How Are Kidney Stones Treated? February 7, 2024
We’ve all heard stories of the pain related to kidney stones, but what are they and how can we avoid them?
For helpful tips from our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team, read on.
What Is a Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone is a hard deposit that forms in the kidney when substances in the urine, such as calcium and uric acid, turn into crystals. Many are the size of a pea or smaller and can take years to form. Maintaining good hydration is a key factor in avoiding the formation of stones.
If you experience the symptoms we have listed below, you may be dealing with a kidney stone. If the pain becomes unbearable you should seek medical care immediately.
Typical Kidney Stone Symptoms
- Severe pain on either side of your lower back
- Vague stomach-ache that doesn’t go away
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
- Blood in the urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever and chills
What Treatment Is Effective Against a Kidney Stone?
If your kidney stone is small, you’ll likely be able to pass it on your own. However, if a kidney stone is large, medical attention is usually required.
The treatment choices below are the most typical methods for removing a stone.
Common Kidney Stone Treatments
- Drinking water. Most kidney stones are small and will eventually pass through your urinary system, so drinking lots of water is the best way to flush them out sooner rather than later. Drinking fluids will dilute urine and give you the best chance of passing a kidney stone in a timely manner.
- Pain relievers. Passing kidney stones is often painful. To relieve pain, over-the-counter medications like naproxen sodium can be helpful. Ask your doctor before taking ibuprofen as it can increase the risk of kidney failure during an acute kidney stone attack.
- Medical therapy. In some cases, your doctor may give you a medication called an alpha-blocker to help pass your kidney stone. This type of medication relaxes the muscles in your ureter, which will help you pass the kidney stone more quickly and with less pain.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is one of the most used medical techniques for removing kidney stones. Sound waves are used by ESWL to break the stones into little bits that can be passed in your urine and are only necessary when a kidney stone is large.
Are you concerned that you may have a kidney stone? Visit our AFC center today.