How It Is Done
Straining the first urine specimen of the morning is important. That’s because a stone may pass into your bladder during the night.
Look carefully at the strainer for a kidney stone. It may look like a grain of sand or a small piece of gravel. Any stone you find should be kept dryâdo not put it in fluid or urine. Put it in a cup with a lid or in a plastic bag. Take it to the doctor’s office or lab for analysis. Do not put tape on the kidney stone. Tape can change the test results.
The kidney stone you take to the lab will be cleaned of any blood or tissue and then looked at to find what chemicals it is made of.
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Calculi Strainer Kidney Stone Collector
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.
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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.”
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Treating the stone
Capturing the stone
Comparing Kidney Stone Testing In Children And Adults
Kidney stones are more common in adults but can also occur in children of any age. In general, kidney stone testing is similar in adults and children. Tests typically include a physical exam, a review of symptoms, imaging, urinalysis, and blood tests.
The biggest difference in kidney stone testing in children and adults is that ultrasound is more frequently used as the initial form of imaging in children. This is done to reduce a childs exposure to the radiation from CT scanning. However, in some cases, the benefits of follow-up CT scanning after an ultrasound may be greater than the risks.
As in adults, children may have additional testing after passing a kidney stone to better understand its composition and their risks for developing kidney stones again in the future.
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What Are Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract.
Stones vary in size. Some are as small as the period at the end of this sentence a fraction of an inch. Others can grow to a few inches across. Some kidney stones can become so large they take up the entire kidney.
A kidney stone forms when too much of certain minerals in your body accumulate in your urine. When you arent well hydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated with higher levels of certain minerals. When mineral levels are higher, its more likely that a kidney stone will form.
About 1 out of every 11 people in the United States will get a kidney stone. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes .
Smaller kidney stones that remain in the kidney often dont cause any symptoms. You might not notice anything is amiss until the stone moves into your ureter the tube that urine travels through to get from your kidney to your bladder.
Kidney stones are typically very painful. Most stones will pass on their own without treatment. However, you may need a procedure to break up or remove stones that dont pass.
Here are eight signs and symptoms that you may have kidney stones.
2 ). Some people whove experienced kidney stones compare the pain to childbirth or getting stabbed with a knife.
4 ). Your doctor might call this dysuria.
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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Causes Incidence And Risk Factors
Kidney stones may form when your urine becomes too concentrated with certain substances. These substances may create small crystals that become stones. The kidney stones may not produce symptoms until they begin to move down the ureter, causing pain. The pain is usually severe and often starts in the flank region, then moves down to the groin.
Kidney stones are common. About 5% of women and 10% of men will have at least one episode by age 70. A person who has had kidney stones often gets them again in the future. Kidney stones are common in premature infants.
Other risk factors include renal tubular acidosis and resultant nephrocalcinosis.
Some types of stones tend to run in families. Some types may be associated with bowel disease, ileal bypass for obesity, or renal tubule defects.
Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
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Surgical Intervention To Treat Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones pass out of the body in the urine without any active medical intervention, but there are a variety of treatment options available when intervention is needed. Most do not involve major surgery. The options are:
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy : This is the least invasive procedure to treat kidney stones. The procedure generates shock waves from outside the body and directs them through the skin to the stone. The stone breaks down into sand-like particles that pass easily through the urinary tract.
- Ureteroscopy: Stones found in the ureter may be treated with ureteroscopy. A scope is sent up through the urethra and into the ureter. The stone is retrieved with a device called a basket. If the stone is too big for retrieval it is broken up into small pieces with a laser which can then be extracted with a basket or easily passed through the urinary tract.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: This is a procedure used when stones are larger or in a location not suitable for ESWL or Ureteroscopy. The surgeon makes a tiny incision in the back and sends a scope up to the kidney to locate and remove the stone.
Straining Urine For Stones
Collecting any passed kidney stones is extremely important in the evaluation of a patient with nephrolithiasis for stone-preventive therapy. Yet, in a busy ED, the simple instruction to strain all the urine for stones can be easily overlooked.
