Understanding Kidney Stones
The most common symptoms of kidney stones include bloating, blood in the urine, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, an increase in the frequency of urination, nausea and vomiting, pain during urination and tenderness in the abdomen and kidney region.
You may also experience pain that goes on and off. This may last for minutes to several hours which you may feel in the kidney, lower abdomen or groin. You may also have chills, fevers and a loss of appetite which happen to be the same symptoms associated with urinary tract infection or UTI.
What happens then? To find out what is really going on, you have to see your doctor. Once there, you will answer a few questions and then undergo several tests to see if you have kidney stones or not. The results of the test will determine what type of treatment will be done.
If the kidney stone measures 4 mm in diameter or less, there is a strong chance that you don’t need surgery and your body can expel it. If it is 8 mm and above, this is the only time that medical intervention is needed.
Medical intervention is another way of saying surgery. There are 4 types of surgery that can help treat kidney stones and these are namely ESWL or extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, PNL or percutaneous nephrolithotomy, ureteroscopic stone removal and open surgery.
Before you agree to any procedure, you have to know what type of stone is in your kidney. There are 4 types namely calcium, uric acid, struvite and cystine and knowing what it is can already tell you what caused it. It can also help you understand the type of treatment the doctor is recommending.
From there, you can ask how effective is the treatment that they are recommending and what are the risks.
Another good question you can ask is if the kidney stone has caused any permanent damage.
Kidney stones can also be treated by alternative medicine.
You can drink various herbs such as bearberry, cleavers, corn silk, crampbark, gravel root, kava kava, khella, seven barks and stone root. Homeopathic remedies include berberis vulgaris, cantharis, ocimum canum and pennyroyal. Hot packs may also work.
Keep in mind that alternative treatments for kidney stones can only be used if the stones can be expelled by the person. If not, this must be discontinued and a health professional should be the one who will monitor the situation.
Kidney stones should be taken seriously because things could get worse unless it is attended to immediately. You should know that even if the treatment is successful, kidney stones do recur and your best defense against that is prevention.
You will need to make some lifestyle changes and follow the doctor’s directions because there are a few other things you need to know based on your chemical risk factors. In the end, the power is in your hands because this may put you at risk later on of kidney failure. While getting a transplant is possible, just remember that you have to wait because there are other people who also need it.
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