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What Does A Kidney Stone Feel Like For A Woman

Can Children Get Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis) Signs & Symptoms | & Why They Occur

Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.

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When To See Your Doctor

Kidney pain is almost always a sign that something is wrong with your kidney. You should see your doctor as soon as possible to determine whats causing your pain.

If the condition that has caused kidney pain isnt treated promptly and appropriately, your kidneys can stop working, which is called kidney failure.

Its especially important to see your doctor right away if your pain is severe and started suddenly because this is often caused by a serious problem such as renal vein thrombosis or bleeding into your kidney that needs emergency treatment.

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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Why Do Doctors Examine The Contents Of The Stone

There are four types of stones. Studying the stone can help understand why you have it and how to reduce the risk of further stones. The most common type of stone contains calcium. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet. The kidney usually removes extra calcium that the body doesn’t need. Often people with stones keep too much calcium. This calcium combines with waste products like oxalate to form a stone. The most common combination is called calcium oxalate.

Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.

Why Kidney Stones Are Increasing In Women

What Do Kidney Stones Feel Like Pregnant

Various influences can affect your chances of developing a kidney stone, including:

  • Eating too much salt
  • Having too much sugar in your diet
  • Suffering with diabetes

In a study of postmenopausal women, the outcome showed that when you eat foods high in fiber and low in sugar, and when you increase your diet with fruits and vegetables, your chance of getting stones decreases. Staying hydrated with plenty of water can also lower your risk.

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Youll Likely Feel Pain When You Have A Kidney Stone

Kidney stones can grow quietly within the kidney without causing any symptoms for months or even years, says John C. Lieske, MD, a consultant in the division of nephrology and hypertension at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. However, when a stone breaks loose, it can block the ureter and start causing a lot of pain.

The pain can be so severe that many people end up in the emergency room , says Dr. Lieske, with one study finding more than one million visits to the ER in a year because of kidney stones.

Pain occurs because the stone is blocking the flow of urine, explains Daniel Marchalik, MD, a urologist and director of the kidney stone program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. The backup of urine makes the kidney swell, causing discomfort. The size of the stone isnt always important, he says. Even small stones can become lodged in the ureter and cause a backup of urine and severe pain.

As the stone travels through the urinary tract, pain can shift from either side of the lower back to the abdomen and the groin, says Dr. Marchalik. Sharp, stabbing pain that comes in waves is common.

Some women say the pain is worse than childbirth, adds Naim Maalouf, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dietary Calcium And Kidney Stones

Only lower your calcium intake below that of a normal diet if instructed by your doctor. Decreased calcium intake is only necessary in some cases where absorption of calcium from the bowel is high.

A low-calcium diet has not been shown to be useful in preventing the recurrence of kidney stones and may worsen the problem of weak bones. People with calcium-containing stones may be at greater risk of developing weak bones and osteoporosis. Discuss this risk with your doctor.

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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:

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:

Where Is Kidney Stone Pain Located

What Do Kidney Stones Feel Like? | Kidney Stone Remedies

The sharp pain associated with a kidney stone moves as the stone progresses through your urinary tract. The most common places to feel pain are in your:

  • Lower abdomen or groin
  • Along one side of your body, below your ribs

However, while pain is certainly the most noticeable symptoms of kidney stones, it’s not always the earliest sign or even the most telling sign, for that matter.

“The pain associated with a kidney stone typically isn’t felt until after its already formed and is passing through your urinary tract,” explains Dr. Kannady. “In addition, due to differences in anatomy, men and women describe kidney stone pain slightly differently. Not to mention that pain itself is relative and everyone has a different threshold for it.”

Plus, the intensity of the pain isn’t necessarily a measure of how problematic the kidney stone might be or become. Smaller stones that are likely to pass on their own can still be very painful. And not every kidney stone that requires medical intervention comes with gut-wrenching pain.

“Any time you’re experiencing pain, it’s important to see your doctor. But if you’re experiencing pain, even if it’s only mind, in combination with the kidney stone symptoms above and, in particular, if you have a fever or severe trouble urinating it’s definitely important to see your doctor,” warns Dr. Kannady.

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How Do I Check Myself For Kidney Stones

Blood tests: These can be used to determine whether you have an excessive amount of certain chemicals in your blood, such as uric acid or calcium, which can lead to the formation of stones. Urine tests: These can identify the presence of stone-forming minerals in your pee or determine whether you are deficient in chemicals that prevent them from developing.

Is It Time To See A Doctor

You should see your doctor for kidney stones if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent pain that doesnt go away with the use of over-the-counter pain medications

  • Pain that leads to nausea or vomiting

  • Fever and chills

  • Blood in the urine

  • Difficulty urinating and/or pain while urinating

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and may run diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan, to diagnose kidney stones and determine the size and location of the stones.

Your doctor also may prescribe medications to help the stone pass or ease the pain and other symptoms while you wait for it to pass naturally. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the stone, particularly if it is too large to pass naturally, or if its blocking the urine flow.

