If you have ever met someone who has had kidney stones before, then you have probably heard how painful it is to experience. There is a common saying that passing kidney stones is equivalent to the excruciating pain of giving birth.
If this saying is true, you will want to keep an eye out for kidney stones’ signs and symptoms, and the best way to know this is to learn all about them, what they are, how they happen, and what to do when recognizing possible signs and symptoms.
All You Need to Know About Kidney Stones
In all medical cases, having an understanding of what something is will not only help you treat it quickly and effectively, but this knowledge can also help you know preventable solutions. So if you understand how kidney stones work, you can do the things that will help you avoid getting them.
What exactly are kidney stones?
Just as its name suggests, kidney stones are stone-like mineral deposits found in the kidneys. These minerals that have become hardened or crystallized can also form in other urinary tracts such as the bladder and ureters. The size of kidney stones can range from a tiny grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. So you can imagine just how painful this experience can be.
What causes kidney stones?
There are many possible causes of kidney stones. Most depend on the state of your health, such as your diet, weight, and medical condition. That is why it is so vital to stay as healthy as possible and pay attention to your diet if you are showing signs of possible kidney stones.
How are kidney stones treated?
Once kidney stones are formed, you will need to help them pass through your urinary system in order to exit your body. Typically, this can happen on their own over time as you drink lots of water to wash them away. However, if the crystallization becomes too large, if the stone gets too lodged, or an infection has resulted from the kidney stone, then surgery might be needed to remove them. Otherwise, water and pain relievers are the standard treatments for kidney stones.
How to Recognize if You Have Kidney Stones
As mentioned, kidney stones don’t become an issue unless they form as a large deposit or if they get stuck along your ureters on the way to the bladder for expulsion. But when this does happen, you will no doubt start feeling discomfort in your pelvic area, if not sharp pains.
When kidney stones become stuck in your ureters, which is where they commonly cause problems, the pain you’ll feel will be present in the affected side below the ribs. You may also feel the pain slightly at the back, also below the ribs.
If the stone has made it almost to the bladder, then the pain may be felt below the abdomen or toward the groin area. But these pains can feel like a wave or fluctuates in intensity. Of course, the most obvious yet relieving pain is when urinating, when the stone is making its final pass.
One of the clear external signs that you can notice if you have kidney stones or if you have passed them is the color of your urine. If it comes out reddish or pinkish, even brownish – resembling the color of blood, then that may be a strong sign.
Additionally, if your urine was backed up due to a trapped kidney stone or you caught an infection from it, then your urine may also give off an unpleasant smell. Moreover, if you start to feel feverish or show other signs of sickness combined with the symptoms mentioned above, you may have an infection from the kidney stone.
When should you visit the doctor for kidney stones?
In any case, if you’re ever worried about the signs and symptoms you’ve noticed, still make sure to contact your doctor. After all, it never hurts to be cautious. But if a particular sign or symptom is severe, such as a strong presence of blood in your urine or the pain in your side is unbearable, then you should visit your doctor. Severe conditions not only often mean that something has gone wrong, but they can also lead to other issues or complicate things more.
Factors that Can Increase the Risk of Kidney Stones
Just about anyone can be affected by kidney stones, even children and babies. But they are much more common among adults, and they can happen even if you don’t have any health problems. Naturally, some people are more susceptible to having kidney stones, and these individuals should be extra careful and watchful for signs and symptoms.
If you have family members like your mum or dad who have experienced kidney stones or that commonly get them, then you are at a higher risk of getting them as well. This is also the same case if you have already experienced kidney stones. So getting kidney stones already puts you at a greater risk of experiencing them again in the future.
Certain existing medical conditions can increase the chance of kidney stones. Diabetes and urinary tract infections are two great examples. So if you have diabetes or you often have urinary tract infections, then be prepared to watch for kidney stone signs and symptoms.
The primary reason why your minerals would harden or crystalize is mainly because your body lacks the water to turn these substances into soft matter. Therefore, a lack of water or regularly being dehydrated can certainly play a significant role in kidney stones.
Despite how simple the treatments are for kidney stones, more than 10% of people in the U.S. experience them. Understanding what signs and symptoms to look for will undoubtedly help you or a loved one address this medical issue before things turn worse.
One way to find out about your general overall kidney health is a simple blood test. A kidney function test shows whether the organs are properly regulating the amount of water and salts we have in our body, and whether the kidneys are efficiently filtering blood and aiding in eliminating waste products. Further, renal function tests measure the levels of urea, creatinine, and certain dissolved salts that can help determine whether or not the kidneys are functioning properly and paint a picture of your overall health. Order an online kidney blood test today and take the first step in preventing and diagnosing renal disease.