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How does a man get kidney stones

Stone disease has plagued humanity since ancient times. Kidney stones have been identified in Egyptian mummies. As the climate warms, human beings are more likely to get dehydrated, which increases the risk of stone formation. A risk factor for all stones, regardless of type, is dehydration.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Identify and Treat Kidney Stones

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What it’s Like to Get a Kidney Stone Ultrasound

Kidney stones

Kidney stones have plagued men throughout recorded history; the problem has even been "diagnosed" in Egyptian mummies that date back some 7, years. In the modern world, this old problem is more common than ever. In the U. At present, kidney stones send almost three million Americans to the doctor each year, including over , trips to emergency rooms. It's a big problem caused by tiny deposits that may be less than a tenth of an inch across.

It's a painful problem that can have serious complications. But it's a treatable problem and, best of all, a largely preventable one. Men, mostly. Although kidney stones do form in women, they are about two times more common in men. In all, more than one of every eight American men will develop a kidney stone at some time during his life; the highest risk occurs between the ages of 20 and 50, with a peak at age Men with a family history of stone disease are two-and-a-half times more likely to form stones than men without stone-forming relatives.

Other important risk factors are listed in the box below; many are correctable. But the people who have the highest risk of all are those who have already suffered from a stone. Although urine may look like a simple fluid, it's actually a complex liquid that contains hundreds of chemicals, including many minerals. But if the minerals become supersaturated, they precipitate into crystals that bind with protein and grow into gravel, then stones. Supersaturation and stone formation occur if excessive amounts of a mineral are excreted into the urine or if the volume of fluid is decreased by dehydration.

Although most stones form in the kidney, they don't usually cause symptoms until they drop into a narrow part of the kidney or into the ureter, the thin muscular tube that carries urine down to the bladder see figure. Stones that become lodged in a narrow part of the urinary tract can cause three major problems:. It's called renal colic, and it's one of the most intense of all pains.

Renal colic is caused by obstruction of the flow of urine; pressure builds up behind the obstruction, causing painful swelling of sensitive structures. The pain often radiates along the path of the urinary tract, beginning high in the back over the kidney and traveling to the lower abdomen, groin, and even into the genitals. The pain begins suddenly and quickly becomes unbearable.

Renal colic is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting — not because the stomach is involved, but simply because the pain is so severe. Patients with renal colic are restless, tossing and turning continuously in a futile attempt to find a comfortable position; restlessness helps doctors distinguish the pain of kidney stones from the pain of intestinal problems such as diverticulitis and appendicitis, which make patients want to lie still.

Although it can persist for agonizing hours, renal colic usually ends as abruptly as it begins. Relief comes when the stone moves from a narrow part of the urinary tract into a wider region, such as the bladder, where it no longer blocks urine flow.

But when a stone arrives in the lower urinary tract, it can cause other problems, including urinary frequency, urgency, and burning.

In the great majority of cases, kidney stones cause bleeding into the urine. Although the urine can be bright red in color, more often, it looks clear to the naked eye but is found to contain large numbers of red blood cells when examined through a microscope. In patients who are lucky enough to escape pain, bleeding is the usual clue to the presence of kidney stones. When a stone lodges in the ureter, it blocks the flow of urine.

Pressure builds up in the kidney, causing it to swell with fluid, a condition known as hydronephrosis. The kidney attempts to protect itself by producing less urine, but permanent damage may occur if the blockage is prolonged. That's uncommon, except if the blockage occurs silently, without the pain or bleeding that usually signals the need for prompt treatment. Doctors pass a fiberoptic scope through the lower urinary tract via the urethra and bladder, then up the ureter to reach the stone.

When the scope is in place, lasers or other devices can break up or remove the stone. Doctors pass the scope through the skin and underlying tissues to enter the kidney. Then they advance instruments down though the ureter to reach the stone from above.

Score one for modern technology; computed tomography CT is the best way to detect kidney stones. Helical also called spiral CT has become the gold standard test, but newer low-dose techniques designed specifically to look for stones are nearly as effective, except in obese patients. Ultrasounds are not quite as good, but because they don't use radiation, they are the first choice for children and pregnant women; doctors also use ultrasounds to follow up on kidney stones.

The old standard, the intravenous pyelogram IVP , is rarely used in today's medical centers. Other tests can also help. If the stone contains enough calcium to show up on x-rays, plain films can track its position during treatment.

