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.
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Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
While not all kidney stones can be prevented, there are ways to lower your risk of developing one or developing another one. The first and foremost way would be to drink enough fluids to ensure your urinary system gets flushed out well.
Your doctor could recommend that you avoid certain types of foods, but that is an individual call. For certain types of stones, sometimes medications are prescribed to help reduce the risk as well.
If you suspect sepsis, call 9-1-1 or go to a hospital and tell your medical professional, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT SEPSIS.
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Difference In Kidney Stones And Utis: Treatment And Home Remedies
Kidney stone treatment is tailored towards the type of stone a patient has. One method of treatment is increasing your intake of fluids to increase urine flow, along with minimizing nausea and vomiting. Other treatment methods include medications, lithotripsy , tunnel surgery , and ureteroscopy, where a ureteroscope is used to remove a lodged stone in the bladder.
Over-the-counter painkillers can also aid in reducing pain experienced in kidney stones.
Treatment for UTIs usually involves prescription antibiotics to combat the bacteria. If UTIs are recurring, then your doctor may put you on a low-dose antibiotic for six months or recommend you take an antibiotic after sex.
Home remedies for UTIs include drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding drinks that irritate the bladder like caffeine, juice, or alcohol and using a heating pad to relieve any pain.
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Epidemiology Of Kidney Stones
Globally, kidney stone disease prevalence and recurrence rates are increasing , with limited options of effective drugs. Urolithiasis affects about 12% of the world population at some stage in their lifetime . It affects all ages, sexes, and races but occurs more frequently in men than in women within the age of 2049 years . If patients do not apply metaphylaxis, the relapsing rate of secondary stone formations is estimated to be 1023% per year, 50% in 510 years, and 75% in 20 years of the patient . However, lifetime recurrence rate is higher in males, although the incidence of nephrolithiasis is growing among females . Therefore, prophylactic management is of great importance to manage urolithiasis.
Recent studies have reported that the prevalence of urolithiasis has been increasing in the past decades in both developed and developing countries. This growing trend is believed to be associated with changes in lifestyle modifications such as lack of physical activity and dietary habits and global warming . In the United States, kidney stone affects 1 in 11 people , and it is estimated that 600,000 Americans suffer from urinary stones every year. In Indian population, about 12% of them are expected to have urinary stones and out of which 50% may end up with loss of kidney functions .
Sudden Urge To Urinate
If you find yourself suddenly needing to urinate or needing to urinate more frequently than normal, it may be a sign that a kidney stone has reached the lower portion of your urinary tract. Like cloudy urine, increased urgency is also associated with urinary tract infections, although with kidney stones, urgency can be present even without an infection.
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What If You Really Need To Hold Your Pee
When you have to go, you have to go. If youre able to use the restroom, you should do so.
But if youve been advised to do any form of bladder training, or if youre unable to access a bathroom, here are a few things you can do to take your mind off the urge to urinate:
- Do a task that will actively engage your brain, such as a game or crossword puzzle.
- Listen to music.
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Differentiating Kidney Stones And Urinary Tract Infections
|Complications||Recurring kidney stones||Recurrent infections, permanent kidney damage due to an untreated UTI, delivering premature infant risk in pregnant women, urethral narrowing in men, sepsis.|
|Diagnosis||Blood tests, urine testing, imaging tests, and analysis of any stones that have passed.||Analyzing urine samples, growing urinary tract bacteria in a lab, creating images of the urinary tract, and using a scope to see inside of the bladder.|
|Treatment||Increasing your intake of fluids, medications, lithotripsy, tunnel surgery, ureteroscopy, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy , and percutaneous nephrolithotomy .||Drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding drinks that irritate the bladder, using a heating pad to relieve any pain, prescription antibiotics such as Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Fosfomycin, Nitrofurantoin, etc.|
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Do Some Medicines Make Kidney Stones More Likely
Taking certain medicines can make you more prone to making kidney stones. Examples include:
- Some chemotherapy medicines for cancer.
- Some medicines used to treat HIV.
However, many people safely take these medicines without developing kidney stones. If you think that a medicine you are taking is the cause of your kidney stone, you should not stop taking the medicine but discuss it with your doctor.
