Causes And Risk Factors
Kidney stones form when certain substances in the urine turn into crystals. These substances are often salts, but uric acid or other minerals sometimes form stones too:
- 80% of people with kidney stones have stones,
- 5 to 10% have uric acid stones, and
- 10% have stones made up of the mineral struvite.
Stones of any other substances are rare.
Usually, these substances are dissolved in the urine. But some medical conditions cause their concentration in the urine to rise, resulting in crystals. For instance, if the parathyroid glands are overactive, the level of in the urine will rise. Gout increases the level of uric acid. Sometimes, but rarely, the excess levels are genetic. This is the case if the stones are made of the amino acid cystine, for example.
Nutrition is a factor too: Some foods, such as rhubarb, contain high levels of oxalic acid. Offal may increase uric acid levels. These higher levels can result in kidney stones. The concentration of substances that can potentially form stones also increases if we don’t drink enough fluids.
One other cause might be a lack of substances that usually prevent the formation of stones in the urine, the main one being citrate. A citrate deficiency may result from chronic diarrhea, for example.
Certain medications can create favorable conditions for kidney stones, too either because they form crystals in the urine themselves or because they change the composition of the urine.
Why You Get Stones
Part of preventing stones is finding out why you get them. Your health care provider will perform tests to find out what is causing this. After finding out why you get stones, your health care provider will give you tips to help stop them from coming back.
Some of the tests he or she may do are listed below.
Medical and Dietary History
Your health care provider will ask questions about your personal and family medical history. He or she may ask if:
- Have you had more than one stone before?
- Has anyone in your family had stones?
- Do you have a medical condition that may increase your chance of having stones, like frequent diarrhea, gout or diabetes?
Knowing your eating habits is also helpful. You may be eating foods that are known to raise the risk of stones. You may also be eating too few foods that protect against stones or not drinking enough fluids.
Understanding your medical, family and dietary history helps your health care provider find out how likely you are to form more stones.
Blood and Urine Tests
When a health care provider sees you for the first time and you have had stones before, he or she may want to see recent X-rays or order a new X-ray. They will do this to see if there are any stones in your urinary tract. Imaging tests may be repeated over time to check for stone growth. You may also need this test if you are having pain, hematuria or recurrent infections.
How To Pass A Kidney Stone Easily
The occurrence of kidney stones is increasing within the United States. Currently, men have a 10 percent chance of developing a kidney stone during their lifetime, while women face a seven percent likelihood throughout their lives.
As more cases arise, individuals are discovering that these mineral buildups often inflict tremendous pain and internal discomfort. The removal of a kidney stone often comes in the form of passing it through the urinary system.
In the event of a diagnosed kidney stone, and based upon your doctors recommendations, there are approaches to helping the foreign body pass more easily.
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How Long Does It Take To Pass A Kidney Stone Once You Feel Pain
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.
Can Children Get Kidney Stones
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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How Do You Know Youre Gonna Pass A Kidney Stone
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How do I know if I have a kidney stone? It is not always possible to self-diagnose a kidney stone, though certain signs and symptoms may point to the likelihood that you have a stone. Keep in mind, kidney stones may cause virtually no symptoms early on. In fact, many patients are unaware that they have kidney stones until the stones begin to pass.
May 22, 2010 · Most oftentimes the only time you will know if you have a kidney stone is if it’s beginning to “pass”. That is, your body is attempting to force it to leave via your urinary tract, and it’s QUITE.
Kidney stones. Bleeding into your urinary tract can occur when a stone is being passed, as the stone rubs against the inside of your urethra. It.
What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
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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.
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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How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history and possibly order some tests. These tests include:
- Imaging tests: An X-ray, CT scan and ultrasound will help your healthcare provider see the size, shape, location and number of your kidney stones. These tests help your provider decide what treatment you need.
- Blood test: A blood test will reveal how well your kidneys are functioning, check for infection and look for biochemical problems that may lead to kidney stones.
- Urine test: This test also looks for signs of infection and examines the levels of the substances that form kidney stones.
Where Do Kidney Stones Comefrom
Before we can identify the stages of passing a kidney stone, we need to know from where the kidney stones come.
Kidney stones occur when certain substances such ascalcium, oxalate, and uric acid concentrate on forming crystals in the kidney.Crystals grow on rocks. Almost 80% of -85% of kidney stones arecalcium. The others are uric acid stones that form in people whose urine has alow pH.
Once the kidneys formed, they can break loose andpass through the urine, preventing the flow of urine. The result is years ofsevere pain, including lateral pain , seldom with blood in the urine, vomiting, and vomiting.When the kidneys enter the bladder through the ureter, they can cause frequenturination, bladder pressure, or groin pain.
