Most Common Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
Pain is usually sudden, intermittentcomes in wavesand makes you not want to sit still. Pain is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, as well as urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency, and hematuria . Women often describe the pain as being similar to labor pains. Dr. Chandra Manuelpillai
Intense pain is the most common symptom. The location of pain depends on where the stone is lodged. The most common place is the sides of the torso. But pain can also be in the back just below the rib cage where the kidneys lie, or in the groin. This pain may even radiate into the upper legs and/or genital region.
You may also have blood in your urine, pain with urination, urinary frequency, urgency, nausea/vomiting, and/or difficulty or inability to urinate.
Who Is Likely To Develop A Kidney Stone
The rate of people who develop kidney stones is increasing in the U.S. The reasons for the trend are unknown. The prevalence of kidney stones was 3.8% in the late 1970s. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the number rose to 5.2%. Caucasian ethnicity and male gender are associated with higher rates of kidney stones. Men tend to develop kidney stones in their 40s through 70s rates increase with age. Women are most likely to experience kidney stones in their 50s. A person who has suffered from one kidney stone is more likely to develop others.
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.
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What About Horsetail Juice
A March 2021 review in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine explored the potential of horsetail to treat kidney disorders, including stones. The review suggests that this natural herbal remedy might have potential, because it is a diuretic, but cautions that with long-term use it might lead to vitamin deficiencies, among other possible toxic effects.
The researchers conclude that we don’t know yet whether horsetail is effective or what dosage might be toxic. In other words, further research is needed before horsetail is recommended for human consumption to help with kidney stones. “There is no good data about horsetail juice,” Dr. Weir says.
Frequently Asked Questions About Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy
We offer office consultation for PCNL at our Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital locations. However, all PCNL procedures are performed at our Barnes-Jewish Hospital campus near downtown St. Louis.
PCNL is a complex procedure that requires highly trained support personnel and specialized equipment to ensure excellent outcomes. Although we see patients at many clinic locations, our resources for PCNL are concentrated on the Barnes-Jewish Hospital campus.
Continuity of care is important to us. Therefore, although you may be seen at one of our other clinic locations, be assured that your urologist will personally perform the procedure at our Barnes-Jewish Hospital campus and will oversee your hospital stay. You may then follow up at your original clinic location.
The decision to perform PCNL is generally based upon stone size. For large, complex stones, PCNL is the standard of care.
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Finding Relief From Kidney Stone Pain
Not all kidney stones require medical intervention. The smallest stones may pass without you even knowing, but medium-sized stones may cause pain thats often easy to manage with pain medication and drinking plenty of water.
Stones that are about 4mm or larger may need professional care, so they dont get lodged in your urinary tract and cause health complications. Our team offers a number of treatment options for larger stones, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy and surgery.
Talk to our doctors to learn more about kidney stones and the treatment thats right for you. Call the office nearest you, book online, or send our team a message today.
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Time Needed For Passing Kidney Stones
The size of kidney stones determine the time needed for their removal from the kidneys. Smaller the size of a stone, the faster it can pass through the urinary tract. For example, a 2mm stones may pass through the kidneys in about 12 days but stones of size 4mm can take about 30 days to pass out.
|Rare genetic disorder: increased cystine in urine|
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What Makes Some Kidney Stones More Painful Than Others
Kidney stones can range from the size of a grain of sand to as big as a pea. Some are even as large as a Ping Pong ball.
Larger stones are less likely to pass and more likely to block the urinary tract, so they are generally more painful, says Lesser.
The size of the stone is not necessarily proportional to the degree of pain, adds Dr. Maniam. Its possible for a large stone to remain in the kidney, not causing an obstruction or pain, and its possible for a small stone to pass without causing pain if it doesnt create a blockage.
On the other hand, a person may have a small stone in the urinary tract that causes considerable pain because the ureter itself is so tiny, even a small stone can cause obstruction that creates an incredible amount of pain, Lesser notes.
What Makes Kidney Stones More Likely
You are more likely to form a kidney stone if your urine is concentrated. For example, if you exercise vigorously, if you live in a hot climate or if you work in a hot environment when you may lose more fluid as sweat and less as urine.
You are also more prone to develop kidney stones if you have:
- Repeated urine infections.
- An abnormal kidney – for example, with scars or cysts on it.
- A close relative who has had a kidney stone.
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Types Of Kidney Stones
There are four main types of stones:
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of This Treatment
The main advantage of this treatment is that it treats kidney stones without an incision. As a result, hospital stays and recovery time are reduced.
But, while SWL can work, it doesnt always work. After SWL, about 5O% of people will be stone free within a month. In others, stone fragments of various sizes remain. Sometimes a repeat procedure is needed.
SWL has the potential to cause kidney injury. Whether or not SWL causes or leads to the development of high blood pressure and diabetes remains controversial. These possibilities are still being studied. You should ask your doctor about risks and benefits of SWL in your situation.
