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How To Tell If Your Getting Kidney Stones

Follow These Top Warning Signs Indicating You May Have Kidney Stones

Kidney & Bladder Health : How to Pass a Kidney Stone

About one out of every ten people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives, according to the National Kidney Foundation, with stones occurring about twice as often in men. Kidney stones have become more common during the past couple of decades. That increase could be due to the concurrent rise in obesity, which is a potential risk factor for kidney stones.

Kidney stones form when minerals and salts in your blood create hard concretions inside your kidneys. Normally, your kidneys filter out these materials, but when concentrations are high or when your kidneys are overworked or arent working normally, the substances can collect and clump together, forming sharp crystals. Very small stones may be excreted on their own when you urinate. But sometimes, the crystals get stuck and thats typically when most symptoms begin.

Larger kidney stones usually cause significant symptoms almost right away. With smaller stones, the symptoms can be less obvious and more difficult to discern. If you have a kidney stone, getting prompt medical care is essential for preventing complications. Heres a list of some of the most common kidney stone symptoms to watch out for.

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

Signs Of Kidney Disease

  • You’re more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak and can make it hard to concentrate. Another complication of kidney disease is anemia, which can cause weakness and fatigue.
  • You’re having trouble sleeping. When the kidneys aren’t filtering properly, toxins stay in the blood rather than leaving the body through the urine. This can make it difficult to sleep. There is also a link between obesity and chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea is more common in those with chronic kidney disease, compared with the general population.
  • You have dry and itchy skin. Healthy kidneys do many important jobs. They remove wastes and extra fluid from your body, help make red blood cells, help keep bones strong and work to maintain the right amount of minerals in your blood.Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often accompanies advanced kidney disease, when the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.
  • You feel the need to urinate more often. If you feel the need to urinate more often, especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease. When the kidneys filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate. Sometimes this can also be a sign of a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men.
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    Causes Of Kidney Stones

    The most common cause of kidney stones isdehydration. Youre not drinking enough water to dilute the concentration of minerals in your urine .;Recommended water consumption is about two liters or half a gallon of water a day.

    Water is the best fluid to drink in order to prevent kidney stones, Dr. Abromowitz explains. But water from a well is very high in solutes, which increases your chance of kidney stones. So i f you’re drinking well water, you ought to have a purification system on it. Every year I see patients who develop a kidney stone for this reason.

    Other kidney stone risk factors include:

    • Too little or too much exercise
    • Being overweight
    • Eating food with excess salt, sugar, and animal protein
    • Weight loss surgery
    • Kidney infections. Infections increase the risk of kidney stones by slowing urine flow or changing the acid balance of urine.
    • Family history of kidney stones
    • Some drugs used to treat AIDS, seizures, and migraines can cause kidney stones.

    Why Wait Until Your Kidneys Are Diseased

    How To Know If I Have Kidney Stones

    While the study was conducted on people with kidney disease, we could safely extrapolate the recommendations to those who want to avoid kidney disease and achieve optimal kidney function now, especially as we age.

    In fact, additional research points to the actuality of physiological changes in the kidneys as we age. The research notes that a progressive reduction of the glomerular filtration rate and renal blood flow are observed in conjunction with aging. The reason for these phenomena is a decrease in the plasma flow in the glomerulus, a bundle of capillaries that partially form the renal corpuscle.2

    In addition, the aging kidneys experience other structural changes, such as a loss of renal mass, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli that constrict or dilate blood vessels. The study concludes with a notable summation:

    age-related changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, such as reduced cardiac output and systemic hypertension, are likely to play a role in reducing renal perfusion and filtration. Finally, it is hypothesized that increases in cellular oxidative stress that accompany aging result in endothelial cell dysfunction and changes in vasoactive mediators resulting in increased atherosclerosis, hypertension and glomerulosclerosis.2

    Read Also: Will A Kidney Infection Clear Up On Its Own

    Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented

    While not all kidney stones can be prevented, there are ways to lower your risk of developing one or developing another one. The first and foremost way would be to drink enough fluids to ensure your urinary system gets flushed out well.

