Symptoms and Signs of Kidney Stones

November 12, 2012

Symptoms and Signs of Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is caused when chemicals in the urine crystallize and in the beginning are smaller than a grain of sand. Over time, however they can become larger and if they fall from the kidney into the ureter, will act like a dam, preventing urine from passing. The kidney will continue to function and produce urine, which will begin to build up behind the kidney stone, causing pressure and the kidney to swell. As the pressure builds, this is the pain you will experience but it will also help to force the stone down the ureter and into the bladder, hopefully relieving some of the kidney stones symptoms.

Most kidney stones consist of calcium so high levels in the urine can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. It is thought that this calcium increase can be passed down in the genes suggesting that kidney stones may be hereditary. It is also thought that your geographical location can affect the risks. People in the south of America are considered to be at a higher risk, thanks to their hot climate and lack of fluid consumption, causing high levels of dehydration. This will cause their urine to be more concentrated, allowing the chemicals in the urine to come into close contact and begin the crystallisation process.

When a tube in the body becomes blocked, for whatever reason, waves of pain will be experienced as the body attempts to break through the blockage. This kind of pain sensation is referred to as colic pain. Renal colic is the name for pain associated with the kidney and is a sudden, intense pain. And is one of the most unpleasant kidney stones symptoms. There is often a constant ache with periodic acute spasms of pain felt in the side of the middle of the back and sometimes in men’s testicles or scrotum. The pain cannot be relieved in any position so the patient often writhes or paces. Other kidney stones symptoms, which have been known to occur, include sweating, nausea, vomit and blood in the urine. Blood in the urine doesn’t definitely mean you have a kidney stone, as there are other causes for this. Also there may be an absence of blood in the urine if the stone is big and completely blocking the passage.

Tests can be performed in order to diagnose the condition but often medication is prescribes first and the kidney stones symptoms monitored in order to narrow down the likelihood of anything else. A CT scanned is the most effective test as it will detect and reveal a kidney stone, its location and size. If a CT scan is not wanted by the patient, (for example pregnant women), then an ultra sound can be performed instead but this requires a specially skilled doctor to interpret the images.

The only things you can do at home to treat a kidney stone is to try to prevent the formation of them. This means drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep the urine diluted. The pain experienced from a kidney stone is intense and debilitating and the only way to control the pain of the kidney stones symptoms is with medical attention. For people who have a history of kidney stones, home treatment may be an option. The stone will normally pass naturally at some point, and treatment is focused on pain relief and controlling the kidney stones symptoms. Drink plenty of water and use ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. If further pain relief is needed it can be prescribed by your doctor. If you develop a fever, seek medical assistance immediately as the kidney stone may need to be removed by an urologist.

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