Kidney stones are hard deposits of mineral and acid salts that eventually will pass (painfully) through your urinary system. The stones normally would be diluted in the urine, but if they solidify, the hard stone will have to pass through the ureter to be eradicated. The pain can be excruciating.
- Pain in the lower back, radiating to the abdomen and groin.
- Painful urination accompanied by fever and chills.
- Nausea and vomiting might accompany the pain.
Who is at risk?
Men are more likely than women to develop kidney stones, especially in the 20-70 age range. High ingestion of protein or sodium is linked to kidney stones. Bedridden patients are prone to develop stones because the bones release more calcium. Obesity is also linked to stones, especially in women.
Treatment will vary from physical activity and water consumption to advanced procedures (such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy) to break the stones into smaller pieces. Surgical removal is prescribed only in extreme cases where shock wave therapy is not successful. In the majority of cases, the stone will pass without assistance. Your physician can help you endure this process by administering pain medication until the stone works its way out (usually 1-3 days).
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
Seek help in the emergency department when symptoms persist with fever and/or vomiting. The ED can administer IV fluids to hydrate if you cannot keep food and liquids down. Fever might indicate infection on top of the kidney stone. This is sometimes treated during admission to the hospital for pain and infection control.
Treatment for Kidney Stones is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.
For more information on Kidney Stones, see the following websites:
Mayo Clinic Resources on Kidney Stones
Urology Channel Report on Kidney Stones
Complete overview of kidney stones at eMedicineHealth
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