Kidney stones are hard, pebble-sized objects that grow in your kidneys and pass through the body. Here is the process. Your kidneys work hard to remove fluid and waste from the body. During this process, kidney stones can sometimes form. Kidney stones are hardened mineral deposits that can form in the urinary tract. They often pass unnoticed or can be extremely
Your kidneys work hard to remove fluid and waste from the body. During this process, kidney stones can sometimes form. Kidney stones are hardened mineral deposits that can form in the urinary tract. They often pass unnoticed or can be extremely painful and require treatment.
This article provides a look at the four main stages of passing a kidney stone.
If you have too much salt, certain minerals, or chemicals in your system and a lack of urine, the excess material can form crystals in your kidneys. Other particles can attach to the crystals and form a "stone," a hard object that your body may try to pass.
About 1 out of every 10 people in the U.S. will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives.
If the stone is small enough, it may pass in your urine unnoticed. You may never even know you had one.
Larger kidney stones, however, can cause the following symptoms:
When kidney stones move in your body, they can cause intense pain that almost feels like someone is jabbing you with a knife.
If it's extremely painful, or if you have a fever, feel nauseous, or are vomiting, you should seek medical care immediately. Kidney stones can be associated with infection, which needs immediate treatment. Go to the emergency room if necessary.
Kidney stones are pebble-like objects that can vary in size, ranging from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a ping pong ball. They can be smooth, have jagged sharp edges, and are typically yellow or brown.
Anybody can develop a kidney stone, but they are more common in men than women and are seen more often among White people.
Different types of stones have different causes, but some of the risk factors for developing kidney stones include:
Kidney stones are typically identified by the main material they are made from. The most common are calcium, uric acid, and cystine stones. Struvite stones, made of magnesium ammonium phosphate, are often associated with a UTI (urinary tract infection) and can become large relatively quickly.
The development and natural passing of kidney stones can be broken down into four stages.
Kidney stones can develop when urine is concentrated due to a lack of water in the body. This allows crystals to form and attract other materials.
The creation of a kidney stone is not painful, but it can cause severe pain when the body attempts to get rid of it.
The second stage is when the kidney stone has entered the ureter, the tube that connects your kidneys to your bladder. The pain can come in waves as the ureter goes into spasms as it attempts to pass the stone.
When the stone reaches the bladder, the pressure builds, and you will feel an urgent need to urinate frequently.
When you urinate, the kidney stone can be pushed out of the bladder and complete the process. There is usually little or no pain involved in this last stage.
It can depend on the size. A stone less than 4 millimeters can pass in a week or two. For larger stones, it can take up to four to six weeks to pass.
If you are diagnosed with a kidney stone, your healthcare provider will recommend that you drink a lot of water to prevent stone formation. They can prescribe pain medication as needed.
A surgical procedure called shock wave lithotripsy may be performed if you cannot pass the stone. This uses sound waves to break the stone up into smaller pieces, making it easier to pass.
Surgeons can also use an endoscope (a narrow tube with a camera at the end) to reach the stone and break it up.
You will be sedated during the procedure.
After the stone is extracted, it is vital you have a work up of what the stone is composed of and what can be done to prevent a recurrence of the stone.
Kidney stones are made of chemicals in your kidneys that the body cannot pass, often due to a lack of water. Kidney stones pass without notice, but larger ones are extremely painful.
If you have pain in your back, side, or abdomen that comes on suddenly, or if you notice blood in your urine or an urgent need to urinate frequently, it may be a kidney stone. If you have a fever or feel nauseous, see a healthcare provider immediately because you may have an infection that needs quick treatment.
Kidney stones are extremely painful, but you can possibly reduce your risk of developing them by adjusting your diet and drinking plenty of water. If you feel extreme and sudden pain in your back, side, or abdomen, contact your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room for evaluation and treatment.
Kidney stones can cause severe pain that can come in waves in your back or abdomen. Other symptoms can be similar to a UTI, including an urge to urinate, blood in the urine, painful urination, and fever and chills. If you have these symptoms, see a healthcare provider.
Yes, a kidney stone can pass in urine without you even noticing it if it's small enough. For larger stones, your healthcare provider will instruct you to drink a lot of water to help it pass in your urine. If it doesn't, surgeons can use simple procedures to break the stone into smaller pieces or remove it.
Drinking plenty of water is the best way to urge a kidney stone through your system.