Follow These Top Warning Signs Indicating You May Have Kidney Stones
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.
Kidney Stone Pain: Firsthand Recollections Of The Experience
Ive never had a kidney stone. I dont know what its like. Thats why I spent hours reading personal experiences to understand kidney stone pain better. Wikipedia told me the basics, and ArsTechnica, StraightDope, and Reddit gave me the personal stories and recollections that created an overall picture of how unpleasant and dreadfully painful kidney stones can be .
Was bad enough that I left the party and went to myoffice and spent a large part of the night rolling backand forth on the floor in my cube debating calling my ex to come get me. Sheended up laughing, then took me to the hospital. I still owe her for helpingme.
It was what I can imagine a knife stuck in my back beingtwisted all around would feel like.
A female nurse told me it’s the worst pain a man canever feel, because a man can’t go through labor. I had mine when I was 25; itlooked like a coffee grain. Before it passed, I literally thought I was goingto die. They gave me a morphine shot right in the vein, and it didn’t do athing. They followed that with Vicodin and I passed out. I woke up a few hourslater feeling just ok.
Someone told me that the pain from a kidney stone isclose to what a woman feels while having a baby. If that is true, I don’t blamethem at all for screaming.
How Do Kidney Stones Form
Most stones form just under the inner surface of the kidney. Small crystals in your urine fuse together, similar to the way salt crystals form from evaporating saltwater.
More crystals can bind over time until a stone is formed. The stone can then continue to grow bigger and ultimately become so heavy that it breaks off within the kidney. Once free to move around, it can either stay in the kidney or try to pass down the ureter.
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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.
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Larger stones can be broken up into smaller pieces with a device that passes energy waves into the body directly at the stone, Norouzi says.
Here’s the thing: the symptoms of kidney stones in women can be easily confused with symptoms of a urinary tract infection;or even appendicitis, Clayman says.
Clearly, the treatments are very different, which is why its so important to be aware of these major symptoms.
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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:
Types Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stonesvary in composition depending on the type of minerals in the urine:
- Calcium forms about 80 percent of kidney stones mostly calcium oxalate and, in some cases, calcium phosphate.
- Uric acid crystals tend to form stones in acidic urine. The following contribute to acidic urine: excess weight, chronic diarrhea, type 2 diabetes, gout and diets high in protein and low in fruits and vegetables.
- Struvite forms in alkaline urine, often related to chronic urinary tract infections.
- Cystine is an amino acid that forms stones when in high concentration, due to a rare inherited condition. This is the rarest form of kidney stones.
Stones that form in your kidneys are not the same as bladder stones. Bladder stones develop in different ways. But small kidney stones may travel down the ureters into your bladder and, if not expelled, can grow into bladder stones.
The most common cause of kidney stones is dehydration. Youre not drinking enough water to dilute the concentration of minerals in your urine.
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Where Do Kidney Stones Come From
Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys. The crystals grow larger into “stones.” About 80% to 85% of kidney stones are made of calcium. The rest are uric acid stones, which form in people with low urine pH levels.
After stones form in the kidneys, they can dislodge and pass down the ureter, blocking the flow of urine. The result is periods of severe pain, including flank pain , sometimes with blood in the urine, nausea, and vomiting. As the stones pass down the ureter toward the bladder, they may cause frequent urination, bladder pressure, or pain in the groin.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, see your primary care physician,” says Dr. Eisner. “He or she will likely perform a urinalysis and a renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, or CT scan to confirm kidney stones are the source of your pain and determine their size and number.”
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.
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What Does It Feel Like To Pass A Kidney Stone
When you pass a kidney stone, you may feel a sudden sharp, stabbing like pain.;The symptoms of passing a kidney stone and their severity usually depend on the location of the stone and its size. The pain;usually occur on the sides of the back, abdominal or under ribs. As the stone passes into the bladder, you may feel painful urination with an increased urge to urinate. Once the stone is passed out of your body,;symptoms typically get better fast.
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 And Utis: Signs And Symptoms
Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include abdominal pain, burning with urination, increased frequency in urination, and urinary urgency. Other symptoms may accompany a UTI, including fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Urine may also appear pinkish or light red, and have a strong odor. Pelvic pain may be experienced as well.
Kidney stones symptoms include severe pain, pain that travels across the lower abdomen, pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity, pain in urination, pink, red or brown blood in urine, nausea and vomiting, persistent need to urinate, urinating more frequent than usual, fever and chills with the presence of an infection, and urination in small amounts only.
You should see a doctor if symptoms change to a pain so severe you are unable to stand or move, if pain is accompanied by nausea or vomiting, if fever or chills develop, and if there is blood in urine or difficulty passing urine.
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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.
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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
What Does A Kidney Stone Feel Like
Kidney stones;can go undetected for a while, but once one starts stirring around, theres a big chance youll be in a lot of pain. Stones that remain in the kidneys may not cause any symptoms, but if a stone moves into the urinary tract, the symptoms can get intense fast. It sounds like this could certainly be a possible cause of the symptoms youre describing.
Kidney stone pain can be felt in your side, back, lower abdomen and groin areas. It can start as a dull ache, then quickly transform into sharp, severe cramping or pain. The pain can come and go, meaning you may feel excruciating pain in one moment then fine the next.
Stones can vary in size, but some can be so large that your physician will have to break up before they pass or just remove them. However, some stones are so small you could pass them and never know it!
You may find it difficult to sit still due to being uncomfortable, and you may feel the need to urinate more often than usual. You might experience burning sensations while urinating, or notice blood in your urine. Other symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, profuse sweating, and diarrhea or constipation. Sometimes kidney stones can even cause vomiting.
If youve experienced any of the symptoms listed above, or simply need a routine check-up, dont hesitate to;set up an appointment;with one of the skilled professionals at Arkansas Urology. All it takes is the click of a button!
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Going A Small Amount At A Time
Large kidney stones sometimes get stuck in a ureter. This blockage can slow or stop the flow of urine.
If you have a blockage, you may only urinate a little bit each time you go. Urine flow that stops entirely is a medical emergency.
These symptoms happen because of shared nerve connections between the kidneys and GI tract . Stones in the kidneys can trigger nerves in the GI tract, setting off an upset stomach.
The nausea and vomiting can also be your bodys way of responding to intense pain .
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.
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Take Steps To Bypass Kidney Stones
Even though kidney stones can be common and recur once youve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them. Here are some strategies that can help:
1.;;Drink enough water. A 2015 meta-analysis from the National Kidney Foundation found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. It takes about 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily to produce that amount.
2.;;Skip high-oxalate foods. Such foods, which include spinach, beets, and almonds, obviously raise oxalate levels in the body. However, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods, such as chocolate and berries, are okay.
3.;;Enjoy some lemons. Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. “Studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk,” says Dr. Eisner.
4.;;Watch the sodium. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams . If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.
Get Rapid Relief From Kidney Stones At Your Nearest Emergency Room In Frisco Or Fort Worth Tx
The pain and frustration of kidney stones can be debilitating and wreak havoc on a persons everyday life. Not only that, but some kidney stones can cause dangerous complications when left untreated. Dont sacrifice your comfort, health, and safety when it comes to kidney stones. If you suspect you may be passing a kidney stone or have previously been diagnosed with kidney stones that are now causing you painful or worrisome symptoms, visit your nearest iCare ER & Urgent Care location in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX today. Our exceptional and compassionate team of board-certified emergency physicians looks forward to giving you the relief and confidence you deserve.
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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.