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How Will You Know When A Kidney Stone Passes

What Causes Kidney Stones

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Kidney stones, which are hardened or calcified deposits of certain minerals, salts, and other materials, develop in the kidneys themselves before traveling through the ureter and into the bladder, where they are ultimately passed from the body in the urine. Generally speaking, kidney stones affect men more often than women, though virtually anyone can develop a stone. There are a number of potential causes of kidney stones, as well as risk factors that make certain patients more likely to develop kidney stones. Some of the most common causes and risk factors of kidney stones include:

  • Dietary factors, such as increased salt, oxalate, or calcium intake
  • Certain medications
  • Personal history or family history of kidney stones

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.

Blocked Ureter And Kidney Infection

A kidney stone that blocks the ureter can lead to a kidney infection. This is because waste products are unable to pass the blockage, which may cause a build-up of bacteria.

The symptoms of a kidney infection are similar to symptoms of kidney stones, but may also include:

  • a high temperature of 38C or over
  • chills and shivering

Kidney stones are usually formed following a build-up of certain chemicals in the body.

This build-up may be any of the following:

  • calcium
  • ammonia
  • uric acid a waste product produced when the body breaks down food to use as energy
  • cysteine an amino acid that helps to build protein

Certain medical conditions can lead to an unusually high level of these substances in your urine.

You’re also more likely to develop kidney stones if you don’t drink enough fluids.

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Besides being painful, what arekidney stones?

Theyre solid formations of minerals and salts that crystalize in urine in the kidneys when concentrations are high. They can be as tiny as a grain of sand to pebble-size and larger. And they can develop at any age, from infants to the elderly.

Although some stones remain in the kidneys, others travel through the ureter and into the bladder, explains Howard Abromowitz, MD.

Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones

How Do You Know If You Are Passing a Kidney Stone ...

The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although there is a risk of recurrence . Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.

Its possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make dietary changes to prevent future stones.

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If You Think You Have A Kidney Stone

If you have been diagnosed with a kidney stone, please call 362-8200 to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment we will do our best to make sure you are seen promptly. You may be directed to the emergency department if you are experiencing intractable nausea, vomiting, pain or fever so that urgent treatment can be given.

We have a very limited number of same-day appointments therefore, it is likely that you will be directed to the emergency department for rapid evaluation. There, they will obtain scans and labs that will help confirm the diagnosis of kidney stones. From that information, we can make an informed decision about your treatment.

If you have recently passed a stone, you should have close follow-up with a urologist. Our team of stone experts can accommodate you at any of our clinic locations.

Things That Can Help You Take A Pass On Kidney Stones

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.

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Types Of Kidney Stones

Doctors break down kidney stones into types. Knowing which kind you have could affect the treatment you get. They include:

Calcium stones: These are the most common ones. Even just eating some foods very high in oxalates, such as rhubarb, or taking unusually high levels of vitamin D, can boost your chances of getting this type. You could get this kind if you typically donât drink enough water or if you sweat a lot and donât replace the fluids you lose.

Cystine stones: This is the least common typeThis is the least common type and due to a genetic mutation. In this situation your kidneys have trouble reabsorbing a compound called cystine, which ends up in the urine at higher levels and causes stones to form.

Struvite stones: Infections, especially in the urinary tract, can cause this kind of stone.

Uric acid stones: Eating large amounts of animal proteins can lead to uric acid buildup in your urine. That can eventually form a stone either with or without calcium. Risk factors include gout, diabetes, and chronic diarrhea.

Preventing Future Kidney Stones

Signs You Are Passing a Kidney Stone

Having one kidney stone means you might develop kidney stones in the future. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent kidney stones from forming:

  • Drink about 2-1/2 liters of water per day unless a doctor advises otherwise. How much water each person needs may vary.
  • Maintain a low-salt diet.
  • Limit animal protein to 6 to 8 ounces a day.
  • Lower sugar consumption.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
  • If you take a vitamin C supplement, make sure its less than 1,000 milligrams per day.

If you have a history of kidney stones, a dietician can review your eating habits and provide specific dietary tips that can help lower risks of kidney stones.

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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

Imaging 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.

Stone Analysis

Getting A Kidney Stone To Pass

After identifying the size and location of your kidney stone, follow the recommended treatment by your doctor. The vast majority of small kidney stones are able to be passed without medical intervention and can be helped with these steps:

Drinking water: By consuming as much as 3 liters of water a day, this will help flush out your renal system.

Take pain medication: Kidney stones can be extremely painful, therefore, taking pain medication like ibuprofen can help make the passing less agonizing.

Get an alpha-blocker from your doctor: An alpha-blocker can help relax your ureter and progress the kidney stone through your system.

Cut out the right foods: Removing high-oxalate foods like spinach, beets, potatoes, and nuts, as well as animal protein can help limit kidney stone minerals from forming.

Drink juice: Consuming juices from lemons, basil, and dandelion roots can provide compounds that regulate uric acid levels and help breakdown calcium deposits.

For larger stones , medical treatment is often required to enable kidney stones to be passed through the body. Common methods of care include soundwave therapy, surgery, and using a ureteroscope.

Shock Wave Therapy: A process called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy creates vibrations targeted at kidney stones to break the larger minerals into smaller pieces that can be passed by the body.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

“A kidney stone is a hard mass that’s made up of minerals , certain salts and other byproducts. They can form when these substances accumulate in the area of your kidneys where urine is produced,” explains Dr. Kannady.

