Killing Two Days with One Stone: Passing a Urinary Land Mine

kidney

When you have a kidney stone, the pain can be excruciating. And if you’re letting the condition resolve itself, it can stretch from just killing your weekend to weeks of suffering.

What is it?

A kidney stone is a formation made up of mineral and acid salts and is sometimes referred to as renal lithiasis or a calculus, according to the Mayo Clinic website. You’re susceptible to contracting stones if your urine becomes concentrated and crystallizes, which can impede function of your urinary tract. Your bladder or kidneys could be affected if your body lacks substances that prevent the crystallization to occur.  

Symptoms

Kidney stones don’t usually cause damage, but enduring their symptoms has been described by some individuals as more painful than childbirth.

If the kidney stone passes into your ureter, you may experience:

  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain that comes and goes
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Fever and chills in the case of an infection
  • Urinating small amounts of urine

You’re at a higher risk of getting kidney stones if you don’t stay hydrated or if you have a family history of lithiasis. Watching what you eat can diffuse the possibility also. Obesity increases your risk and diets high in sodium, sugar and protein can cause kidney stones.

Treatment

A visit to a health professional will enable you to learn your range of options. For some patients, medication makes the pain more bearable.

Mayo Clinic says stones found lodged in the urinary tract may make surgery necessary. The condition can also change as the stone moves, either by causing more pain or shifting to a different region of the urinary tract.

Seek medical attention in the case of:

  • Inability to sit comfortably due to pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Blood in your urine
  • Difficulty urinating

Most kidney stones are made up of calcium oxalate, a substance found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and chocolate, says Mayo Clinic. Sometimes a stone will form as a result of a metabolic disorder also.

There are other types of kidney stones, including struvite stones, which form after an infection, and uric acid stones resulting from too little water consumption.

Drink lots of water and give yourself the best chance of passing the stone in a 48-hour period, rather than suffering for a period of weeks. Because one place you don’t want to stay too long is between a rock and a hard place.

Framed Embroidery Kidney Anatomy Art. Hand Embroidered. by Hey Paul Studios is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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