How It Feels To Expel A Kidney Stone
Kidney stones are hard crystallizations of mineral matter that form between the kidney and the urinary tract. Nephrolithiasis, which is the medical term for this condition, affects one in 20 people at some point in their lives, with men being the most likely to suffer from the disease. Various causes contribute to the formation of these stones, generating a variety of symptoms that disappear when the stones are expelled, either through the urinary tract or by surgical removal. In this article, we explain in detail what it feels like to expel a kidney stone.
Why are kidney stones formed?
One of the main causes of the appearance of kidney stones is the lack of water in the body. Stones are most commonly found in individuals whose water consumption is below the daily requirements necessary to maintain adequate hydration levels. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid present in the urine, it becomes more acidic. An excessively acid environment favors the crystallization of certain substances that then unite and form stones.
Types of kidney stones
Knowing the type of kidney stone that is suffered can help determine the causes that generated it and thus it is possible to avoid the formation of new stones. Among the types of kidney stones, we find:
- Calcium calculations: most stones are calcium, usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a natural substance found in some foods that is also produced by the liver. Some fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and chocolate, contain it.
- Struvite stones: Struvite stones are formed in response to a urinary tract infection. These stones are generated and grow rapidly.
- Uric acid stones: develop in people who do not drink enough fluid or lose a lot of fluids. It can also appear in individuals who have a diet high in protein and those who suffer from gout, which is a form of arthritis.
- Cystine stones: These stones are formed in people who have an inherited disorder, which causes the kidneys to excrete large amounts of certain amino acids (cystinuria).
Symptoms of kidney stones
A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it is mobilized inside the kidney or until it attempts to pass through the ureter, which is the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder. In this case, the following symptoms may be experienced:
- Intense pain in the side and back, below the ribs.
- Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin.
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity.
- Pain when urinating.
- Pink, red or brown urine.
- Cloudy or malodorous urine.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Persistent need to urinate or urinate more often than usual.
- Fever and chills may indicate that an infection is already present.
- Urinate small amounts.
Go to the doctor urgently if you experience:
- Pain so severe that you can not stay still or find a comfortable position.
- Pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Pain accompanied by fever and chills.
- Blood in the urine.
- Difficulty urinating
How does it feel to expel a kidney stone or stone in the kidney?
The symptoms that kidney stones produce when expelled depend to a large extent on their size. Kidney stones with a size of approximately 4 mm in diameter can easily pass into the urine without pain or with very little pain.
Depending on the place of the urinary tract where the stone is, you may or may not feel any discomfort. If it is in the lower part of the ureter, discomfort in urination may be felt.
With calculations greater than 5 mm, the discomfort of expelling them increases, but it will never be like the nephritic colic that occurs when the kidney is congested, which according to the patients is a very strong pain that covers the lumbar area and is reflected in the groin area. It is described as intense pain with large peaks of greater intensity and often accompanied by general malaise, including vomiting and nausea.
Some of the small stones can be easily treated at home, while large stones should be operated on or treated with other techniques such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), ureteroscopy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (NLP). On the other hand, uric acid stones can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids and drinking water. This can dilute the stones by decreasing their size and in this way it is easy to expel them through the urine.
On the other hand, small stones can be expelled from the body through urine through the use of various medications, such as nifedipine or tamsulosin, which are taken with plenty of water. Then, it only remains to wait. The speed of the expulsion depends on the size and anatomy of each patient.
There are some home remedies that can be used to help expel a kidney stone. One of these remedies is the bean which, interestingly, has a kidney-like shape. To use it, just remove the beans from the pods, boil them and let them cool. The resulting water is taken as running water for several days. Pomegranate juice and its seeds also have great power to reduce and help eject kidney stones due to its astringent properties, as well as melon, which is also used to help expel kidney stones.
Prevention is always better than cure, therefore, a healthy and controlled diet should be followed to prevent stones, especially those with a family history of nephrolithiasis. Also, the periodic consumption of foods with cleansing and healing properties will make it possible to expel a kidney stone in formation or of tiny size.
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