As they pass through your urinary tract, kidney stones can obstruct urine from exiting your body and be quite painful. If they are quite large, they may cause damage to the kidneys or cause you to have recurrent urinary tract infections. Kidney stones are considered harmless, although you should contact your doctor if you are having serious pain.
A Answers (2)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
A kidney stone begins as a tiny piece of crystal in the kidney. When the urine leaves the kidney, it may carry the crystal out or the crystal may stay in the kidney. If the crystal stays in the kidney, over time more small crystals join it and form a larger kidney stone.
Most stones leave the kidney and travel through the urinary tract when they are still small enough to pass easily out of the body. No treatment is needed for these stones.
Larger stones may become stuck in the tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder ( ureters ). This can cause pain and possibly block the urine from flowing to the bladder and out of the body. The pain often becomes worse over 15 to 60 minutes until it is severe. The pain may ease when the stone no longer blocks the flow of urine, and it often goes away when the stone passes into the bladder. Medical treatment is often needed for larger stones.
- The smaller the stone, the more likely it is to exit the body (pass) on its own. Only 1 or 2 out of 10 kidney stones need more than home treatment.
- The average time a stone takes to pass ranges from 1 to 3 weeks, and two-thirds of stones that pass on their own pass within 4 weeks of when the symptoms started.
- Almost half of all people who get kidney stones will get more stones within 7 years unless they take preventive measures.
Problems that may occur with kidney stones include:
- An increased risk of urinary tract infection, or making an existing urinary tract infection worse.
- Kidney damage, if stones block the flow of urine out of both kidneys (or out of one kidney, for people who have a single kidney). For most people with healthy kidneys, kidney stones do not cause serious damage until they completely block the urinary tract for 2 weeks or longer.
Kidney stones are more serious for people who have a single kidney or an impaired immune system or have had a kidney transplant.
Stones in pregnant women
When stones occur during pregnancy, an obstetrician and urologist should determine whether you need treatment. Treatment will depend on your trimester of pregnancy.
© Healthwise, Incorporated.