    Your doctor could recommend that you avoid certain types of foods, but that is an individual call. For certain types of stones, sometimes medications are prescribed to help reduce the risk as well.

    If you suspect sepsis, call 9-1-1 or go to a hospital and tell your medical professional, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT SEPSIS.;

    The information here is also available as a , which is a downloadable format for easier printing.

    Would you like to share your story about sepsis or read about others who have had sepsis? Please visit Faces of Sepsis, where you will find hundreds of stories from survivors and tributes to those who died from sepsis.

    Treating Renal Colic And Pain Management

    See your doctor if you have symptoms of renal colic or urinary stones. Your doctor can do tests to look for increased levels of substances that form stones in your blood or urine. A CT scan can look for stones in your kidneys and other urinary organs.

    If you have a large stone, your doctor can do one of these procedures to remove it and relieve renal colic:

    • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy : This procedure uses shock waves aimed at your kidneys to break up the stones into very small pieces. You then pass the stone fragments in your urine.
    • Ureteroscopy: Your doctor inserts a thin, lighted scope up through your urethra and bladder to remove the stone.
    • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: This procedure uses tiny instruments inserted through a small cut in your back to remove a stone. You will be asleep during this procedure.

    In the short term, your doctor will give you medicines to relieve the pain of renal colic. Options include:

    • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
    • drugs to prevent muscle spasms
    • opioid medicines

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    It’s Not One And Done

    Passing a kidney stone is often described as one of the most painful experiences a person can have, but unfortunately, it’s not always a one-time event. Studies have shown that having even one stone greatly increases your chances of having another. “Most people will want to do anything they can to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Dr. Jhagroo. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the case that people make the changes they need to after their first stone event.”

    Research conducted by Dr. Jhagroo shows that those with kidney stones do not always heed the advice of their nephrologists and urinary specialists. About 15% of kidney stone patients didn’t take prescribed medications and 41% did not follow the nutritional advice that would keep stones from recurring. Without the right medications and diet adjustments, stones can come back, and recurring kidney stones also could be an indicator of other problems, including kidney disease.

    You Arent Eating Enough Fruits & Vegetables

    How To Get Rid Of Kidney Stones Fast Using Natural Methods

    Some people overdo the oxalate restriction and cut out too many fruits and vegetables. Contradictory oxalate food lists and websites spreading false, alarmist information about oxalate can scare people away from eating ANY healthy fruits and veggies. However, fruits and vegetables are non-negotiable for kidney stone prevention.

    In every single study Ive ever read, people who eat more fruits and vegetables are less likely to form kidney stones. Although most fruits and vegetables do have a least a little oxalate, they also have all sorts of good things in them that can help prevent kidney stones. Citrate, potassium, magnesium and alkali are examples. They are also a critical piece of a balanced meal. Without them, meals are usually too high in either protein or carbohydrate, which could contribute to stones as well.

    A strict low oxalate diet of 50mg or less per day makes it very difficult to eat a variety of nutritious foods. And, may be doing more harm than good. For most people, simply avoiding foods very high in oxalate, along with eating enough calcium, is enough to bring urine oxalate down to safe levels.

    Foods Very High in Oxalate

    • Spinach
    • Navy Beans
    • Miso

    If taking these foods out of your diet doesnt lower urine oxalate, I usually recommend 100mg of oxalate per day. However, your diet should be individualized to your 24-hour urine results.

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    Ok So How Do I Make Sure I Never Get A Uti Or A Kidney Infection

    As they say, prevention is the best cure! And there are many things you can do to ensure that youre reducing your risk for an infection, and preventing build up from occurring in the kidneys.;

    • Practice good hygiene. Always wipe from front to back, keep your genital area clean, wash before and after sex. Basically, do your best to keep bacteria from even having a chance of getting into the urinary system in the first place.

    • Drink lots of water. If youre dehydrated, youre not only increasing your chance of a UTI, but youre also decreasing your urine output, meaning that more minerals have a chance to build up and settle in the urinary tract or kidneys.

    • Make sure to urinate whenever you feel you have to go. Dont hold it in. This concentrates the urine allowing bacteria to build up and spread.

