How Long Do Kidney Stones Last?

January 31, 2024

Kidney stones, impacting nearly one in 10 Americans each year, present a common and often painful condition that requires essential knowledge for effective management.

What is a Kidney Stone?

Renal calculi, or kidney stones, are solid formations that originate in the kidneys. They develop when certain waste products struggle to dissolve properly in urine, leading to the creation of crystals due to an imbalance in waste and urine volume. Over time, these crystals accumulate more waste, resulting in the formation of kidney stones with varying sizes and compositions. It is crucial to recognize the significance of maintaining bodily balance to prevent kidney stone development and adopt proactive steps for kidney health.

Identifying Symptoms:

Keep a watchful eye for common signs that may indicate the presence of kidney stones:

  • Severe pain on either side of the lower back
  • Persistent stomachache or vague pain
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

How can I treat a kidney stone?

  1. Stay Hydrated: The fundamental step in managing kidney stones is staying well-hydrated. Adequate water intake helps flush out the stones through the urinary system, promoting a quicker resolution. Individuals are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to support the natural elimination of kidney stones.
  2. Pain Management: Passing kidney stones can be an uncomfortable experience. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, can provide relief from associated discomfort. It is essential to follow recommended dosage guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.
  3. Medical Therapy: In some instances, medical intervention may be necessary. Doctors may prescribe alpha-blockers to relax the muscles in the ureter, facilitating a faster and less painful passage of the kidney stone. This approach is particularly beneficial in cases where stones are larger or causing significant discomfort.
  4. Proactive Measures: If you suspect you have a kidney stone or have received a diagnosis, taking proactive measures can significantly impact your experience. Staying well-hydrated, managing pain with appropriate medications, and exploring medical therapy if needed are essential steps.

So, How Long Do They Last?

Kidney stones typically last around a month, with factors such as size and composition influencing the duration. Smaller stones, under 4 mm, often pass within one to two weeks, while larger ones over 4 mm may take two to three weeks. Upon reaching the bladder, stones typically pass within a few days, though this process can extend, especially in older individuals or men with a large prostate.

Tailoring treatment approaches based on these factors is crucial for personalized care. If you’re navigating concerns about the duration of kidney stones, understanding that they generally persist for about a month provides helpful context. Individual experiences may vary, and if you have specific concerns related to stone size or need guidance on managing this common health issue, our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team is ready to offer support and personalized information. Feel free to reach out for assistance, as we are dedicated to ensuring you have the care and information needed for a smoother journey with kidney stones.

Just outside Chattanooga, Tennessee, our AFC Urgent Care facility is here to provide essential healthcare support for those navigating kidney stone concerns. Surrounded by the charm of this community and its scenic beauty, our team in Ooltewah is committed to offering personalized assistance and information to ensure a seamless journey with kidney stones. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Ooltewah encapsulates the caring environment crucial for effective health management.

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