Kidney stones can be as small as the point of a pen or as large as a ping pong ball.

“Typically, a person doesn’t start noticing the symptoms of a kidney stone until it moves from the kidney into the ureter, which is the tube that carries urine from your kidney to your bladder,” Dr. Kannady adds.

Kidney stone symptoms include:

  • Sharp pain in the lower abdomen, typically on one side
  • A burning sensation or pain while urinating
  • Urinating frequently
  • Feeling like you’re urinating incompletely or in small amounts
  • Urine that is brown, red or pink, which indicates the presence of blood
  • Smelly or cloudy urine
  • Feeling queasy or nauseous due to the intensity of the pain
  • Signs of infection, including fever, chills and vomiting

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Kidney stones are sometimes left unnoticed. Know these ...

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Besides being painful, what arekidney stones?

Theyre solid formations of minerals and salts that crystalize in urine in the kidneys when concentrations are high. They can be as tiny as a grain of sand to pebble-size and larger. And they can develop at any age, from infants to the elderly.

Although some stones remain in the kidneys, others travel through the ureter and into the bladder, explains Howard Abromowitz, MD.

Read Also: Constipation Kidney Stones

Get Fast Relief From Kidney Stone Pain In Jacksonville Fl

Whether you have suffered from recurrent kidney stones for years or have only recently developed your first kidney stone, the award-winning team of board-certified urologists and medical experts at Kasraeian Urology can help you get the advanced treatment and long-lasting relief you deserve. To learn more about our kidney stone treatment options in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, FL, call us to schedule your private consultation with board-certified urologists Dr. Ali Kasraeian and Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian today!

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.

  • What food may cause a kidney stone?
  • Should l take vitamin and mineral supplements?
  • What beverages are good choices for me?

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What Are The Chances My Kidney Stone Will Pass By Itself

Oftentimes, kidney stones are able to pass without medical or surgical intervention. While passing a kidney stone naturally is typically uncomfortable or even painful, many patients prefer to avoid formal treatment if possible. Increasing your fluid intake may help to speed up the process of passing a kidney stone in some cases. However, some stones have an exceedingly low chance of passing on their own. Furthermore, stones that are left untreated may cause more severe problems and/or prolonged and worsening pain. Important factors to consider when determining the likelihood that a kidney stone will pass on its own include:

  • Size of kidney stone: Kidney stones are measured in millimeters . Stones less than 4mm in size have a fantastic chance of passing on their own, while stones greater than 6mm in size nearly always require treatment and/or removal.
  • Location of kidney stone: Kidney stones are formed in the kidneys themselves and migrate to the ureter, where they often cause intense pain as they attempt to pass through to the bladder and ultimately exit the body through the urine. Stones that are detected in close proximity to the bladder have a better chance of being passed naturally compared with stones that have become lodged in the upper portion of the ureter, near the kidney.

Imaging studies performed by Drs. Kasraeian and Kasraeian can help to pinpoint the precise location of your kidney stone and measure its size in order to determine the best course of action.

Whats The Urinary Tract How Does It Work

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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.

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Sudden And Severe Pain

Adults are often diagnosed with kidney stones after a trip to the emergency room or visit to their primary physician because of sudden severe abdominal and/or back pain theyve been experiencing. This sudden and severe pain in the stomach and/or one side of the back is one of the classic symptoms of kidney stones.

Pain associated with kidney stones often comes on suddenly and is sometimes described as excruciating as the pain associated with labour, says Douglas Propp, MD, Medical Director and Chair of Emergency Medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Severe pain from which you can find no relief helps differentiate pain associated with kidney stones from a stomach ache or back strain. Pain associated with kidney stones can sometimes be confused with a backache because pain associated with kidney stones can start higher up in the back. As the stone moves closer to the bladder, the location of the pain can move lower. An important difference though: The back pain that accompanies kidney stones is unlike the pain of typical back strains because it is not associated with any movement.

One can usually figure out which side the kidney stone is on because the pain will typically, although not always, be on one side of the stomach versus the other, says Dr. Coogan.

The pain can come on at any time and is severe, typically preventing the individual from finding a comfortable position, says Dr. Propp.

Treatment Of Kidney Stones

For smaller kidney stones, pain relievers may be the only treatment needed. On average it takes five to seven days to pass a kidney stone, says Dr. Abromowitz. It may pass sooner. And if the stone is very high in the ureter, it can take up to two weeks.

Larger stones that block urine flow or cause infection may require surgery, such as:

  • Shock-wave lithotripsy, a noninvasive procedure using high-energy sound waves to break stones into fragments that pass out in the urine
  • Ureteroscopy, in which an endoscope is inserted through the ureter to retrieve or break up the stone
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy or nephrolithotripsy, used for very large or irregularly shaped stones. For both procedures, a small incision is made in the back to provide access for a nephroscope, a miniature fiberoptic camera, and other small instruments. Your doctor then either removes the stone or breaks up and removes the stone .

For ongoingprevention of recurring kidney stones, your doctor may prescribe increasing fluid intake, changing diet, controlling weight, and taking medication.

To learn more about kidney stones, talk to your doctor or health care provider or search for a provider.

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