Kidney Stone Signs And Symptoms
Kidney stones are conglomerations of crystals that form when concentrations of minerals in the urine become very high. As their name implies, stones almost always start in the kidneys. They may cause problems there, or may not be noticed until they move into the ureter . Once stones enter into the ureter the can obstruct the drainage of urine which generally causes symptoms such as pain in the upper back or lower abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine. Many stones will pass down the ureter, into the bladder and then be voided with urine. Occasionally stones can remain lodged in the ureter or within the bladder.
Symptoms In Men Women Children
The symptoms associated with the presence of a kidney stone may not always be overt. In most cases it will remain unnoticed until it enters the ureter where the pain due to ureteral spasm, dilation and wall injury is severe. At other times, a small stone may pass out of the kidney with no symptoms. However, when the symptoms of a kidney stone is present, it can be excruciating to the point that daily functioning is affected.
What Are The Types Of Kidney Stones
The four types of kidney stones are:
Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stone. They represent almost 70-80% of all stones. They are caused by a build-up of calcium and oxalate or phosphate. While there are many reasons for why calcium stones form, calcium intake, too little fluid intake, or even too much Vitamin C consumption are some of the more well recognized causes.
This type of kidney stone can be caused by urine that is too acidic or in individuals with gout. It results from the buildup of uric acid.
Struvite kidney stones are uncommon . They are typically caused by certain bacteria that may infect the kidney. Stones are comprised of magnesium, phosphate and ammonium.
Cystine stones are quite rare and usually only found in people with genetic condition called cystinuria. This condition makes them unable to reabsorb a normal body chemical, called cystine. As a result, they excrete an abnormal amount of cystine which can crystallize, forming stones.
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Rapid Access Kidney Stone Clinic
The Rapid Access Kidney Stone Clinic at the Livonia Center for Specialty Care offers kidney stone patients access to x-rays, CT scans and the option for same-day diagnosis and treatment, all under one roof. All of this is complemented by the improved access to doctors and convenient parking available at the Livonia Center for Specialty Care.
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.
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How Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
The best way to avoid kidney stones is to prevent the most common cause â dehydration. You are adequately hydrated when your urine is light yellow. Most people require between 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Scientists are studying grapefruit juice and other drinks high in citric acid, which may help prevent the most common type of kidney stone.
Ultrasonic Determination Of Kidney Stone Size
According to a systemic review published in Research and Reports in Urology in 2018, the sensitivity and specificity for renal calculi are 45% and 88%, respectively, and for ureteric calculi, they are 45% and 94%, respectively. The sensitivity of ultrasound decreased when the size of the stone is < 3 mm, and the sensitivity increased as the size of the stone increased.
The only limitation with a USG is its reduced sensitivity and specificity when compared with CT for diagnosing smaller stones of the kidneys. However, ultrasounds are usually preferred by doctors as first line diagnostic methods for determining kidney stones as USGs are easy to perform and involve less costs. They are much safer as well on particularly pregnant women. Therefore, supporting an ultrasound-first approach to determining renal colic in the emergency departments remains important for improving patient care and decreasing healthcare costs even though CT scans are more sensitive in determining small-sized stones.
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What Is A Kidney Stone Size Chart
Kidney stones vary in sizes. Therefore, as discussed above, the composition, their treatment and removal, time they take in passing through the urine, and their other characteristics may also vary based on their sizes. A kidney stone size chart is an easy way to tabulate and illustrate the important pieces of information about one or more of these factors associated with varying sizes of kidney stones.
A kidney stone size chart may show a correlation between possible treatment options and various sizes of the kidney stone. Another type of a kidney stone size chart may show correlation between kidney stone sizes and their compositions and so on.
How Long Does It Take A Kidney Stone To Form
You can have kidney stones for years without knowing theyre there. As long as these stones stay in place within your kidney, you wont feel anything. Pain from a kidney stone typically starts when it moves out of your kidney. Sometimes, a stone can form more quickly within a few months.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors. They might do a 24-hour urine test to check how quickly you develop stones.
