Not All Stones Are Created Equal
In addition to calcium oxalate stones, another common type of kidney stones is uric acid stones. Red meat, organ meats, and shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound known as purines. “High purine intake leads to a higher production of uric acid and produces a larger acid load for the kidneys to excrete,” said Dr. Jhagroo. Higher uric acid excretion leads to lower overall urine pH, which means the urine is more acidic. The high acid concentration of the urine makes it easier for uric acid stones to form.
To prevent uric acid stones, cut down on high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and shellfish, and follow a healthy diet that contains mostly vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, especially those that contain high fructose corn syrup. Limit alcohol because it can increase uric acid levels in the blood and avoid crash diets for the same reason. Eating less animal-based protein and eating more fruits and vegetables will help decrease urine acidity and this will help reduce the chance for stone formation.
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Kidney Stone Causes Symptoms Treatments & Prevention
Your kidneys remove waste and fluid from your blood to make urine . Sometimes, when you have too much waste and not enough fluid in your blood, these wastes can build up and stick together in your kidneys. These clumps of waste are called kidney stones.
Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones often have no single cause, and several factors may increase your risk for getting them. Some of these factors are listed below. They include:
Lack of water
You need to make enough pee to dilute the things that can turn into stones. If you donât drink enough or sweat too much, your pee may look dark. It should be pale yellow or clear.
If youâve had a stone before, you should make about 8 cups of urine a day. So aim to down about 10 cups of water daily, since you lose some fluids through sweat and breathing. Swap a glass of water for a citrus drink. The citrate in lemonade or orange juice can block stones from forming.
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What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones
Anyone can get a kidney stone, but some people are more likely than others to have them. Men get kidney stones more often than women do. Kidney stones are also more common in non-Hispanic white people than in people of other ethnicities. You may also be more likely to have kidney stones if:
- You have had kidney stones before.
- Someone in your family has had kidney stones.
- You dont drink enough water.
- You follow a diet high in protein, sodium and/or sugar.
There Are A Number Of Reasons To Treat A Kidney Stone Even If It Is Not Causing Any Painful Symptoms
Recurring urinary tract infections
Some kidney stones may be infected, and in many cases, despite proper antibiotic treatment, the infection cannot be cleared from the stone. In such cases, the only way to remove the infection completely is to remove the stone.
These are extremely large stones that grow to fill the inside of the kidney. There are serious health risks associated with these stones, and left untreated they are associated with an increased risk of kidney failure.
For example, the Federal Aviation Administration will not allow a pilot to fly until all stones have been cleared from his or her kidney. Other occupations also do not allow for the unplanned passage of a kidney stone.
The patient who, whether for business or otherwise, travels to locales where medical care is not reliable may wish to consider preventive treatment.
After thorough consideration of all options available to them, many patients elect to remove their stones at a time when it is convenient for them.
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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.”
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.
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What Will Happen After I Leave The Hospital
After treatment, you will have blood in your urine and possibly abdominal pain or aching for several days. Other people experience a severe cramping pain as shattered stone fragments make their way out of the body. Oral pain medication and drinking lots of water will help relieve symptoms.
Sometimes, the stone is not completely broken up, or big pieces remain and additional treatments may be needed.
Rarely, more serious problems occur, such as bleeding near the kidney that might require a blood transfusion, damage to the area around the stone, or pieces of the stone blocking the flow of urine.
Does The Patient Need Anesthesia
Yes, even though there is no incision, there will be pain. You and your doctor will discuss whether light sedation and local or general anesthetics will be used. The choice depends on the technique, the type of stone and the patient. SWL can be delivered with just mild sedation, but in general, some type of anesthesia–either local, regional or general–is used to help the patient remain still, reduce any discomfort, and this improves the breaking of the stone.
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Youve Probably Heard That Passing A Kidney Stone Can Be Very Painful But You Might Not Know Exactly What They Are Or How To Avoid One In The First Place
Kidney stones and passing a kidney stone, in particular are notorious for being painful. Theyre also surprisingly common. In fact, 11% of men and 6% of women in the United States will have a kidney stone at least once in their lifetime.
While kidney stone pain is unmistakable, its also possible to have a kidney stone and not even know it. If the stone is small enough to pass through your urinary tract, it may cause little to no pain at all but if its large and gets stuck, you may have severe pain and bleeding.
Kidney stones that cause symptoms or cannot pass on their own need to be treated by a medical professional.
What Are Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy And Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy
These procedures are treatments for kidney stones that are used in patients with large or irregularly shaped kidney stones, people with infections, stones that have not been broken up enough by SWL or those who are not candidates for another common stone treatment, ureteroscopy. Stones that are bigger than 2 cm require this procedure.
