Kidney stones refer to solid masses made up of tiny crystals. There can be one or more stones in the kidney or ureter at the same time. idney stones typically leave the body in the urine stream, and a small stone may pass without causing symptoms. If stones grow to sufficient size (usually at least 3 millimeters (0.12 in) they can cause blockage of the ureter. This leads to pain, most commonly beginning in the flank or lower back and often radiating to the groin. This pain is often known as renal colic and typically comes in waves lasting 20 to 60 minutes.
Signs and Symptoms
The main symptom is severe pain that starts suddenly and may go away suddenly. Other symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Abnormal urine color
- Abdominal pain
The major causes of kidney stones are:
- Family history
- Not drinking enough fluids
- People with urinary tract infection
The treatment for kidney stone actually depends on the type of stone and the severity of symptoms. The best way to prevent kidney stones is to drink 6-8 glasses of water to produce a large amount of urine.
Depending on the type of stone, your doctor may prescribe medicine to decrease stone formation or help break down and remove the material that is causing the stone.
- Allopurinol (for uric acid stones)
- Antibiotics (for struvite stones)
- Phosphate solutions
- Sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate
- Water pills (thiazide diuretics)
Surgery is required if:
- The stone is too large to pass on its own
- The stone is growing
- The stone is blocking urine flow and causing an infection or kidney damage
- The pain cannot be controlled