Each year more than a half-million people are treated in emergency rooms for kidney stones. The National Kidney Foundation estimates that 1 in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives. At LoginClinics in Wake Forest, North Carolina, Jaclyn Qualter, NP, A-CTTP, and Justin Bordeaux, PA-C, use a number of diagnostic tools and treatments to safely get rid of kidney stones and manage pain. If you are suffering from a kidney stone, go online today to schedule an appointment at LoginClinics.
Kidney Stones Q & A
What is a kidney stone?
Urine contains salts and minerals that need to be removed from the body. When these salts build up in your kidneys they form hard masses called kidney stones. These stones are usually small, but if left untreated, they grow and eventually travel down the ureter, the tube between the kidney and bladder. If this happens, the stone can become stuck in the ureter and cause a lot of pain.
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones don’t have one cause and are usually the result of a combination of things:
Reaction to certain medication
Ingredients in certain drugs might not agree with you and affect the way your body absorbs calcium or water, which can lead to kidney stones.
If someone in your family has had kidney stones, you are more likely to develop them.
Not drinking enough water increases your chance of getting kidney stones.
Certain diets that are high in protein, sodium (salt), and sugar can also increase your risk of getting kidney stones.
If you think you have a kidney stone, go online today to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment.
What are the signs of a kidney stone?
You might have a kidney stone if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Pain while urinating
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Urine that is cloudy or smells bad
- Always feeling like urinating
- Urinating tiny amounts
If you have any of these symptoms, go online today to make an appointment to be diagnosed and treated.
What tests are done to diagnose kidney stones?
If you think you have a kidney stone, your provider diagnoses you using:
A blood test reveals if you have too much calcium or uric acid in your blood, which indicates the possible presence of kidney stones.
A 24-hour urine collection test shows if your body is passing too many or too few of the minerals that cause kidney stones.
Imaging tests will show existing kidney stones in your urinary tract. These tests include X-rays, ultrasounds, and intravenous urography, where a dye is injected in your blood and X-rays are taken as the dye moves through your kidneys and bladder.
What pain management is available for kidney stones?
Most kidney stones will pass right through you and don’t require surgery. However, passing a kidney stone is a very painful process, so either the team suggests drinking plenty of water to help you flush them out. If your pain is unbearable, your provider prescribes alpha-blockers, drugs that relax certain muscles and help the stone to pass more easily, or prescription pain medication.
Since the pain associated with passing kidney stones varies with the size of the stone, Jaclyn or Justin assesses your condition and prescribes pain-killers accordingly.
If you have a kidney stone and need help getting it out of your body, go online to book an appointment today.
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