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Will I Get Kidney Stones Again
There is high probability that one gets the stone again in his life time. Almost 40% patients can develop second stone in there life time. Therefore it is essential for stone formers to undergo a regular followup with the best urologist whether they require surgical or medical therapy for stone treatment.
What Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones may form when there’s a change in the normal balance of the water, salts, and minerals found in urine. Different kinds of changes result in different types of kidney stones. There are many factors that can trigger changes in the urine, ranging from chronic medical conditions to what you eat and drink.
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What Does It Feel Like To Have A Kidney Stone
Everyone experiences kidney stones differently. Typically, kidney stones within the kidney do not cause pain.
If a stone falls onto the opening where the kidney meets the ureter or passes into the ureter, this can prevent urine from draining out of the kidney. This backing up of urine can lead to back pain just below your ribs. Sometimes the pain can be severe enough to cause nausea and vomiting.
As a stone moves, the blockage of urine may be relieved and symptoms may improve or go away. The pain may return if the stone begins to cause blockage of urine again. This changing of symptoms is called renal colic.
Blood in the urine may be a sign of kidney stones. Sometimes the blood isnt visible to the naked eye and must be detected by a urine test.
If a stone is able to pass down the ureter and close to the bladder, the pain may move to the front of the abdomen, near the pelvis.
Stones very close to the bladder can cause pain that is felt in the genitals. A stone that reaches the bladder can cause burning with urination or changes in how often or how urgently you need to urinate.
How Long Does It Take For A 5 Mm Kidney Stone To Pass
Kidney stones usually pass out through the urine stream with in 48hours. But this depends upon the size of the stone. A 4mm stone has 80% chances of coming out spontaneously, where as 5mm stone has 20% chances. Stones more than this size usually require treatment. Medical management includes calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers etc.
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What Other Treatment Choices For Kidney Stones Are Available
Drug treatment is being studied with such drugs as such as calcium channel blockers , steroids and alpha-adrenergic blockers. The idea is that the stone might be dissolved with medication. Other drugs such as K-citrate, thiazides or allopurinol are prescribed to prevent new stones from developing. Most doctors agree that more medical trials are needed.
When SWL is not appropriate or doesnt work, some people will need ureteroscopy, a technique that goes through the bladder to reach the stone or percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a technique that goes through a small incision created in your back. Some people, in extremely rare cases, even need open surgery, a technique that involves a larger incision in your abdomen. The medical terms for kidney stone surgery are ureterolithotomy or nephrolithotomy.
How Large Of A Kidney Stone Can You Pass
The smaller the kidney stone, the more likely it will pass on its own. If it is smaller than 5 mm , there is a 90% chance it will pass without further intervention. If the stone is between 5 mm and 10 mm, the odds are 50%. If a stone is too large to pass on its own, several treatment options are available.
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Can You Pass A Kidney Stone And Not Know It
The body can naturally pass kidney stones through urine on its own. This means that you can you have a kidney stone and not know it. This is very common. On the other hand, when a kidney stone is too big to be passed naturally by the body, it may get stuck in the kidney or ureter and cause symptoms.
The Evaluation For Kidney Stones
If your , imaging is often the first step in an evaluation. For many years the standard of care was a type of abdominal x-ray called an intravenous pyelogram . In most medical centers, this has been replaced by a type of computed tomography called unenhanced helical CT scanning. In some cases, such as when a person has impaired renal function or a contrast dye allergy, renal ultrasound may be used as an alternative.
You will also have blood tests, including tests for renal function . Your doctor may suggest other blood tests as well. A urinalysis will be obtained and if infection is suspected, a urine culture will be sent.
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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.
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.
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Kidney Stone Treatments: Your Options
Many people suffer from kidney stones, but they may not know what kidney stone treatments they have available to them. Benjamin Lee, MD is the Chief of Urology with the University of Arizona School of Medicine and a urologist in Tucson. He noted several treatments and a few facts about kidney stones you may find surprising.