A urinalysis is important, and a urine culture helps by checking for infection. Doctors should also order blood tests to measure kidney function BUN and creatinine and levels of chemicals that may be involved in stone formation calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, electrolytes. In some cases, stone analysis and hour urine collections can help doctors determine how best to prevent additional stone formation; unlike the other tests, though, these metabolic evaluations should be delayed until four to six weeks after the acute stone event has resolved.

The first step is to relieve pain. Oral medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can do the job for some patients, but many require injections of powerful painkillers, such as narcotics. The next step is to dislodge the stone so it will pass in the urine. Fluids can help flush the culprit out; because of pain and nausea, many patients need to get their fluids intravenously at first. Medication can help stones pass. Alpha blockers are best.

Well known as drugs that make urination easier for many men with benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH , these medications relax smooth muscles in the ureter as well as in the prostate and bladder neck , widening the channels to allow stones to go with the flow.

Although some stones that are not causing trouble may not need treatment, most large stones and small ones that don't pass spontaneously or with medical expulsion therapy require more aggressive treatment. In the past, stone removal often required open surgery, but three less invasive approaches have largely relegated stone surgery to history. The term lithotripsy is a mouthful, but since it's derived from the Greek words for stone crushing, it's well chosen.

SWL begins by generating shock waves outside the patient's body, and then aiming the shock waves through skin and body tissues to hit the stone, which breaks into small pieces. If all goes well — and it usually does — the stone fragments will pass out in the urine spontaneously; medical expulsion therapy with tamsulosin can facilitate the process.

Anesthesia is required for SWL, but many procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis. Bruises under the skin, mild back pain, and blood in the urine can last for a few days, but early worries about an increased risk of kidney damage, diabetes, and hypertension have not been confirmed.

Stone fragments that fail to pass require additional treatment, which may sometimes include placing a stent, or tube, into the ureter until the fragments pass. Ureteroscopy is another unfamiliar term that's well chosen, since URS involves placing a fiberoptic scope through the urethra and bladder, then up into the ureter where the stone is lodged.

The scope has two channels; doctors use one to view the ureter and stone, and they attack the stone by passing their instruments through the other channel. In some cases, the urologist uses a basket-like device to shave or snare the stone and pull it out through the ureter; more often these days, he uses a laser to break the stone into small fragments.

New techniques and smaller scopes have reduced the need for stent placement after uncomplicated URS. Percutaneous ureteroscopy also uses a fiberoptic tube to reach the stone, but gets there from the other direction.

Instead of passing the scope up through the natural channels of the urinary tract, doctors create an artificial channel through the skin into the renal pelvis see figure , where the urine collects before passing down into the ureter. While he watches through the scope's viewing channel, the urologist uses the working channel to break up the stone with a laser or another device; he then uses a basket, grabber, or suction tool to remove the fragments.

Doctors may leave a small drainage tube, or nephrostomy, in place for the first few days of the healing process. Local anesthesia is usually sufficient, but many patients stay in the hospital for several days. Together with the pain of kidney stones, all three serve to remind men that prevention is the best treatment of all. Although a good diet and, especially, a high fluid intake are the core of every stone-prevention program, specific lifestyle changes and medications depend on the type of stone in question.

The first step, then, is to identify the stone's chemical composition. If you are lucky enough to find a stone after it passes, bring it in to your doctor for analysis; if not, you can try filtering your urine through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to trap small bits of gravel. In most cases, though, you'll have to collect several hour urine samples for analysis. It's a cumbersome procedure; some doctors request the test after just one stone, while others reserve it for patients who have had several episodes.

The same goes for blood tests, which sometimes reveal high levels of calcium or uric acid but are usually normal, even in people who form stones repeatedly. Every man who has suffered through a bout of renal colic will be highly motivated to prevent a recurrence.

Fortunately, most men can succeed. Prevention relies on a combination of diet and, sometimes, medication tailored to each type of stone. Here are some things to consider:. A high fluid intake will keep the urine dilute, so minerals won't precipitate into crystals and aggregate into stones.

Nearly any kind of fluid will do. Water, coffee, beer, wine, and even milk can help prevent calcium stones; tea and carbonated beverages have had a mixed record, but apple and grapefruit juices may paradoxically increase risk. As a rule of thumb, everyone who has had a kidney stone should drink large amounts of fluid, enough to pass a minimum of two quarts of urine each day.

