What Are Kidney Stones Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Kidney stones are common if you havent had a kidney stone, you likely know someone who has. Kidney stones affect 1 in 11 people in the United States. Overall, about 19 percent of men and 9 percent of women in the United States will develop a kidney stone by the time they are 70 years old.
Kidney stones are hard, rock-like deposits that form in the kidneys, two organs that filter waste and extra fluid from the body. Kidney stones typically develop when there is too much waste and not enough fluid in the kidneys.
Passing a stone the process of the stone moving out of the kidney and into and through the ureter can be excruciating. Some women say the pain is worse than childbirth, says Naim Maalouf, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Your bodys waste can include minerals and other substances that combine to form stones, ranging in size from a grain of sand to the size of a pea, or even as large as a golf ball.
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 Kidney Stone Pain Feels Like And Where Youll Feel It
Not all kidney stone pain is the same. For example, the location of pain can change as the stone moves from the kidney to the bladder, says Lieske. When a stone is moving into the ureter, people may feel pain in their flank, or side, or their back, he says.
Notably, if the stone is stuck where the kidney connects to the ureter, the pain can be severe, says Ralph V. Clayman, MD, a professor in the department of urology at the University of California in Irvine. On a scale of 1 to 10, pain can be a 10, he says. There is no position in which the person is comfortable.
This type of pain has a tendency to come and go in 10- to 30-minute cycles. It can also radiate to the groin area and the front of the thigh, he adds.
Once the stone has moved down to the part of the ureter closer to the bladder, a person tends to have pain in the abdomen or groin, says Lieske. Men sometimes feel pain at the tip of their penis.
As the stone moves down the ureter, it can also mimic the pain of other conditions, says Clayman. For example, if the kidney stone is on the right side of the body, it may feel like appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix. If the stone is on the left side, people may mistake the pain for diverticulitis, inflammation, or an infection within the small or large intestine, he says.
Fortunately, from this point, the stone can usually pass from the bladder out the urethra, which is typically twice the diameter of the ureter, says Clayman.
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Editorial Sources And Fact
Kidney Stones And Pain
Kidney stone pain can be excruciating. Individuals who have never had a stone may be suffering from a great deal of discomfort without knowing why. In reality, kidney stones are generally silent until they begin to pass. A stone that grows to 3 millimeters or larger can block the ureter as it moves from the kidney to the bladder. This movement can cause unbearable pain, usually in the lower back, right / left flank, or groin. Kidney stone pain can be intermittent or ongoing.
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Duration Of Kidney Stones
A kidney stone often goes unnoticed until it starts to pass into your ureters. Once this happens, symptoms typically appear without warning. Youll likely feel sharp, stabbing pain at the bottom of your ribcage, though the pain can shift into the genital area as well.
The pain from kidney stones often comes in waves, and you may feel better for a few hours before the pain comes back.
Depending on the size of the stone, it can take up to six weeks to pass . Small stones may take only a few days to a week to pass. Your doctor will likely prescribe medications to help you manage the pain during this time.
Fever And Chills Along With Your Back Pain
This could also mean that you have a urinary tract infection.
If you have any of these symptoms, along with your back pain, you should call your doctor right away.
If your pain is unbearable, is associated with fevers or chills, or you have nausea and vomiting that is preventing you from keeping down fluids or medications, you should seek immediate medical attention, Nguyen says.
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Who Is At Risk For Kidney Stones
Anyone may develop a kidney stone, but people with certain diseases and conditions or those who are taking certain medications are more susceptible to their development. Urinary tract stones are more common in men than in women. Most urinary stones develop in people 20 to 49 years of age, and those who are prone to multiple attacks of kidney stones usually develop their first stones during the second or third decade of life. People who have already had more than one kidney stone are prone to developing further stones.
In residents of industrialized countries, kidney stones are more common than stones in the bladder. The opposite is true for residents of developing areas of the world, where bladder stones are the most common. This difference is believed to be related to dietary factors. People who live in the southern or southwestern regions of the U.S. have a higher rate of kidney stone formation, possibly due to inadequate water intake leading to dehydration than those living in other areas. Over the last few decades, the percentage of people with kidney stones in the U.S. has been increasing, most likely related to the obesity epidemic.
A family history of kidney stones is also a risk factor for developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are more common in Asians and Caucasians than in Native Americans, Africans, or African Americans.
Uric acid kidney stones are more common in people with chronically elevated uric acid levels in their blood .
