How Can I Speed Up Passing A Kidney Stone
If youre wondering how to help pass a kidney stone, below are five steps you can take. Some of them help break up and move a kidney stone others help you fight the pain, since being in discomfort can make it feel like times standing still.
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
Dont Miss: Kidney Medical Definition
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.
Don’t Miss: What Organ System Contains The Kidneys
When To See A Health Care Provider
Kidney stones are one of the most common reasons for visits to the emergency room.16
If your pain is not that severe, you might not feel like a trip is necessary, but if you do have the symptoms listed above, reach out to your health care provider. Along with your symptoms, imaging tests such as ultrasounds and X-rays can be used to diagnose kidney stones, along with blood and urine tests.17
Treatment options vary depending on the stone’s size, makeup, and location, as well as your level of pain.18
Smaller stones can pass on their own. Your health care provider may recommend you take a painkiller and drink plenty of fluids, and wait for the stone to pass. Taking a medication known as alpha blockers can help slightly larger stone pass.19 Use a strainer while you urinate to catch the stone, so that your doctor can analyze its makeup.20
When stones are very large, other methods are needed to remove them from your body, including using shock waves to break up the stone, ureteroscopy, or surgery.21
No matter what treatment you receive, followup is a good idea. After having a kidney stone, up to 50 percent of people will have another in the next decade.22 Your health care provider will follow up on your treatment for your first stone, as well as recommending strategies to minimize the likelihood of subsequent ones, which can include boosting your water intake and making dietary changes.
How To Pass Kidney Stones
If you get a kidney stone, youll want to try to encourage your body to pass it naturally. Some people experience a lot of discomfort, while others feel nothing. Its better to be prepared for some discomfort, as most people do feel pain while passing kidney stones. If you experience a lot of pain, but still have relatively small stones, your doctor may be able to prescribe something to help. Regardless, there are a few things you can do to help encourage natural passage through your urethra.
The most important thing when passing, and preventing, kidney stones is to stay hydrated. When you stay hydrated, you discourage mineral build-up and help keep your urethra clear and free of infection. If you absolutely hate the thought of drinking plain water, try adding some lemon, lime, or other citrus fruits. Citrus has been shown to help break up kidney stones and make passing easier.1
Eat Diuretic Foods
Increasing the number diuretic foods that you eat will keep your body hydrated through food. Consider adding asparagus, beets, celery, cucumbers, watermelon and other diuretic foods to your regular diet.
Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is primarily composed of acetic acid, which helps to actively dissolve kidney stones.3 Try adding it to your water, creating dressings, or mixing it into recipes for the best results.
Mix Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
When to See a Doctor
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
Ureteroscopy with Laser Lithotripsy
Read Also: Can You See Kidney Stones In Urine
Foods That Can Cause Kidney Stones
Your diet can contribute to the development of kidney stones. A good rule of thumb is to avoid eating too much salty food and meat. High-oxalate foods like spinach, rhubarb, almonds, beets, bran cereal, raspberries and sweet potatoes can contribute to kidney stones. Supplemental Vitamin C, fructose and sucrose can also increase kidney stones.
How To Know If Kidney Stone Moved To Bladder
Bladder stones usually form when you cant completely empty your bladder of urine.
A common reason for this in men is having an enlarged prostate gland that blocks the flow of urine.
If urine sits in the bladder for a long time, chemicals in the urine form crystals, which harden into bladder stones.
Read more about the causes of bladder stones and whos at risk.
Read Also: Can Kidney Issues Cause Hair Loss
How Kidney Stones Are Diagnosed And Treated
Kidney stones can be diagnosed through X-ray, ultrasound, or CAT scan and are typically found after a person visits the emergency room or makes an appointment with their primary care physician because of the pain theyve been experiencing.
Dr. Propp says most patients pass their kidney stones, leading to significant relief of their symptoms. But some kidney stones require surgery to remove them. Doctors sometimes prescribe medication to either manage the pain associated with kidney stones or to help the stone pass. The smaller the stone is the more likely it is to pass on its own, not requiring surgery, says Dr. Coogan.
Decode the outrageous hospital lingo that doctors and nurses use behind your back.
How Common Are Kidney Stones
Researchers have concluded that about one in ten people will get a kidney stone during their lifetime. Kidney stones in children are far less common than in adults but they occur for the same reasons. Theyre four times more likely to occur in children with asthma than in children who dont have asthma.
Also Check: Can High Bp Cause Kidney Damage
How Do Doctors Treat Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on:
- The size of the stone
- The type of stone
- If the stone is causing you pain
- If the stone is blocking your urinary tract
If your kidney stone is small, your doctor may have you take pain medicine and drink fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract and out through your urine .
If your kidney stone is large or if it is blocking your urinary tract, a different treatment may be needed. Treatment options include:
Surgical Treatment Of Kidney Stones
If a kidney stone does not pass out of the body with fluids and pain medications, it may have become lodged in the ureter. A variety of procedures may be considered to remove the stone. These include:
, in which specialized instruments are passed into the ureter through the bladder to withdraw a kidney stone that has become lodged in the lower third of the ureter. A similar procedure may be used to remove or crush the kidney stone using a laser or ultrasonic probe.
- , a procedure that is performed for a kidney stone located in the upper ureter or in the kidney. In this procedure, the kidney stone is pulverized by a machine using painless high-energy sound waves .
In rare cases in which kidney damage has occurred, it may be necessary to remove the affected kidney. This surgery is a .
