kidney stones symptoms

Kidney Stone Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Do you often experience pain in the belly or backside? Or is there an urgency of urination constantly? These are kidney stone symptoms, and they can get worse if you ignore them. Though there are many other possible causes of the pain and constant feeling of urination, yet one should go straight away to the doctor in any of the situations. Kidney stones form due to salt and minerals collection containing uric acid or calcium. Developing inside your Kidney, they can reach any other urinary part.

Talking about size, well, it varies. It can be small as an inch fraction or big enough to cross the measurement of an inch. In worse cases, some stones acquire a tremendous shape that takes up your entire Kidney. There are many causes behind the stone formation and thus visible through kidney stone symptoms. Usually, the formation of kidney stones is associated with the accumulation of certain kinds of minerals in the urine.

If you do not drink sufficient amount of water, it can also lead to kidney stone formation. It happens because insufficient water intake enhances the concentration of urine. It paves the way for certain minerals to reach higher levels. The higher levels of minerals result in the formation of kidney stones.

On average, one among every 11 people suffers from kidney stones or at least is prone to get one. Obese and diabetic people have the most probable chances of getting kidney stones. Kidney stone, when limiting their presence to the Kidney itself, does not cause any kidney stone symptoms.

It is hard to notice anything abnormal until the kidney stone reaches into the ureter. It is a tube that gives urine a passage to reach urinary bladder from the Kidney. Typically, kidney stones cause severe pain. Most of the stones pass automatically without any kidney stones treatment. However, a procedure is required to break them up or remove the ones that can’t move.

Common kidney stone symptoms

Here are some of the most commonly experienced kidney stone symptoms among the patients:

1. Pain in the belly, sides, or back:

One of the kidney stones symptoms includes painful end, or pain on either side and the stomach. Also called renal colic, the pain of kidney stones is often compared to the childbirth pain or the pain that one experiences if it gets stabbed. It is so intense that it brings around 1 million people to emergency wards every year.

Usually, the pain begins when the stone moves forward into the ureter, which is quite narrow. It blocks the passage and thus creates pressure in your Kidney. This pressure stimulates nerve fibers signaling the brain about the pain. With the movement of stone, so does change the intensity and location of the pain.

2. Experiencing a burning sensation or pain during urination:

Once your stone reaches the bladder and the ureter junction, it causes pain while urinating. Doctors call this Dysuria. It can be a burning sensation or very sharp and stinging in intensity. If you are not aware of whether there is a kidney stone or not, it’ll be hard for you to recognize the kidney stone symptoms. Sometimes, an infection can be the cause of such kind of pain, while there’s a possibility that the disease could be accompanying the symptoms of kidney stones.

3. Feeling an urgency to go to the bathroom

Usually, it’s another sign of having kidney stones that are probably moving downward and entering the lower region of the urinary tract. You may experience a constant urgency to rush to the bathroom or feel like going continuously all day long. However, this symptom also indicates UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).

4. Encountering blood during urination

It is a ubiquitous sign of stone in the urinary tract, and the symptom is termed as Hematuria. It can look pink, red, or even brown, but only a doctor can certify the symptoms with tests.

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Besides, seeing blood in your urine, if you have smelly or cloudy urine, it’s a sure shot sign of kidney infection. There is no strong odor or hazy appearance in healthy urine. Cloudiness can be the signal of pus, whereas the smell could be possible due to the bacteria that cause UTIs.

5. Chills and Fever:

Both of them indicate either in any other urinary tract part of the kidneys. It is a severe complication and can also be an indication of some other health issue that is serious. Any kind of fever accompanying the pain needs immediate medical attention. An illness occurring along with an infection is usually of 100.4 ?F, which is of very high intensity. The patient can also experience shivering or chills alongside the fever.

6. Vomiting and Nausea:

Vomiting and nausea are quite familiar with people showing kidney stone symptoms. It occurs due to the connection of common nerves between your GI tract and Kidney. Kidney stones trigger nerves of the GI tract and upset the stomach. The body also responds to intense pain through vomiting and nausea.

Causes of kidney stones

The size of your kidney stone can be small as a tiny sand grain, and it generally passes during urination without you ever knowing. But a large kidney stone is capable of blocking urine flow and cause too much hurt. People claim that pain of kidney stones as worse as labor pain.

These hard collections are formed with the clumping of minerals in your urine. It can be the result of many things, likewise, the kind of food you eat or due to specific medications too. Also, if one of your family members has ever had this problem, you are at considerable risk of getting kidney stones. Some of the kidney stone causes are:

1. Insufficient water intake

You might have ignored the advice of people to drink plenty of water. Even in childhood, our parents keep telling us to drink water in a sufficient amount. It not only dilutes the urine but also restricts the formation of those things into stones.