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How To Get Relief From Kidney Stone Pain
When pain does occur, it can be so severe that many patients have to go to the closest emergency room to seek immediate treatment. Often a single dose of pain medication given by an ER doctor is enough to alleviate the pain for a prolonged period of time, allowing the stone to pass, says Lieske.
While narcotic pain medications can be carefully given for this purpose, studies suggest that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs milder pain medications with fewer side effects can be as effective. A review of 36 clinical trials that compared NSAIDs with stronger pain medications for kidney stone pain relief found that NSAIDs were equivalent when it came to pain reduction and led to fewer side effects. 30977-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 7)
Tamsulosin is also widely used to help relax the muscles of the ureter, increasing the chance of passing the stone and helping reduce symptoms of pain, Bechis notes. However, new evidence suggests this medication may not add as much benefit as previously thought, he adds. A study published in July 2015 in the Lancet found that tamsulosin didnt help stones pass. 60933-3/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 8)
How long does kidney stone pain last? It depends on how long it takes to pass the stone.
How Should My Kidney Stone Be Treated
Historically, the treatment of kidney stones required major surgery and was associated with long hospitalization and recovery periods. However, in recent years an improved understanding of kidney stone disease, along with advances in surgical technology, has led to the development of minimally invasive and even noninvasive treatments for people with kidney stones.
At Johns Hopkins, we believe that the treatment of a patients stones requires an approach that is unique to that individual. We offer a complete range of state-of-the-art treatment options, including ESWL , ureteroscopy and PERC, and we will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each therapy as they apply to your situation. Our goal is to provide each patient with a clear understanding of the nature of their stone burden as well as the most appropriate course of treatment.
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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.
Causes Of Kidney Stones
Possible causes include drinking too little water, exercise , obesity, weight loss surgery, or eating food with too much salt or sugar. Infections and family history might be important in some people. Eating too much fructose correlates with increasing risk of developing a kidney stone. Fructose can be found in table sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
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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 .
Why Passing A Kidney Stone Can Be So Painful
Think of the urinary tract system as your bodys plumbing system, explains Timothy F. Lesser, MD, a urologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. The kidney makes urine, which spills into the ureter, a tiny tube that transports the urine from the kidney down to the bladder. The bladder fills, then empties. “‘Passing a stone’ a stone traveling from the kidney down to the bladder, and traversing the length of the ureter, he says. The stone leaves the urinary tract through the urethra, the tube that transports urine outside the body from the bladder.
A stone passing is so painful because the kidney itself is exquisitely sensitive, explains Dr. Lesser. When a stone blocks the flow of urine through the urinary tract, backed-up urine can put pressure on the kidney, resulting in pain.
It is thought that the kidney itself does not have nerves with classical pain fibers, says John C. Lieske, MD, a consultant in the division of nephrology and hypertension at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. But the tissue surrounding the kidney called the capsule does contain nerve fibers that transmit pain. Backed-up urine swells and expands the capsule, he says.
This swelling activates those nerve fibers, causing signals that are interpreted by the brain as an intense, visceral pain, says Prakash N. Maniam, MD, a urologist at the Medical Specialty Group at Poinciana in Kissimmee, Florida.
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How Do I Prepare
You donât have to do a lot to get ready for a ureteroscopy. Youâll need to pee before the procedure. Your doctor or a nurse will tell you when.
You should also get instructions about how long before the surgery you need to stop eating, drinking and taking some medicines. This is very important if you take blood thinners to reduce your risk of blood clots.
You should also make sure someone can drive you home.
Difficulty With Urine Flow
Kidney stones may obstruct the urine flow and may lead to extreme pain. If the stone passes down into the bladder, the person may often feel an urgency to pee, followed by painful urination. In some rare cases, kidney stones can even be on both sides and, therefore, may completely stop the urine flow, resulting in a medical emergency.
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What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the body’s master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that don’t move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.
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:
- Cows milk.
Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.
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How Will I Feel After Surgery
You may still experience pain after laser surgery. If you have a stent between the kidney and ureter, most pain will likely come from the stent because it can rub on the kidney or bladder. It also can make you feel like you have to urinate, and it may cause some blood in the urine. Men may have pain in the penis or testicles as well.
Your doctor will prescribe medications after surgery. Generally, these may include an antibiotic to prevent infection, pain medication, and perhaps something to treat bladder spasms and burning with urination.
Drink plenty of water to lubricate the stent and encourage any small stones to move out of the kidney. You will likely feel a more frequent urge to urinate, so you may want to stay close to a bathroom.
You can resume normal activities the next day, or as soon as you feel comfortable. Skip high-intensity workouts until after your stent is removed. Some pain medications restrict activities like driving, so check the warnings on the label. Your doctor will have additional recommendations for you to follow.
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Where Is Kidney Stone Pain Located
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
- Lower back
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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