    • Alter your diet if you find youre prone to kidney stones. Cut down on certain meats and shellfish and opting instead for more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid consuming too much sugar. Cut back on sodium, and eat more oxalate-rich foods .

    And if you do start experiencing any of the symptoms above, be sure to see a doctor right away. UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones can usually be treated fairly easily, but its important to seek medical attention before any complications develop.

    How Common Are Kidney Stones

    Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives.

    The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3.8% in the late 1970s to 8.8% in the late 2000s. The prevalence of kidney stones was 10% during 20132014. The risk of kidney stones is about 11% in men and 9% in women. Other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity may increase the risk for kidney stones.

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    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

    What Are Some Early

    10 Signs of Kidney Stones
    • Pain in stomach, back, side
    • Has been compared to the pain of childbirth
    • When a stone moves into the ureter, it causes a blockage, creating pressure in the kidney
    • Pain can start suddenly and vary in intensity/locations; comes in waves that can last for minutes; back pain tends to spread
    • Please note: the presence of back pain, or even pain that you identify as being near your kidneys, does not mean you should begin worrying you may have kidney stones. Please visit a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to palpate the area and determine if the pain is coming from the area around your kidneys or the area around your spine.
  • Pain during urination/frequency
  • When the stone reaches the intersection between bladder and ureter, pain is felt during urination; often is a sharp/burning sensation
  • Often mistaken for urinary tract infections
  • Needing to urinate irregularly often is a major sign of kidney stones
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood usually pink, brown, or red
  • Sometimes blood cells are too microscopic for human eyes, but ask your doctor to test you for this issue
  • Cloudy/odorous urine
  • Smelly urine can be a signal of infection in kidneys/urinary tract
  • Cloudy urine signals pus could be in urine
  • Inability to empty bladder
  • Blockages caused by kidney stones can halt/slow urine flow
  • If unable to urinate, go to the nearest medical center
  • Queasiness/vomiting
  • Fever/chills
  • Signals infection in kidneys/urinary tract
  • If experiencing fever with any sort of pain, go to nearest medical center
  • Men:

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

    Kidney stones can pass without any pain or discomfort, but more often they will obstruct the ureter or renal pelvis and cause pain that can be followed by urinary urgency, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms include:

    • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
    • Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
    • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
    • Pain on urination
    • Pink, red or brown urine
    • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
    • Urinating more often than usual
    • Fever and chills if an infection is present

    If you have blood in the urine, difficulty passing urine, or pain associated with vomiting, talk to your doctor or find the ER closest to you.

    Treatment for Kidney Stones

    BayCare offers the following surgical treatments for kidney stones:

    • Lithotripsy

    Back Side Or Groin Pain

    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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    Kidney Stones Werent Caused By Your Diet

    Lastly, it is important to acknowledge the limitations of nutrition. Not all kidney stones are caused by what you eat. If diet is not the cause, changing it isnt going to help prevent kidney stones. It is important to find a doctor who specializes in kidney stone prevention to figure out the cause of your kidney stones and determine if eating certain foods will help you stay stone free!

    Happy Eating!

    How Long Do Kidney Stone Symptoms Last

    How to Know If Youâre Suffering From a Kidney Stone

    As mentioned, the time frame for these symptoms can be as short as a week or up to a month and beyond. So, even if it feels like your kidney stone pain has subsided, it’s important to reach out to your doctor since sporadic pain is common with this condition.

    “While some kidney stones pass on their own, others require treatment such as medications or procedures to help break up the stone or even surgical removal. Your doctor can perform the tests needed to determine whether the stone is likely to pass on its own or if you might need treatment. In addition, your doctor can help you manage the pain associated with passing the stone,” adds Dr. Kannady.

    Recommended Reading: Is Potassium Bad For Your Kidneys

    Symptoms Of A Kidney Stone

    Small stones move into the bladder and out of the body with minimal symptoms.

    Larger stones, though, can become lodged in the ureter, block urine flow and cause sharp pain in your back, side, lower abdomen or groin, and blood in your urine. Symptoms may also include burning urination, nausea, and fever. Fever could indicate a serious infection, a reason to call to your doctor immediately.

    The location of your pain signals the location of your kidney stone:

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