If any of these indications occur, contactyour GP, Dr. Eisner. You will probably need to do a urinalysis anda kidney ultrasound, an abdominal x-ray or a CT scan to confirm that kidneystones are the cause of your condition and to determine their size and number.
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What You Need To Know About Kidney Stones
Aug 07, 2019Cedars-Sinai Staff
Passing a kidney stone is said to be some of the most severe physical pain a person can experience.
You may picture someone passing a kidney stone in excruciating pain while a small rock moves through their bladder, but according to Dr. Brian Benway, director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Program, pain peaks much earlier in the stone’s journey.
Nothing subtle about a kidney stone
“Contrary to popular belief, passing a kidney stone once it reaches the bladder isn’t the painful part,” says Dr. Benway.
The pain usually starts once the stone has migrated from the kidney into the ureter, the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.
“Basically, for the first-timer with a kidney stone, the symptoms are not subtle.”
“The pain is usually sudden and quite severe on one side of your back and it can cause immediate nausea and vomiting,” says Dr. Benway
“Basically, for the first-timer with a kidney stone, the symptoms are not subtle.”
This sudden pain will begin to ebb and flow after the first few hours, gradually getting better after a few days. Dr. Benway says you shouldn’t wait for the pain to easeseek evaluation right away.
“Along with pain, kidney stones can sometimes be associated with infection, which will present itself as a fever,” he says.
“Go to the ER right away if you have strong pain with nausea or fever.”
Treating the stone
Capturing the stone
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.
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Getting A Kidney Stone To Pass
After identifying the size and location of your kidney stone, follow the recommended treatment by your doctor. The vast majority of small kidney stones are able to be passed without medical intervention and can be helped with these steps:
Drinking water: By consuming as much as 3 liters of water a day, this will help flush out your renal system.
Take pain medication: Kidney stones can be extremely painful, therefore, taking pain medication like ibuprofen can help make the passing less agonizing.
Get an alpha-blocker from your doctor: An alpha-blocker can help relax your ureter and progress the kidney stone through your system.
Cut out the right foods: Removing high-oxalate foods like spinach, beets, potatoes, and nuts, as well as animal protein can help limit kidney stone minerals from forming.
Drink juice: Consuming juices from lemons, basil, and dandelion roots can provide compounds that regulate uric acid levels and help breakdown calcium deposits.
For larger stones , medical treatment is often required to enable kidney stones to be passed through the body. Common methods of care include soundwave therapy, surgery, and using a ureteroscope.
Shock Wave Therapy: A process called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy creates vibrations targeted at kidney stones to break the larger minerals into smaller pieces that can be passed by the body.
When Surgery Is Necessary
If you think you might have a kidney stone, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If youre found to have one, your doctor can help you determine whether to try to pass the stone naturally, take medication, or get the stone surgically removed.
In some circumstances, your doctor might recommend immediate surgical removal without a waiting period. This will usually be because the stone is too big to pass naturally or is blocking urine flow. If the stone is blocking the flow of urine, it can lead to an infection or renal damage.
In other circumstances, your doctor might recommend waiting to see if you can pass the stone on your own. You should check in with your doctor often during this time to see if anything is changing, especially if you have new symptoms.
During the waiting period, your doctor might recommend surgery if the stone continues to grow, youre having unmanageable pain, or you develop signs of infection, such as a fever. Infection, fever, kidney damage, intractable pain, or intractable vomiting are all indications for immediate surgery.
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Diet And Uric Acid Stones
Avoid these foods if you have uric acid stones:
- Organ meats
Other suggestions for your diet include:
- Do not eat more than 3 ounces of meat at each meal.
- Avoid fatty foods such as salad dressings, ice cream, and fried foods.
- Eat enough carbohydrates.
- Eat more lemons and oranges, and drink lemonade because the citrate in these foods stops stones from forming.
- Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
If you are losing weight, lose it slowly. Quick weight loss may cause uric acid stones to form.
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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Causes Of Kidney Stones
The most common cause of kidney stones isdehydration. Youre not drinking enough water to dilute the concentration of minerals in your urine . Recommended water consumption is about two liters or half a gallon of water a day.
Water is the best fluid to drink in order to prevent kidney stones, Dr. Abromowitz explains. But water from a well is very high in solutes, which increases your chance of kidney stones. So i f you’re drinking well water, you ought to have a purification system on it. Every year I see patients who develop a kidney stone for this reason.
Other kidney stone risk factors include:
- Too little or too much exercise
- Being overweight
- Eating food with excess salt, sugar, and animal protein
- Weight loss surgery
- Kidney infections. Infections increase the risk of kidney stones by slowing urine flow or changing the acid balance of urine.
- Family history of kidney stones
- Some drugs used to treat AIDS, seizures, and migraines can cause kidney stones.
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 .
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