Is a Kidney Stone a Cause For Serious Concern?

Do you know someone who has had a kidney stone? If so, you likely have heard they are very painful and aren’t any fun at all to experience. While this is certainly the case, kidney stones are highly treatable.

Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team further highlights what you need to know about kidney stones below, so keep reading!

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hard objects that are made up of chemicals found in urine.

Many types of bodily wastes dissolve in urine, and when there’s too much waste in too little urine, crystals begin to form. Those crystals then attract more waste, which ultimately ends up becoming a kidney stone that will need to be passed out of the body with urine. Kidney stones aren’t all the same, as we’ve explained below.

Types of Kidney Stones

  • Calcium oxalate. The is the most common type of kidney stone, which is created when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine. The most common causes of this type of stone are too little calcium in your diet and not enough water.
  • Uric acid. This is another common type of kidney stone. Foods that are high in purines, like shellfish and red meats, can lead to a higher production of monosodium urate, which can form kidney stones.
  • Struvite. These stones are less common and are caused by infections in the upper urinary tract.
  • Cystine. These stones are rare and tend to run in families.

Should I Be Worried If I Get a Kidney Stone?

There should be some slight cause for concern, just like with any medical problem. However, kidney stones usually only last for around a month at the most, and they can often be passed through urine without any medical treatment.

If you do get a kidney stone, though, it’s a good idea to visit our AFC center. Your medical professional will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and will likely run a few diagnostic tests or procedures to confirm your diagnosis. If your kidney stone is small, don’t worry. If it’s large, though, further medical care will likely be necessary to remove the stone.

Common Kidney Stone Treatments

  • Drinking water. Most kidney stones are small and will eventually pass through your urinary system, so drinking lots of water is the best way to flush them out sooner than later. Drinking fluids will dilute urine and give you the best chance at passing a kidney stone in a timely manner.
  • Pain relievers. Passing kidney stones doesn’t feel good. To relieve pain, OTC medications like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can be helpful.
  • Medical therapy. In some cases, your doctor may give you a medication called an alpha blocker to help pass your kidney stone. This type of medication relaxes the muscles in your ureter, which will help you pass the kidney stone more quickly and with less pain.

Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team is here for you! Visit us today.