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Diagnosed with Kidney Stone - What Next?

Published on Feb 08, 2017 and last reviewed on Dec 23, 2021   -  5 min read

Abstract

If you are diagnosed with small kidney stones, do not worry. Please read this article. I have discussed a few pieces of information about kidney stones.

Contents
Diagnosed with Kidney Stone - What Next?

What Is a Kidney Stone?

Kidney stones are hard deposits formed inside the kidney and are made of minerals and salts. It is also called nephrolithiasis, renal calculi, and urolithiasis. Stones can form anywhere in the urinary tract, from the kidney to the urinary bladder. Many patients are found to have small 3 mm to 5 mm stones in the kidneys. They get worried and rush to the doctor. Some land up taking unnecessary, costly treatment.

What Are the Types of Kidney Stones?

The type of kidney stone helps in determining the cause for the formation. Therefore, collecting a stone that you have passed in urine will help identify the cause. The following are the types of kidney stones:

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?

Pain is produced only when kidney stones move in the kidney or travel down the ureter. The ureter is the tube that connects the kidney with the urinary bladder. Pain associated with kidney stones exhibits shifting and a rise in intensity as the stone movies downwards through the urinary tract. In a few cases, the stones might get lodged between the ureter, leading to blockage of urine, swelling of kidneys, and ureter spasm. This produces a lot of pain and is characterized by the following symptoms:

In addition to this, the following symptoms may also occur:

What Causes Kidney Stones?

There is no particular cause for kidney stones. It is influenced by several risk factors. When there is an increased amount of crystal-forming substances like oxalate, uric acid, and calcium in urine or inadequate fluids to dilute the urine, kidney stones may form. Also, the lack of substances that prevent the crystals from sticking increases the risk of developing kidney stones.

What Increases the Risk of Developing Kidney Stones?

How Is a Kidney Stone Diagnosed?

1. Blood Tests:

The calcium and uric acid level in the blood helps investigate renal health and diagnose other associated health conditions.

2. Urine Tests:

Urine tests are taken to detect the presence of crystal-forming substances in urine or substances which prevent stone formation. The urine sample is collected over 24 hours for two consecutive days.

3. Imaging:

High-speed or dual-energy computed tomography helps in diagnosing kidney stones that are even too small. Ultrasound also helps in the diagnosis. An abdominal X-ray is not frequently recommended to detect small stones.

4. Stone Analysis:

The passed stones are analyzed in the laboratory to determine the cause.

What Should I Do After I Have Been Diagnosed With a Kidney Stone?

The anatomy of the urinary system is such that urine formed in the kidney is transported to the urinary bladder by a narrow tube called the ureter.

Size is the limiting factor for the natural passage of kidney stones through this narrow path. The ureter can accommodate around 4 mm diameter stones. Multiple kidney stones of size 3 mm to 4 mm have an increased likelihood of spontaneously passing through the urinary tract. As the size progressively increases, the chance of the stone getting stuck increases. Then, it requires some procedures to clear kidney stones.

Regular high fluid intake and healthy physical activity in patients carrying multiple small stones may help in the spontaneous passage of stones. But, they need to remain alert to some of the following danger signs to seek urgent medical help.

Do not get worried if you were recently diagnosed with small kidney stones on ultrasound during a health checkup. The likelihood of spontaneously passing a stone less than 5 mm is 77 %, whereas, for stones greater than 5 mm, it is 46 %. The interval of the stone passage is highly variable and is dependent on the stone size and location. About 40 days are required for stones of size 2 mm to 6 mm to pass out the urinary tract.

In patients where the stone size is more significant, surgical options are needed, which include the following:

What Lifestyle Remedies Help in Preventing Kidney Stone Formation?

Conclusion:

Do not be grieved about getting kidney stones. With proper treatment, kidney stones can be fully treated, and further occurrence can be prevented by taking appropriate preventive measures. Do take an adequate amount of water and reduce the intake of salt.

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Last reviewed at:
23 Dec 2021  -  5 min read

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