If you don’t have an ample amount of water on regular intervals and sweat a lot too, the color of your urine may turn dark, or it would turn pale yellow. An ideal amount of daily water intake is eight glasses. One should aim to achieve this to avoid kidney stones from early symptoms.

Especially if a person has had kidney stones previously, he should make around eight urine cups every day to avoid it from happening again. You can include orange or lemonade in your diet as it blocks the formation of kidney stones.

2. Your Diet

If you have kidney stones diet plays a much important role. Also, if you don’t have, consider yourself lucky and watch over your food habits to not get into a painful situation. It causes intense pain, and the stones build up mostly due to the sticking of oxalate and calcium together while your kidneys process urine.

Your doctor may suggest you avoid foods that are high oxalate (a chemical found in various nutritious vegetables and healthy eating) if you’ve encountered stones before:

  • Rhubarb,
  • Spinach,
  • Bran Cereal, and
  • Grits

But if someone has told you to ignore drinking milk because it brings kidney stones, so don’t believe it as it’s a myth. In fact, on the contrary, if you eat foods rich in calcium, your body will be capable of handling the oxalate better. It is so as the two of them bind easily in the gut instead of binding together in your kidneys, where there are most probable chances of stone occurrences.

3. Sodium and Animal protein:

Table salt has a high amount of sodium in the eat, and it enhances the chances of various kinds of nuggets in kidneys. So, better monitor your salty snack intake, packaged meats, canned foods, and other types of processed foods.

Animal protein is another major kidney stone cause as it enhances uric acid levels in the body, turning your urine into more acidic. It can also collect in your joints and then go to the Kidney becoming stones gradually. More prominently, animal protein elevates calcium level in urine and decreases citrate levels. Both of the situations encourage stones.

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Diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones

As kidney stones can happen to anyone, so it’s crucial to be aware of this commonly occurring ailment. While the symptoms of kidney stones are very identical to other diseases, it’s necessary to know what’s causing the trouble. The root cause of such intense and disturbing pain can be diagnosed with proper tests. You should reach out to your doctor if you are having:

Diagnosis

The only way to know for sure that you have a kidney stone is to see a doctor so she can make a diagnosis. You should make an appointment if you:

  • Have Difficulty to lie down, stand or sit comfortably
  • Have been noticing blood in the urine
  • Are experiencing unbearable stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea
  • Are feeling it very hard to urinate properly

After reaching out to the doctor, you should be ready to give a detailed description of all the symptoms you have been experiencing and for how much time. Do not forget to tell him every single detail along with any sort of medication, if you had taken any.

He may also ask you the amount of water intake and urination in a day. If he suspects the symptoms indicating kidney stones, he can prescribe some tests to get sure. It will help him to give proper and effective kidney stones treatment.

How to detect kidney stones?

There are various ways to detect kidney stones, including:

  • X-rays to find stones, but little stones might not be visible in an x-ray.
  • Ultrasound helps to create clear pictures of the insides
  • CT scan for in-depth scan and get quick and clear inside images for making the diagnosis fast.

After the completion of diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe you to wait for the stone to pass on their own if they are tiny in size. In another case, if it’s large and hard to pass through a lot of water intake and monitored diet, he may remove its crystals or break it up.

Some more symptoms of kidney stones

The kidney stones treatment solely depends on the location and size of your kidney stone alongside the symptoms you are experiencing.

  • The doctor may advise waiting for two weeks to 4 weeks to let the stone pass. He may suggest extra water intake that would flush the stone out of the body.
  • Also, he may tell you to catch your stone using a filter while urinating. He may conduct a laboratory test on it for detecting the minerals. It will enable him to prescribe you medication for the prevention of more stones, if any.
  • In case of enormous discomfort and pain, ibuprofen or other pain relievers can help you. For worse situations, your doctor may also give you a drug for easing up nausea.
  • The doctor may also administer alpha or calcium blockers for relaxing the ureter. It is a tube the paves the way for urine passing from the Kidney to the bladder. Relaxed ureter will make it fuller, thus helping the stone in moving out more quickly.
  • In worse cases, where the drugs and medication don’t work, the only option is surgery. Because a more substantial stone will not come out, so the doctor will either break it through operation or eradicate it.
  • Surgery may also be needed if the pain is so intense and unbearable. There may be an infection that has occurred, blocking the urination.

Final thoughts

Kidney stones are undoubtedly a painful and troublesome condition. However, through proper kidney stones diet, you can prevent it from occurring and manage it if you already have it. Properly hydrating your body and avoiding specific food that causes kidney stones is another effective way for prevention. Foods with high levels of sugar and salt should be ignored as much as possible. Try to pair calcium with foods rich in oxalate content. It is an essential element to avoid kidney stones.