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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 Does Kidney Pain Feel Like

What Do Kidney Stones Feel Like In Woman

Your kidneys are fist-sized organs shaped like beans that are located at the back of the middle of your trunk, in the area called your flank. They are under the lower part of your ribcage on the right and left sides of your backbone.

Their main job is to filter waste out of your blood and produce urine to remove that waste along with extra fluid from your body.

When your kidney hurts, it usually means theres something wrong with it. Its important to determine whether your pain is coming from your kidney and or from somewhere else so that you receive the right treatment.

Because there are muscles, bones, and other organs around your kidney, its sometimes hard to tell if its your kidney or something else causing your pain. However, the type and location of the pain and other symptoms you are having can help point to your kidney as the source of your pain.

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Diagnosis Of Kidney Stones

When you have kidney stone symptoms, as described above, see your health care provider. Shell check your medical history, give you a physical examination, and order imaging tests, as needed.

Your doctor may ask you to drink extra fluid to help flush out the stone. By straining your urine, you may be able to save a piece of the stone. This will enable your doctor to determine the type of stone, what may be causing the condition, and how to reduce your risk of recurring stones.

If your stone doesnt flush out, your doctor may order a high-resolution CT scan from the kidneys to the bladder or a KUB X-ray to determine the size and location of the stone.

Another test used for some patients is the intravenous pyelogram , an X-ray of the urinary tract taken after injecting dye.

Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onMarch 24, 2016

Kidney stones are stone-like formations within one or both kidneys and kidney stone symptoms are important to recognize in order to get treatment right away. Kidney stone symptoms have been described as being one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. Kidney stones dont only affect the kidneys in fact, they can affect the entire urinary system.

If small enough, kidney stones can easily pass through the urinary tract seemingly painless. But if too large, surgery may be required to help break them down. In many cases, a kidney stone can block a part of the urinary tract, causing pain and even urinary tract infections .

Pain In The Back Belly Or Side

Kidney stone pain also known as renal colic is one of the most severe types of pain imaginable. Some people whove experienced kidney stones compare the pain to childbirth or getting stabbed with a knife.

The pain is intense enough to account for more than half a million visits to emergency rooms each year.

Usually, the pain starts when a stone moves into the narrow ureter. This causes a blockage, which causes pressure to build up in the kidney. The pressure activates nerve fibers that transmit pain signals to the brain.

Kidney stone pain often starts suddenly. As the stone moves, the pain changes location and intensity.

Pain often comes and goes in waves, which is made worse by the ureter contracting as it tries to push the stone out. Each wave may last for a few minutes, disappear, and then come back again.

Youll typically feel the pain along your side and back, below your ribs. It may radiate to your belly and groin area as the stone moves down through your urinary tract.

Large stones can be more painful than small ones, but the severity of the pain doesnt necessarily relate to the size of the stone. Even a little stone can be painful as it moves or causes a blockage.

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Medication For Kidney Stones

For most people with recurrent calcium stones, a combination of drinking enough fluids, avoiding urinary infections, and specific treatment with medications will significantly reduce or stop new stone formation.

Certain medications such as thiazide diuretics or indapamide reduce calcium excretion and decrease the chance of another calcium stone. Potassium citrate or citric juices are used to supplement thiazide treatment and are used by themselves for some conditions where the urine is too acidic.

For people who have a high level of uric acid in their urine, or who make uric acid stones, the medication allopurinol will usually stop the formation of new stones.

Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones

Patient Story: Kidney Stones

If you develop kidney stones composed of calcium, you may be tempted to stop eating foods that include calcium. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. If you have calcium oxalate stones, the most common type, its recommended that you have a diet higher in calcium and lower in oxalate.

Foods that are high in calcium include:

Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.

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Kidney Stone Treatment Options

The key to treating kidney stones is to get the right diagnosis through imaging to see the size and location of the stone.

The pain really comes from the stone blocking the collecting system within the kidney so urine cant get by. The obstruction causes the pain. So, to treat this, we work to reduce the pressure in the kidney, says Sweet.

The first course of action is usually to treat the pain and reduce inflammation using medications to see if the stone will break down and pass on its own. If a stone wont pass, further treatment can reduce the pressure inside the kidney and reduce the risk of infection.

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.

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Who Is Most Affected By Kidney Stones

Kidney stones aren’t new. Evidence of bladder stones was found in a seven thousand year old Egyptian mummy. Bladder stones were well-known in Hippocrates’ time in Ancient Greece. But kidney stones are becoming more common in the United States and more common in women. We used to think that kidney stones were a problem for middle aged men but now, they’re becoming more common in middle aged women and can also be a problem in pregnancy.

Once someone’s had one kidney stone, they have about a 50/50 chance of getting another. Ow! Kidney stones now affect about one in ten men in their lifetime and one in twelve women. There are different kinds of minerals in kidney stones but the most common are calcium containing stones. There are some diseases that are associated with kidney stones like gout or overactive parathyroid gland and others but the most common stones just happen.

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