That requires drinking at least 10 glasses of fluid a day, half of which should be water; it means never passing up a water cooler during the day, and it means getting up at least once a night to urinate — and then downing a glass of water on the way back to bed. It's a lifestyle that takes getting used to, but it beats being rushed to the emergency room doubled over in pain. When it comes to reducing the risk of kidney stones, dilution is the solution — or, at least, a big part of it.

Most kidney stones contain calcium, and most men who have calcium stones excrete excessive amounts of calcium in their urine. This hypercalciuria has been recognized for years, but its fundamental cause was clarified much more recently. In most cases, the fault is not in the kidneys, but in the intestinal tract; many stone-formers have an intestinal defect that allows them to absorb excessive amounts of calcium from food. That calcium has to go somewhere, and it does: into the urine.

If excessive calcium absorption is the root cause of calcium stones, the solution seems obvious: reduce dietary calcium.

Indeed, that was once the standard approach to prevention. Standard or not, it's wrong. Instead of helping to prevent kidney stones, dietary calcium restriction makes things worse. That's because some of the calcium in food normally binds to oxalate in food, preventing the body from absorbing oxalate. If dietary calcium is low, the body absorbs more oxalate, which is excreted in the urine, where it can finally bind to calcium — and form the calcium oxalate crystals that grow into stones.

What are Kidney Stones?

Back to Health A to Z. Kidney stones can develop in 1 or both kidneys and most often affect people aged 30 to Kidney stones are usually found in the kidneys or in the ureter, the tube that connects the kidneys to your bladder. They can be extremely painful, and can lead to kidney infections or the kidney not working properly if left untreated. You may not notice if you have small kidney stones.

Yes, both men and women pass kidney stones, but to get an idea of what you may be in for, picture this sequence of events faced by a couple at Riverton Hospital in Riverton, Utah, who experienced labor together…literally. A nurse met the couple prior to the expectant mother going into labor, and mom and dad were happy, excited, and joking around.

Kidney stones have plagued men throughout recorded history; the problem has even been "diagnosed" in Egyptian mummies that date back some 7, years. In the modern world, this old problem is more common than ever. In the U. At present, kidney stones send almost three million Americans to the doctor each year, including over , trips to emergency rooms. It's a big problem caused by tiny deposits that may be less than a tenth of an inch across.

Kidney stones: Common, painful, preventable

Kidney stones — and passing a kidney stone, in particular — are notorious for being painful. Kidney stones that cause symptoms or cannot pass on their own need to be treated by a medical professional. The kidneys — two bean-shaped organs located just below the rib cage on each side of the spine — filter waste and extra water from the bloodstream to create urine. From the kidneys, urine then moves through two thin tubes called ureters into the bladder. In addition to filtering waste, the kidneys also regulate water, salt and mineral levels in your blood. Renal calculi, the medical term for kidney stones, form when there is a high level of these minerals in the urine. The crystals can harden together in masses of varying shapes and sizes. Kidney stones can range in size and shape, with some as small as a grain of sand, others the size of a pebble and a few growing as large as a golf ball. Kidney stones can also be made of different substances, and they are divided into four common types.

Kidney Stones

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Kidney stones are the result of a buildup of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. They usually consist of calcium oxalate but may be composed of several other compounds. Kidney stones can grow to the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure.

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Kidney stones happen when minerals form crystals inside the kidneys. Then they get bigger and become kidney stones. Kidney stones can move into the urinary tract. There, they can cause problems like pain and blood in the urine pee.

How do you get kidney stones?

Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives. The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3. This increase was seen in both men and women, and both whites and blacks.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Kidney stones - an Osmosis preview

Give Monthly. Give In Honor. Your kidneys remove waste and fluid from your blood to make urine. Sometimes, when you have too much of certain wastes and not enough fluid in your blood, these wastes can build up and stick together in your kidneys. These clumps of waste are called kidney stones.

Kidney Stone Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, & Prevention

A kidney stone is a solid mass made up of tiny crystals. One or more stones can be in the kidney or ureter at the same time. There are different types of kidney stones. The cause of the problem depends on the type of stone. Stones can form when urine contains too much of certain substances that form crystals. These crystals can develop into stones over weeks or months. The biggest risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough fluids. Kidney stones are more likely to occur if you make less than 1 liter 32 ounces of urine a day.

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What causes kidney stones (and what to do)

Kidney stones form in your kidneys. As stones move into your ureters — the thin tubes that allow urine to pass from your kidneys to your bladder — signs and symptoms can result. Signs and symptoms of kidney stones can include severe pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and blood in your urine. The female urinary system — which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra — is responsible for removing waste from your body through urine.

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