How Long Does It Take A Kidney Stone To Form
You can have kidney stones for years without knowing theyre there. As long as these stones stay in place within your kidney, you wont feel anything. Pain from a kidney stone typically starts when it moves out of your kidney. Sometimes, a stone can form more quickly within a few months.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors. They might do a 24-hour urine test to check how quickly you develop stones.
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Finding Blood In Your Urine Can Be A Stressful Experience Heres Why It Happens And What You Should Do
There are many different reasons why this happens, but its important not to panic.
Finding blood in your urine does not automatically signal a life-threatening disease, but normally, healthy urine should not contain any detectable amounts of blood. Its important to contact your general practitioner if you notice bright red blood in your urine or if your urine has turned red or brown because it has blood in it.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
- Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
- If you have a fever:
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
- Keep a daily record of your temperature.
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What Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed from substances in your urine. The substances that combine into stones normally pass through your urinary system. When they dont, its because there isnt enough urine volume, causing the substances to become highly concentrated and to crystalize. This is typically a result of not drinking enough water. The stone-forming substances are:
- Cloudy, foul-smelling urine, fever, chills or weakness which might be a sign of a serious infection.
- Blood in the urine.
Most pediatric kidney stones remain in the kidney, but up to a third may migrate from the kidney and get stuck in a ureter. Stones that remain in the kidney, although often painless, can be the source of recurrent urinary tract infections. Those that lodge in the ureter can create severe colicky pain.
How Are Kidney Stones Treated
Once diagnosed, your healthcare provider will first determine if you even need treatment. Some smaller kidney stones may leave your system when you urinate. This can be very painful. If your provider decides that you do need treatment, your options include medications and surgery.
Medications. Medications may be prescribed to:
- Your healthcare provider may recommend that you take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or, if youre in the emergency room, an IV narcotic.
- Manage nausea/vomiting.
- Relax your ureter so that the stones pass. Commonly prescribed medicines include tamsulosin and nifedipine .
You should ask your healthcare provider before you take ibuprofen. This drug can increase the risk of kidney failure if taken while youre having an acute attack of kidney stones especially in those who have a history of kidney disease and associated illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Surgery. There are four types of surgeries used to treat kidney stones. The first three are minimally invasive, meaning that the surgeon enters your body through a natural opening , or makes a small incision.
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Feeling Faint Dizzy Or Weak
Why this happens:
Anemia related to kidney failure means that your brain is not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to feeling faint, dizzy, or weak.
What patients said:
I was always tired and dizzy.
It got to the point, like, I used to be at work, and all of the sudden Iâd start getting dizzy. So I was thinking maybe it was my blood pressure or else diabetes was going bad. Thatâs what was on my mind.
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What Are The Common Causes
These stones can be the result of:
- Family history: you are more likely to get these stones if someone else in your family has dealt with them
- Personal history: if youve had kidney stones before, it increases the risk of getting them in the future
- Dehydration: resulting from not drinking enough water, excessive sweat, or a dry climate
- Obesity: being overweight is linked with higher risk of kidney stones
- Diets: if youre eating lots of salt, protein and sugar, youre raising your risk of these stones
- Medications: vitamin C, dietary supplements, excessive use of laxatives, and some drugs for migraines and depression can raise your chances of this condition
- Medical conditions: inflammatory bowel disease and chronic diarrhea can affect the way you absorb calcium and water, increasing your risk
These risk factors may lead too little liquid and too much waste. As a result, rather than passing waste substances in your urine, minerals and salts, waste materials you normally pass when you use the bathroom, may clump together and form crystals.
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How Is Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Kidney infection may be diagnosed by a physician by performing a complete physical examination and taking a detailed medical history. The evaluation includes checking the vital signs , assessing for signs of dehydration, and checking for tenderness on the mid and lower back. In young, female patients a pelvic exam may also be necessary to evaluate for pelvic infection . A pregnancy test may also be performed.
