What are stones? Symptoms and treatment
Without treatment, kidney stones can lead to urinary problems, infections, and kidney damage.
Kidney stones are a common problem in the United States, and the incidence appears to be growing. Dietary factors and climate change may contribute to this increase, according to one
In this article, we look at how to recognize kidney stones and explain what to do if they occur.
Kidney stones do not always cause symptoms. A person may pass very small stones out of the body in the urine without being aware of them.
When symptoms appear, they commonly
- pain in the groin, the side of the abdomen, or both
- blood in the urine
- vomiting and nausea
If kidney stones block the passage of urine, a may result. The symptoms include:
- a fever and chills
- weakness and fatigue
- cloudy, foul-smelling urine
If a person has any of these symptoms, they should seek medical help at once.
When kidney stones remain inside the body, complications can develop.
If they block the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder, urine will not be able to pass out of the body. This dysfunction increases the risk of a UTI or kidney infection.
About of people who have had a kidney stone develop another one within 5–7 years.
There are of stone: calcium, uric acid, struvite, and cystine.
Calcium stones form when the kidneys retain the excess calcium that the muscles and bones do not use, rather than flushing it out of the body. The calcium combines with other waste products to form crystals, such as , which clump together to make a stone.
Uric acid stones result from a in the body. Urine contains uric acid. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, the urine becomes more acidic.
Struvite stones can form after a UTI. They consist of magnesium and ammonia.
Cystine stones develop when cystine, a substance present in the muscles, builds up in urine. These are rare.
Apart from dehydration, factors that increase the risk of kidney stones include:
- a diet that is high in protein and sodium
- a sedentary lifestyle
Various such as allopurinol (Zyloric) and topiramate (Topamax), can also increase the risk. People should check with their doctor if they have concerns about any medications they are taking.
Imaging tests can help doctors determine:
- whether a stone is present
- the size and location of any stones
- whether there are any blockages
- the condition of the urinary tract
- whether complications have affected other organs
During pregnancy, an ultrasound is preferable to a CT scan, as it does not involve radiation.
will focus on managing symptoms and removing the stone. There are various ways to do this.
Treatment may involve:
- a high intake of fluids by mouth or intravenously
- pain relief medication
- medications to help speed up the passage of stones
Large stones may need of intervention, such as shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), ureteroscopy, or percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL).
SWL involves the use of ultrasound waves to break the stone into smaller pieces to make it easier to pass.
If a doctor opts to use ureteroscopy, they will pass a long, thin tube through the person’s urethra as far as the ureter, which connects the bladder and the kidney. They will then use laser energy to break up the stone.
PCNL involves passing a long, thin instrument through the back and into the kidney, where it can break up or remove the stone using laser energy. This procedure requires general anesthesia.
There may be a risk of complications, such as an infection, after removing a large kidney stone. A doctor should explain the possible complications beforehand so that if any develop, a person can recognize the signs.
A person can usually treat small kidney stones at home.
A doctor may recommend:
- drinking plenty of fluid and waiting for the stone to pass
- using over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain and nausea
- taking alpha-blockers to help the stone pass more quickly
- avoiding salt and sodas
They may advise the person to continue to drink plenty of fluid after the stones have gone to prevent new ones from forming.
What is ivermectin?
ivermectin for humans is a tablet approved by the to treat people with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions that are caused by parasitic worms. Some forms of ivermectin are also used to treat external parasites like head lice, as well as for skin conditions like rosacea.
Some kinds of ivermectin are used in animals to prevent heartworm disease, along with select internal and external parasites. However, the FDA points out, those are different from the types of ivermectin used in people and are safe only when they’re prescribed for animals.