Knowing when a stone is going to pass is impossible regardless of its size or location. Even after a stone has passed, residual swelling and spasms can cause continuing discomfort for some time. Be certain that all urine is actually strained for any possible stones. Ideally if patients are seen in the ED, they should be sent home with a strainging device, but in a pinch an aquarium net makes an excellent urinary stone strainer for home use because of its tight nylon weave, convenient handle, and collapsible nature, making it very portable it easily fits into a pocket or purse.
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How Common Are Kidney Stones
Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives.
The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3.8% in the late 1970s to 8.8% in the late 2000s. The prevalence of kidney stones was 10% during 20132014. The risk of kidney stones is about 11% in men and 9% in women. Other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity may increase the risk for kidney stones.
If The Kidney Stone Is Not Causing Any Symptoms Should I Still Be Treated
There are some instances when it is OK to leave a kidney stone untreated. If the stone is small and not causing any pain, there is a good chance that it will pass on its own after it falls into the ureter. Such stones may be followed with watchful waiting. This means that the stone is not actively treated, but instead your doctor keeps a check on the stone to be sure that it is not growing or changing. This can be done with periodic X-rays.
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Small Kidney Stones Usually Pass On Their Own
Small kidney stones are defined as being less than 5mm in size. These stones are normally able to pass through the urinary tract on their own. Depending on the circumstances, it is generally safe to wait as long as four to six weeks for a small kidney stone to pass out of the body. However, if an infection develops, or urine flow becomes blocked, intervention will be required.
Prescription Medication For Severe Pain
If the stone is causing severe pain, the urologist may choose to prescribe a narcotic. Providers may also inject patients with Ketorolac , a more powerful anti-inflammatory medication. If the patient becomes severely dehydrated due to vomiting or the inability to drink enough liquids, the urologist may decide to give IV fluids and pain medications.
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Kidney And Bladder Stones
Kidney and bladder stones are hard objects in the urinary tract made up of millions of tiny crystals. Kidney stones, which are much more common than bladder stones, can form when the bodys system for filtering urine becomes too concentrated. Bladder stones can form as a result of a urinary tract infection, a problem with the prostate, or in association with certain types of reconstructive surgery on the urinary tract.
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Brian Matlaga, M.D., answer questions about the symptoms, risk factors, treatment and recurrence of stone disease.
Treating And Preventing Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones are small enough to be passed in your urine, and it may be possible to treat the symptoms at home with medication.
Larger stones may need to be broken up using ultrasound or laser energy. Occasionally, keyhole surgery may be needed to remove very large kidney stones directly.
Read more about treating kidney stones.
Its estimated that up to half of all people who have had kidney stones will experience them again within the following five years.
To avoid getting kidney stones, make sure you drink plenty of water every day so you dont become dehydrated. Its very important to keep your urine diluted to prevent waste products forming into kidney stones.
Read more about preventing kidney stones.
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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.
Getting Tested For Kidney Stones
Kidney stone testing is ordered by a doctor after evaluating your specific situation. When recommended, the testing is typically performed in a doctors office or hospital.
If you have symptoms of kidney stones, it is important to promptly contact a health care provider for medical advice about the most appropriate testing and where it can be conducted.
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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.
Its common for people with a kidney stone to have nausea and vomiting .
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 .
Is There Anything Else I Should Know
Not everyone who drinks too little liquid or who has an excess amount of a chemical in their urine will form kidney stones. Some stones will form in people for other reasons. Those who have had one kidney stone are at an increased risk for developing additional stones.
Other factors that can contribute to the formation or increased risk of kidney stones include:
- A family history of kidney stones
- Presence of a urinary tract infection
- Abnormalities in the structure of the kidneys and/or urinary tract
- Kidney disorders such as polycystic kidney disease, a condition characterized by the presence of numerous cysts in the kidney
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