Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones
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.
Can A 11mm Kidney Stone Be Passed
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.
Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
It’s not always possible to prevent some types of kidney stones.
But all kids who’ve had kidney stones should:
- Drink a lot of liquids throughout the day. Avoid dark sodas, soft drinks, and sports drinks. If their pee is almost clear, that’s a sign they’re drinking enough. Ask your doctor how much your child should drink.
- Limit the salt and protein in their diet.
If dietary changes don’t prevent kidney stones, medicines can help. Depending on the type of kidney stone your child had, the doctor can prescribe treatments or medicines to lower the levels of crystal-forming substances in the pee.
Doctors will keep an eye on kids who have had kidney stones and try to prevent new ones. The doctor might have your child use a 24-hour urine collection test. This measures the volume of pee within a 24-hour period and checks what’s in it.
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Treating Small Kidney Stones
Small kidney stones may cause pain until you pass them, which usually takes 1 or 2 days.
A GP may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help with pain.
To ease your symptoms, a GP might also recommend:
- drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day
- anti-sickness medicine
You might be advised to drink up to 3 litres of fluid throughout the day, every day, until the stones have cleared.
To help your stones pass:
- drink water, but drinks like tea and coffee also count
- add fresh lemon juice to your water
- avoid fizzy drinks
- do not eat too much salt
Make sure you’re drinking enough fluid. If your pee is dark, it means you’re not drinking enough. Your pee should be pale in colour.
You may be advised to continue drinking this much fluid to prevent new stones forming.
If your kidney stones are causing severe pain, your GP may send you to hospital for tests and treatment.
How Many Days Does It Take For A Kidney Stone To Pass
A stone that’s smaller than 4 mm may pass within one to two weeks. A stone that’s larger than 4 mm could take about two to three weeks to completely pass. Once the stone reaches the bladder, it typically passes within a few days, but may take longer, especially in an older man with a large prostate.
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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.
How To Prevent Kidney Stones
When there is too much calcium, oxalate, or phosphorous in the urine, they can combine and crystallize to form calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate kidney stones. Even too much uric acid in urine can settle to form uric acid stones. Your diet can greatly influence the urinary levels of these substances and is well within your control.
The basic strategy to discourage stone formation is to lower the urinary levels of sodium, oxalate, uric acid, and calcium and increase urinary citrate.1 Citrate stops crystals from growing into stones.
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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.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
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How Do Health Care Professionals Treat Kidney Stones
Health care professionals usually treat kidney stones based on their size, location, and what type they are.
Small kidney stones may pass through your urinary tract without treatment. If youre able to pass a kidney stone, a health care professional may ask you to catch the kidney stone in a special container. A health care professional will send the kidney stone to a lab to find out what type it is. A health care professional may advise you to drink plenty of liquids if you are able to help move a kidney stone along. The health care professional also may prescribe pain medicine.
Larger kidney stones or kidney stones that block your urinary tract or cause great pain may need urgent treatment. If you are vomiting and dehydrated, you may need to go to the hospital and get fluids through an IV.
What Dissolves Kidney Stones Fast
Youre suddenly in an excruciating pain. You have a sharp, cramping pain in your back and side that comes in waves. And the overwhelming feeling moves to your lower abdomen or groin, and hurts badly.
Well, you probably have kidney stones. And you need to give it a quick fix. You can do that without medical intervention, especially if you can find something that will dissolve the stones fast.
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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.
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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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Do I have a kidney stone or is there another reason for my symptoms?
- What type of kidney stone do I have?
- What size is my kidney stone?
- Where is my kidney stone located?
- How many kidney stones do I have?
- Do I need treatment or will I be able to pass the kidney stone?
- Should I be tested for kidney disease?
- What changes should I make to my diet?
- What type of procedure should I have to get rid of the stones?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney stones can be frustrating at best and agonizingly painful at the worst. To stop your situation from getting worse, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The pain can get severe, and surgery might be necessary. Remember: dont skip your prescriptions, drink lots of water and follow any dietary guidelines. Also, remember that kidney stones are a temporary condition. They wont bother you forever.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2021.