Both procedures involve entering the kidney through a small incision in the back. Once the surgeon gets to the kidney, a nephroscope and other small instruments are threaded in through the hole. lf the stone is removed through the tube, it is called nephrolithotomy. lf the stone is broken up and then removed, it is called nephrolithotripsy. The surgeon can see the stone, use high frequency sound waves to break up the stone, and “vacuum” up the dust using a suction machine.
This is what the words mean:
- Percutaneous means through the skin
- Nephrolithotomy is a combination of the word roots nephro- , litho-, and -tomy
- Nephrolithotripsy is a combination of the word roots nephro- , litho , and -tripsy
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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.
How Do I Know If My Treatment Is Working
Because cystine stones tend to reoccur, it is important to know your treatment is working and lowering your cystine level. A 24-hour urine collection is a way of checking cystine levels. Your healthcare provider may ask you to do a 24-hour urine collection to check your level. The results will help determine whether any adjustments to your treatment is needed.
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How Kidney Stones Are Diagnosed
There are several tools doctors can use to diagnose kidney stones, according to the NIDDK. After talking to you about your symptoms and doing a physical exam, your doctor may order these tests as well:
Urinalysis: This is a test of your pee that can show whether your urine contains high levels of minerals that form kidney stones. A urinalysis can also tell whether your pee has blood, bacteria, or white blood cells in it .
Blood tests: Your doctor may want to take a sample of your blood to test for high levels of certain minerals that can lead to kidney stones.
Abdominal X-Ray: This is a picture of your abdominal area that can potentially show the location of kidney stones in your urinary tract. One major caveat, though: Not all kidney stones can be seen on X-ray.
Computed Tomography Scan: CT scans use a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create images of your urinary tract. In some cases you might be given an injection of contrast medium, a dye or other substance that makes certain things inside your body easier to see during imaging tests.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
This means using a machine to send shock waves from outside your body to break up the stone. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy doesnt always work as well as other treatments, but it means less time in hospital and a lower risk of complications.
The shock waves break the stone into fragments small enough to be passed in your urine. You may feel some pain as the stone breaks up, so youll usually have a sedative and a painkiller. The treatment takes 30 to 60 minutes depending on how big the stone is. You need to lie as still as possible. You should be able to go home within a couple of hours.
The procedure can cause skin blistering or bruising. This should disappear after about a week. You can use skin cream to soothe your skin. You may have some pain and bleeding as you pass the stone fragments. Contact your doctor if this is severe.
You may need to have ESWL more than once to completely get rid of your kidney stones. It may not be suitable if youre pregnant, if your blood doesnt clot properly or if you get a lot of urine infections. Being obese can make it harder to target the stone. You may need to have medical expulsive therapy afterwards to get rid of any fragments.
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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 Are The Treatments For Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on the size of the stone, what it is made of, whether it is causing pain and whether it is blocking your urinary tract. To answer these questions and to figure out the right treatment for you, your doctor might ask you to have a urine test, blood test, x-ray and/or CT scan. A CT scan sometimes uses contrast dye. If you have ever had a problem with contrast dye, be sure to tell your doctor about it before you have your CT scan.
If your test results show that your kidney stone is small, your doctor may tell you to take pain medicine and drink plenty of fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract. If your kidney stone is large, or if it is blocking your urinary tract, additional treatment may be necessary.
One treatment option is shock wave lithotripsy. This treatment uses shock waves to break up the kidney stones into small pieces. After the treatment, the small pieces of the kidney stone will pass through your urinary tract and out of your body with your urine. This treatment usually takes 45 minutes to one hour and may be done under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
In rare cases, a surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy is needed to remove a kidney stone. During the surgery, a tube will be inserted directly into your kidney to remove the stone. You will need to be in the hospital for two to three days to have and recover from this treatment.
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How Can I Ease Kidney Pain
Follow doctors prescribed medications excluding Diuretic medicines
Get proper dialysis treatment
Drink enough water in each 15 min to 30 min, mostly Hot water or lukewarm water. You will get the best results.
Apply warm or heat on that pain area.
Eat healthy foods and stay away from animal proteins etc.
What Causes Kidney Stones
- By Kevin R. Loughlin, MD, MBA, Contributor
Stone disease has plagued humanity since ancient times. Kidney stones have been identified in Egyptian mummies. The Hippocratic oath describes their treatment: I will not use the knife, not even verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.
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Are Your Kidney Stones Due To Gout Or Something Else
According to the American Urological Foundation, kidney stones can cause severe and sharp pain, specifically in the back and abdomen, as well as while urinating. They could also cause nausea, vomiting, blood in urine, or frequent urination.
These symptoms could point to any of the four types of kidney stones, which are classified based on what they are made of:
Swelling In Hands Or Feet
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys dont remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and/or hands.
What patients said:
I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldnt get my shoes on.
Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.
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