Moving the Stone: How to Find Relief from Kidney Stones

Every day, doctors and other medical personnel see patients suffering from kidney stones. This ailment is extremely painful – it has been said that the only pain more intense comes with childbirth. People who suffer from chronic kidney stones may despair of ever finding relief. Today, we’ll discuss what kidney stones are and highlight tips that may help you find relief from kidney stones.

What are Kidney Stones and What Causes Them?An MRI image with a red spot highlighted over the kidney indicating kidney stones
Kidney stones are also known as renal calculus, which refers to hard masses of mineral deposits, usually calcium, that build up in the kidneys. They happen when your urine has too many crystal substances or deposits to dilute including uric acid, calcium, and oxalate. When the crystals cannot dilute, they form stones.

While calcium stones are common, you can also get uric acid stones from not drinking enough fluid or losing a large amount of fluid too quickly. Struvite stones usually occur as a result of infection such as a UTI, often with little warning. Cystine stones occur when the urine releases too much of particular amino acids and are usually the result of a hereditary disorder.

Kidney stones have no specific cause, but certain actions make them more likely or aggravate them. Risk factors include family history, obesity, and digestive diseases. Dehydrated people are more likely to have stones, as are people whose diets are high in salt, sugar, red meats, and saturated fats.

What Can I Do for Relief?
The best relief is passage of the kidney stone. Whether it can pass through the urinary tract on its own depends on several factors including the size of the stone, the size of the patient, whether the patient has a history of stones, and how hydrated the patient is. For example, a stone of four millimeters has an 80% chance of passing through the urinary tract. A five-millimeter stone has only a 20% chance. Overweight or obese persons may have a harder time passing a stone because their size puts more pressure on the urinary tract and other organs.

There are a few steps you can take at home to ease the pain and speed up the process of passing a stone. Most importantly, stay well-hydrated. Doctors recommend drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day. You can use a large water bottle with a straw to help increase intake. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and other NSAIDs will help alleviate pain and make stones easier to pass. 

Remember, if you’re taking any medications for kidney stones, and need help affording them, click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free prescription discount card works, check out our video: wtree.us/video 

By WHBlogger
 

3/19/2015 
Updated: 3/1/19

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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