big it is and exactly where itâs located.

    You donât need to do anything to prepare for an imaging test. You may be told to drink more fluids to help pass the stone.

    Blood tests: These can help find out whether you have too much of certain substances in your blood, such as uric acid or calcium, that can cause stones to form.

    Urine tests: These can detect stone-forming minerals in your pee or find out if you lack substances that help stop them from forming. You might collect a urine sample over the course of a day or two.

    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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    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:

    • Calcium.
    • 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.

    Back Side Or Groin Pain

    Do you have a kidney stone?

    A kidney stone can go undetected until it starts to act up, and then, watch out. Some people say its a pain worse than childbirth. Sometimes kidney stone pain starts as a dull ache, but it can quickly escalate to severe cramping or sharp, wincing pain.

    You usually feel it in your back or side, underneath your rib cage. The pain can radiate into your lower abdomen or groin. Kidney stones in men can cause pain in the testicles or tip of the penis.

    It is very episodic, colicky pain, says Dr. Pearle. It can be horrible one minute and then it just completely subsides the next.

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    How To Prevent Kidney Stones

    What you can do to prevent future kidney stones depends on the type of stone and your medical history, so youll want to speak with your doctor about your options, Simon says. Prevention strategies might involve drinking plenty of water, making dietary adjustments , or taking various medications to help moderate the levels of certain minerals in your urine, the Mayo Clinic explains.

    Additional reporting by Claire Gillespie.

    Causes Of Kidney Pain

    Kidney pain has many possible causes. These organs are connected to others like your bladder and ureters, where you store and get rid of urine.

    Kidney stones. Intense, sudden, stabbing pain may be a kidney stone. These are mineral deposits that can grow large enough to block a ureter, a tube that connects your kidney and bladder. If that happens, you’ll feel sharp pain or cramps in your back or side. It can also spread out to your groin. As you try to pee out the stone, you might feel waves of pain.

    Kidney infection. Also called pyelonephritis, this infection could cause discomfort in one or both kidneys. You may feel pain in your back, in your side or both sides under your ribs, or in your groin. You’ll also have a fever. Urinary tract infections also cause discomfort in this organ.

    Kidney swelling. This condition, called hydronephrosis, can happen if your kidneys are blocked. Your urine can’t drain the way it should and builds up in your kidneys. This can happen in one or both kidneys and sometimes it causes pain.

    Kidney cysts. You may not feel a simple kidney cyst until it grows larger. Once it gets big, you might feel a dull pain in your side or back, or feel pain in the upper part of your belly.

    Polycystic kidney disease. This genetic disease causes many cysts to grow in your kidneys. They may cause you to feel a pain in your back or side.

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