To put the issue into perspective, lets look at some numbers:
- In 2000, 2 million people saw a doctor for kidney stones, totaling $2.1 billion in medical costs.
- 13 percent of men and 7 percent of women will have kidney stone.
- 1 in 11 people in the United States will develop a kidney stone.
- Once someone has developed a stone, there is a 50 percent chance they will get another one in 5 years.
- Kidney stones range in size from 2 to 3 millimeters up to the size of a tangerine.
Not every stone needs to be treated, though. Some are small enough to pass on their own when you urinate. Dr. Lee noted a 3 mm stone has about 80 percent chance of passing on its own. At about 5 mm, the odds are about 50 percent, but if a stone reaches 8 mm, the odds drop to 20 percent.
Kidney Stones Without Symptoms
As we mentioned earlier, not all stones have symptoms. You might not even realize you have a stone until you have an imaging test for another health issue. In these circumstances, stones might not need treatment. However, we might recommend having asymptomatic stones removed if we think they will grow and cause discomfort later. Youll need to think about how quickly you could get treatment if the stone started giving you trouble.
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Removing Stones Through An Endoscopic Procedure
There are two common methods for removing stones through a surgical procedure: ureterorenoscopy and percutaneous nephrolithotripsy .
- Ureterorenoscopy : In this method, tiny instruments are moved through the urethra and bladder with the help of an , and pushed up into the ureter where the stone is. There the stone is either broken up mechanically or using a laser so that the pieces can be flushed out in the urine or removed using the endoscope. URS is used for stones that are bigger than 10 millimeters in diameter and are in the middle or lower third of the ureter. Kidney stones up to 20 millimeters in diameter are often removed using URS.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotripsy : In this method, an is moved into the renal pelvis or the kidney through a small cut made on your back. There the stones can also be either broken up mechanically or with a laser. Tiny forceps are used to remove the pieces of the kidney stones. This method is mainly used to treat kidney stones greater than 10 millimeters in diameter.
General anesthesia and a short hospital stay are necessary for both of these approaches.
Nowadays, more major surgery is only very rarely needed to remove kidney stones.
Will They Damage My Kidneys
Stones which block the kidney, whether they are in kidney or ureter and cause swelling of the kidney can gradually damage the kidney function. Stones can also cause recurrent infection in urinary tract which can further damage the renal function. Therefore even asymptomatic stones should be kept in surveillance.
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Medical Therapy For Kidney Stones
Most evidence suggests that stones less than 10 mm in diameter have a reasonable chance of passing through the urinary tract spontaneously. You may be offered medical expulsive therapy using an alpha blocker medication, such as tamsulosin. Its important to understand that this is an off-label use of the drug. Rarely, tamsulosin causes a condition called intraoperative floppy iris syndrome that can complicate cataract surgery.
Not all experts feel MET is worthwhile, and its use remains controversial. Discuss your options with your doctor or a urologist.
What You Need To Know About Passing Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are more common than you think. About 1 in 10 Americans experience them at some point throughout their life.1 If youve had them before, you understand how painful and debilitating they can be. If youve never had kidney stones, its important to understand what to expect. Not everyone will develop kidney stones and those that do might not experience any pain or discomfort. Regardless, you will need to pass them. To prepare yourself and get a better understanding of the underlying cause, weve put together this article on what you need to know about passing kidney stones.
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What Else Do Kidneys Do
Kidneys are always busy. Besides filtering the blood and balancing fluids every second during the day, the kidneys constantly react to hormones that the brain sends them. Kidneys even make some of their own hormones. For example, the kidneys produce a hormone that tells the body to make red blood cells.
Now you know what the kidneys do and how important they are. Maybe next ValentineÃ¢s Day, instead of the same old heart, you can give your parents a special card featuring the kidneys!
Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
Small kidney stones may go undetected and be passed out painlessly in the urine. But its fairly common for a stone to block part of the urinary system, such as the:
- ureter the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder
- urethra the tube urine passes through on its way out of the body
A blockage can cause severe pain in the abdomen or groin and sometimes causes a urinary tract infection .
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