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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.
Can I Help Prevent Kidney Stones By Changing What I Eat Or Drink
Drinking enough liquid, mainly water, is the most important thing you can do to prevent kidney stones. Unless you have kidney failure, many health care professionals recommend that you drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses a day. Talk with a health care professional about how much liquid you should drink.
Studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet can reduce the risk of kidney stones. Learn more about the DASH diet.2
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
If you have a small kidney stone, it may travel out of your body through your urine . You may not have any symptoms and may never know that you had a kidney stone.
If you have a larger kidney stone, it may get stuck in your urinary tract and block urine from getting through. You may notice symptoms, including:
- Pain while urinating
- Sharp pain in your back or lower belly area
- Stomachache that does not go away
- Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up
- A fever and chills
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
You may feel a lot of pain when you pass a kidney stone or if a large kidney stone blocks the flow of your urine.
If you are having any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
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How Long Does It Take To Pass A Kidney Stone
The amount of time it can take for you to pass a kidney stone is different from anothers. A stone thats smaller than 4 mm may pass within one to two weeks. A stone thats larger than 4 mm could take about two to three weeks to completely pass.
Once the stone reaches the bladder, it typically passes within a few days, but may take longer, especially in an older man with a large prostate. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so its important to follow up with your healthcare provider if you dont pass the stone within four to six weeks.
People With A History Of Kidney Stones May Sometimes Forgo The Doctor
While infection with kidney stones is a medical emergency, some people with a history of kidney stones may not always need to see a doctor, says Lieske. After an initial consultation with their physician, people who recognize their symptoms may be able to have pain medication on hand, so they can try passing the stone at home, he explains. Your doctor will likely have you drink plenty of water to help flush the stone out of your urinary tract.
Whether to use this approach really depends on how severe the pain is and how comfortable people are with this strategy, says Lieske. Anecdotally, it seems that patients may have less severe pain the more kidney stone attacks they have had over the years, although this is certainly not universally true.
Fortunately, doctors can help you make prevention plans so you can avoid repeatedly developing stones.
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The Evaluation For Kidney Stones
If your symptoms suggest kidney stones, 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.
How Are Children Treated For Kidney Stones
Most childrens kidney stones can be treated with the shock wave lithotripsy , a completely non-invasive procedure. Your child is placed under anesthesia and sound waves of specific frequencies are focused on the stones to shatter them into fragments small enough to be easily passed during urination.
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What Causes Kidney Stones
Waste products in the blood can occasionally form crystals that collect inside the kidneys.
Over time, the crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump.
This is more likely to happen if you:
- do not drink enough fluids
- are taking some types of medication
- have a medical condition that raises the levels of certain substances in your urine
After a kidney stone has formed, your body will try to pass it out when you pee.
Are Home Remedies Effective For Kidney Stones
For some people who have had many kidney stones, home care may be appropriate. When passing a kidney stone, drinking lots of fluid is important. In fact, this is the most important home care measure. Medications may help control the pain . However, if it is the first time one has had symptoms suggestive of a kidney stone, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Follow these guidelines if you have calcium kidney stones:
- Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
- Eat less salt. Chinese and Mexican food, tomato juice, regular canned foods, and processed foods are often high in salt. Look for low-salt or unsalted products.
- Have only 2 or 3 servings a day of foods with a lot of calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters, and tofu.
- Eat lemons or oranges, or drink fresh lemonade. Citrate in these foods prevents stones from forming.
- Limit how much protein you eat. Choose lean meats.
- Eat a low-fat diet.
Do not take extra calcium or vitamin D, unless the provider who is treating your kidney stones recommends it.
- Watch out for antacids that contain extra calcium. Ask your provider which antacids are safe for you to take.
- Your body still needs the normal amount of calcium you get from your daily diet. Limiting calcium may actually increase the chance that stones will form.
Ask your provider before taking vitamin C or fish oil. They may be harmful to you.
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Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate 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.