A urinalysis test is essential for the diagnosis of kidney infection. The urine sample must be properly collected. The urethra needs to be wiped clean properly before the sample is collected in order to avoid contamination of urine by the bacteria on the skin around the urethra. The initial stream of urine is preferably voided in the toilet before collecting urine in the provided container. This is called the mid-stream, clean-catch urine. After an appropriate amount of urine is collected in the container, the remaining urine may also be voided in the toilet.
A urinalysis suggestive of an infection in the urine in general, is highly suggestive and supportive of the diagnosis of kidney infection or urinary tract infection. A urine sample without evidence of urine infection makes kidney infection unlikely and another diagnosis may be considered.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Stones
Some bladder stones pass out of the body with urine and dont cause any symptoms. Large bladder stones can irritate the bladder and cause severe pain, bleeding, and problems urinating. Signs and symptoms include:
- Changes in urine color: You may have cloudy or dark urine, or you may see blood in your urine.
- Frequent need to urinate: You may feel like you always need to pee, even if you just went.
- Pain: With bladder stones, its common to feel pain or burning when urinating. You may also feel pain that comes and goes in the lower part of the abdomen . Men sometimes feel pain in the penis or testicles.
- Stopping and starting: You may have a difficult time starting the flow of urine, even if you really have to go. Sometimes the urine stream stops and starts .
- Urinary tract infections: Bladder stones can lead to infections of the urinary tract . UTI symptoms include frequent, painful urination as well as cloudy, smelly urine.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Stones
Stones, especially tiny ones, may not cause any symptoms. Stones in the bladder may cause pain in the lower abdomen. Stones that obstruct the ureter or renal pelvis or any of the kidneys drainage tubes may cause back pain or renal colic. Renal colic is characterized by an excruciating intermittent pain, usually in the area between the ribs and hip on one side, that spreads across the abdomen and often extends to the genital area. The pain tends to come in waves, gradually increasing to a peak intensity, then fading, over about 20 to 60 minutes. The pain may radiate down the abdomen toward the groin or testis or vulva.
Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, restlessness, sweating, and blood or a stone or a piece of a stone in the urine. A person may have an urge to urinate frequently, particularly as a stone passes down the ureter. Chills, fever, burning or pain during urination, cloudy, foul-smelling urine, and abdominal swelling sometimes occur.
Can Uti Tests Detect Kidney Stones
Yes, both involve analyzing a sample of urine. The urine analysis test that can detect the presence of organisms causing a urinary tract infection can also be used to detect the presence of blood or minerals and acid salts.
Also, imaging tests tell the health care provider if there are abnormalities in the urinary tract, such as a kidney stone, how big the stone is, and where it is located.
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Passing A Kidney Stone
Small kidney stones may pass on their own without treatment. A doctor may recommend drinking more fluids to help flush the stone out of the system.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe the medication Tamsulosin. This drug relaxes the ureter, making it easier for stones to pass. Some people may also require over-the-counter or prescription pain relief medication.
According to the AUA, a person should wait no longer than 6 weeks to pass a small kidney stone. They should seek medical attention sooner if they experience worsening pain or an infection.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to place a ureteral stent to allow urine to bypass the stone, with or without removing the stone at the same time. According to the Urology Care Foundation, doctors usually reserve surgery for stones that may have caused or lead to infection or stones that do not pass and block urine flow from the kidney.
Kidney Stones Vs Urinary Tract Infection Differences In Symptoms Causes And Treatment
Although kidney stones are often described as one of the most painful occurrences a person may experience, in its early stages, the condition may often be confused with urinary tract infections which may delay treatment. Kidney stones and urinary tract infections share many similarities, but also have distinct differences that tell each condition apart.
The urinary system is comprised of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. The kidneys main role is to cleanse the blood and allow for waste to be expelled through urine. Urine then travels down the ureters into the bladder where it remains until released.
Infections can occur anywhere along the urinary system, resulting in either bladder infection, kidney infection, urethritis, or urinary tract infection. Infections anywhere in the urinary system can be dangerous if left untreated, so its imperative to see your doctor soon after symptom onset in order to begin treatment as soon as possible to minimize complications.
Here we will focus on kidney stones and urinary tract infections, and discuss the differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment.
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