I’m going to explain kidney stones symptoms, kidney stones treatment, passing kidney stones and much more!
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What is a kidney stone? A kidney stone is exactly what it sounds like, it's a rock in your kidney. But how does the stone form? A kidney stone forms when you have particles or substances in your urine that stick together. They usually stick together when they are in high concentrations in your urine. Once these particles stick together, they form a crystal. That crystal adheres usually to the inside of your kidney. As time goes on, more and more particles or substances stick to that crystal, that crystal becomes larger, and you develop a kidney stone.
There are different types of particles, which tend to form stones. These particles include substances like calcium, oxalate, cysteine, and uric acid. As urine flows through your kidneys, that flow can cause your kidney stones to move towards your bladder and into the direction of the outside world. If the kidney stones are small enough, they can fit through the tubes inside of your kidney and your urinary tract system, and you can actually pass the kidney stone.
How do you pass the kidney stones? You know. The kidney stones pass as you urinate with the rest of your urine. Granted even if kidney stones are small enough to pass through your kidneys and the urinary tract system, they often cause scrapes and scratches inside of your kidney as they pass, and this can be very, very painful. If you think about the path that the kidney stone must take in order to get out of your body with the urine, especially that final pathway that exits to the outside world, especially in men, ouch.
What are the symptoms of kidney stones? Well, pain is the most common symptom. You can get pain in your flanks, which is that area between your ribs and your hips and your lower back. That pain can come, that pain can go, that pain can be throbbing, that pain can be excruciating, and that pain can also radiate towards your groin. You can also get nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain.
Blood in the urine is another symptom of kidney stones or nephrolithiasis. The urine can appear just a pinkish, light color, or it can be outright red like blood. Other symptoms include urgency. When you feel like you've just got to go run to the restroom to urinate, but when you get there you don't have to urinate.
What are the risk factors for developing kidney stones? Dehydration is one. If your urine has insufficient amounts of fluid, then those particles will be in high concentration, which puts you at a risk for forming stones, as those particles stick together in your kidney.
How can you be diagnosed with kidney stones? Well, certainly a good history and physical by your doctor can help to make the diagnosis, but then there are also imaging studies. You can have a CAT scan, a very specific one, a helical CT with no contrast. Also, ultrasound of sonography. The same way that pregnant ladies get sonograms of their bellies, you can get a sonogram of your kidneys and that can help to identify kidney stones.
Kidney stones treatment. If kidney stones are asymptomatic, you may not need any treatment. If you don't have fever or infection or great pain, you really could just live with the kidney stones with no treatment at all. However, if the kidney stones are enough to cause symptoms, then you will most certainly need treatment. If you have kidney stones that are small enough to pass, they would need to be nine millimeters or less at least, and if you're able to take in food, take in drinks, then it's possible that you can be treated by your doctor for kidney stones at home.
If you have kidney stones that are actually too large to pass, then you may require procedures at which time a urology consult is indicated. One procedure is a ureteroscopy, where a thin camera is actually passed through the urethra, the hole where the urine comes out, and that camera is threaded up through the urethra, through the bladder to the ureters and that stone is actually retrieved and removed from the body.
Another procedure is shockwave lithotripsy. This is when shockwaves or sound waves actually break up large stones into small particles or smaller fragments that are able to be passed with the urine. Another procedure, one that's a little more invasive, is percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This is when an incision is made and the kidney stone is actually surgically removed.
This ends my overview of kidney stones symptoms, kidney stones treatment and passing kidney stones. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe.
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