Getting rid of kidney stones is not as simple as it may seem. There are a number of different factors that need to be considered, including the size and shape of the stone, as well as your overall health. If your stone is large and blocking the flow of urine, it may be necessary to have it surgically removed. For small stones, over the counter pain medications may be enough to ease your pain. Alternatively, you may need to visit the hospital to receive intravenous fluids and pain medicine.
Kidney stones are formed when extra calcium or other wastes combine with other substances in your urine. The kidneys normally eliminate this waste, but if they do not, it can build up and form crystals. When these crystals grow, they can attract other elements. Stones can be as large as golf balls or as small as a grain of sand. In addition to causing pain, kidney stones can be an indication of a serious health problem. There are ways to reduce the risk of getting a kidney stone, such as cutting down on salt and cutting back on sodium-rich foods.
There are also certain health conditions that increase the chances of getting kidney stones. These include cystinuria, which is a genetic condition that causes your kidneys to leak a natural chemical into your urine. Another condition that increases the risk of getting a kidney stone is having a weakened urinary tract.
One of the easiest ways to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of fluids. Ideally, you should drink at least three liters of liquid a day. If you are overhydrated, your urine may become more acidic, which can make it easier for a stone to form. Also, avoid salty foods and packaged meals. You should also limit the amount of alcohol and sugary drinks that you consume.
If your kidney stones are larger than 10 millimeters in size, you will most likely need to see a urologist for treatment. A urologist can examine your stones to determine whether or not they are blocking the flow of urine. They may also recommend medications to help you pass the stones. Some of these medications will relax the ureter, which will make it easier to pass stones.
A medical procedure called a ureteroscope may also be used to treat kidney stones. This procedure works by using a thin telescope that passes through the urethra and into the bladder. The stone is then broken up using energy or shock waves.
If you are experiencing symptoms of kidney stones, such as a high fever, you may need hospital treatment. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medications to help you pass the stones. You may also need to undergo blood tests and urine tests to determine whether or not you have kidney stones. A follow-up x-ray may be necessary to confirm that you do have a kidney stone. If you have a stone that is bigger than a golf ball, you may need surgery to remove it.