Symptoms Associated With Kidney Stones
When a kidney stone starts to pass, symptoms typically occur suddenly and without warning. Sharp, stabbing pain usually develops in your side or back, typically right at the bottom part of the ribcage. Sometimes, the pain will travel downward into the genital area. Stones that have nearly passed into the bladder may be associated with an intense urge to urinate.
Stone pain typically comes and goes. After an initial period of severe pain, you may feel better for a few hours before developing another attack. Many patients will require medication to help with stone pain.
Nausea and vomiting are also very common and are often a reason for hospital admission during stone attacks. You might also see blood in your urine. This can be unsettling to many patients, but is generally not life-threatening.
The most concerning symptom during a stone attack is fever, which indicates that you may have an infection in addition to a kidney stone. This is a potentially life-threatening combination and requires immediate evaluation and treatment.
Also Check: How To Know If You Have Bad Kidneys
How Do Kidney Stones Form
Kidney stones are a fairly common condition and they can have multiple causes. Calcium oxalate stones form when calcium combines with oxalate, a substance found in your body as well as in many common foods. The way kidney stones form varies depending on the type. For example, uric acid stones are caused by the body producing too much uric acid. This, in turn, can be caused by consuming too much animal protein or having another illness such as diabetes. Several factors can contribute to the formation of kidney stones of all types.
- Genetic factors If kidney stones run in your family, you may have an increased risk of developing them.
- Diet An unhealthy diet, one thats high in animal protein, sodium, or high oxalate foods can be a contributing factor.
- Being overweight People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for kidney stones.
- Lack of exercise If your lifestyle is sedentary, you may want to start exercising.
- Dehydration Not drinking enough water can contribute to kidney stones.
Theres no single definite factor that causes kidney stones, but one or more of the above can all contribute.
You May Like: What Needs To Match In Order To Donate A Kidney
Is Milk Good For Kidney Stones
Yes. Calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and some cheese and oxalate-rich foods are beneficial for preventing kidney stones. This is because oxalate and calcium from the foods are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before entering the kidneys, make it less likely that kidney stones will form.
Cloudy Or Smelly Urine
Healthy urine is clear and doesnt have a strong odor. Cloudy or foul-smelling urine could be a sign of an infection in your kidneys or another part of your urinary tract.
One 2021 study found that about 16 percent of people with acute kidney stones had a UTI.
Cloudiness is a sign of pus in the urine, or pyuria. The smell can come from the bacteria that cause UTIs. An odor may also come from urine thats more concentrated than usual.
A UTI with a kidney stone is considered a surgical emergency with or without a fever.
You May Like: What Does It Feel Like When You Have Kidney Stones
How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones
There are several ways to decrease your risk of kidney stones, including:
- Drink water. Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses every day . Staying hydrated helps you urinate more often, which helps flush away the buildup of the substances that cause kidney stones. If you sweat a lot, be sure to drink even more.
- Limit salt. Eat less sodium. You may want to connect with a dietician for help with planning what foods you eat.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, try to lose some pounds. Talk to your healthcare provider about an ideal weight.
- Take prescriptions. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some medications that help prevent kidney stones. The type of medication may depend on the type of stones you get.
Common Kidney Stone Signs And Symptoms
Kidney stones can form when you have high amounts of salt and other minerals in your urine which turn into crystals. These crystals grow into a stone, which can range in size from sand-like grains to small pebbles to a gravel-like chunks.1
A variety of factors can lead to kidney stonesfor instance, supplementing with vitamin C increases the risk of kidney stones for men.2 Use of antibiotics may also play a role.3 The biggest factor: Not staying hydrated. Drink more liquids, and you’ll dilute urine, reduce its acidity, and remove excess salt, three tactics that can help prevent stones from forming.4
Kidney stones are known for feeling tremendously painful when they pass. But that’s not the only symptomtake a look at the most common signs of a kidney stone.
Read Also: What Does Stage 3 Kidney Failure Mean
Things That Can Help You Take A Pass On Kidney Stones
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Mens Health Watch
If youve ever passed a kidney stone, you probably would not wish it on your worst enemy, and youll do anything to avoid it again. Kidney stones are more common in men than in women, and in about half of people who have had one, kidney stones strike again within 10 to 15 years without preventive measures, says Dr. Brian Eisner, co-director of the Kidney Stone Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
The Water Cures Protocol
Start with the Water Cures Protocol. The first and simplest way to eliminate kidney stones is to do it naturally. This involves drinking water. Taking a pinch of salt on your tongue will help with the pain, discomfort and even dissolving the stone.
Any natural way to eliminate kidney stones should include the Water Cures Protocol.
You May Like: Do Kidney Stones Affect Sperm
When To See A Doctor
A person should talk to their doctor if they experience symptoms of a UTI, such as pain, fever, and frequent urination. The doctor will conduct tests to help determine whether the symptoms are those of a UTI or a kidney stone. In either case, a person may require treatment.
Additionally, if abdominal or back pain is so severe that it requires pain medication, or if a person experiences unrelenting nausea or vomiting alongside pain, they should seek medical care.
A urinalysis will determine if infection or blood is present in the urine, and a doctor will carry out a blood test to check for more severe signs of infection.
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.
You May Like: Can Too Much Calcium Cause Kidney Stones
How To Pass Kidney Stones: Find The Right Strategy
Kidney stones can be, at the very least, an annoying and painful condition and, at worst, a serious medical issue. If youre experiencing this problem, the first step is to get it properly diagnosed. In addition to following medical advice, you can accelerate your recovery by adopting the right diet and lifestyle. If your condition is serious enough to require medical procedures, you can still look ahead and make long-term adjustments to reduce the likelihood of kidney stones returning.