Warning Signs Of Kidney Stone
Have you ever had excruciating pain in your kidneys? Are you at risk of kidney stones?
Well, this blog post reveals some of the warning signs of kidney stones.
Kidney stones are the hard crystalline stones formed in the kidneys.
Few of the stones pass from kidneys to ureters, and such stones are called ureteral stones.
In the United States, the percentage of individuals with kidney stones is increasing with each passing year. In every 20 people, 1 develops kidney stones at any stage of life.
In particular, dehydration, diet and other genetic factors are responsible for stone formation.
Kidney stones are as small as the grain of the sand, but they hurt you so badly.
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Continue Learning About Kidney Stones
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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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Conditions Related To Kidney Stones
If you think you may have a kidney stone, its important to check with your doctor. Your doctor can perform imaging tests to look for other issues that may be causing your abdominal pain, such appendicitis, pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and stomach ulcers.
Kidney stones are also often associated with UTIs, which develop when bacteria makes its way into your kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra and causes an infection. People with blockages in their urinary tract face a higher risk of UTIs.
Kidney stones and UTIs share a few symptoms, such as abdominal pain cloudy, blood-tinged or foul-smelling urine and a constant need to urinate. If the UTI spreads to the kidneys, you may feel other symptoms also associated with kidney stones, such as pain in the lower back, fever and chills, and nausea and vomiting.
How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones
There are several ways to decrease your risk of kidney stones, including:
- Drink water. Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses every day . Staying hydrated helps you urinate more often, which helps flush away the buildup of the substances that cause kidney stones. If you sweat a lot, be sure to drink even more.
- Limit salt. Eat less sodium. You may want to connect with a dietician for help with planning what foods you eat.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, try to lose some pounds. Talk to your healthcare provider about an ideal weight.
- Take prescriptions. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some medications that help prevent kidney stones. The type of medication may depend on the type of stones you get.
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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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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.
Heres 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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What Causes Back Pain And Nausea
Back pain and nausea often occur at the same time. Frequently, pain related to digestive or intestinal issues can radiate to the back. This can occur if you have biliary colic, a condition in which gallstones obstruct the gallbladder.
Morning sickness associated with pregnancy can cause nausea. Back pain is also common with pregnancy, as the weight of the growing fetus puts strain on the back. Often these symptoms arent a cause for concern for pregnant women. However, when nausea occurs after the first trimester, it may be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is a condition in which blood pressure becomes too high. If youre pregnant and experience nausea into your second trimester, seek medical advice.
Other conditions that can cause back pain and nausea include:
- shortness of breath
- worsening symptoms
Make an appointment with your doctor if your back pain continues for more than two weeks after your nausea subsides.
This information is a summary. Seek medical attention if you suspect you need urgent care.
What Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed from substances in your urine. The substances that combine into stones normally pass through your urinary system. When they dont, its because there isnt enough urine volume, causing the substances to become highly concentrated and to crystalize. This is typically a result of not drinking enough water. The stone-forming substances are:
- Cloudy, foul-smelling urine, fever, chills or weakness which might be a sign of a serious infection.
- Blood in the urine.
Most pediatric kidney stones remain in the kidney, but up to a third may migrate from the kidney and get stuck in a ureter. Stones that remain in the kidney, although often painless, can be the source of recurrent urinary tract infections. Those that lodge in the ureter can create severe colicky pain.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones
Some people are more likely to develop kidney stones than others. For example, men are more likely to have kidney stones than women, as are people with a family history of kidney stones, those with a history of UTIs, and those who have had kidney stones once before.
Youre also more likely to develop kidney stones if you take certain medications, including: diuretics, calcium-based antacids , topiramate , and indinavir . Calcium and vitamin C supplements may also increase your risk of forming kidney stones.
And while medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can increase the risk of kidney stones, healthy people can also develop them, says Anil Agarwal, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of interventional nephrology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Factors that may contribute to the formation of kidney stones include:
- Not drinking enough water
Milk Causes Kidney Stones Because Of The Calcium
MYTH BUSTED: Milk Really does a body good. Calcium is your friend, so drink on. The fact is one-way kidney stones are actually caused is a LACK of calcium. You should have a glass of milk at least once a day or yogurt. Try to also consume more magnesium as this binds oxalate which will help in kidney stone prevention. And no kids, this isnt an excuse to have chocolate milk for dinner, but thanks for playing.
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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 .