how long can it take to pass a kidney stone?

I was in the ER 4/25/10 with severe pain in my kidney, and they said I have a kidney stone… 5mm. I know I was having symptoms like two to three days prior to that… just curious on how long it usually takes for it to pass…they said it was in a tube near my bladder… and is it painful when it passes? this is my first one.

  1. phantomlimb7, 04 May, 2010

    Kidney stones typically leave the body by passage in the urine stream, and many stones are formed and passed without causing symptoms. If stones grow to sufficient size before passage on the order of at least 2-3—millimeters they can cause obstruction of the ureter. The resulting obstruction causes dilation or stretching of the upper ureter and renal pelvis (the part of the kidney where the urine collects before entering the ureter) as well as muscle spasm of the ureter, trying to move the stone. This leads to pain, most commonly felt in the flank, lower abdomen and groin (a condition called renal colic). Renal colic can be associated with nausea and vomiting. There can be blood in the urine, visible with the naked eye or under the microscope (macroscopic or microscopic hematuria) due to damage to the lining of the urinary tract.

    There are several types of kidney stones based on the type of crystals of which they consist. The majority are calcium oxalate stones, followed by calcium phosphate stones. More rarely, struvite stones are produced by urea-splitting bacteria in people with urinary tract infections, and people with certain metabolic abnormalities may produce uric acid stones or cystine stones.

    Yes, they hurt. How long it takes to pass depends on the size of the stone and how much fluid you drink daily to help flush it out.

    The diagnosis of a kidney stone can be confirmed by radiological studies and or ultrasound examination; urine tests and blood tests are also commonly performed. When a stone causes no symptoms, watchful waiting is a valid option. In other cases, pain control is the first measure, using for example non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids.

    Using soundwaves, some stones can be shattered into smaller fragments (this is called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy). Sometimes a procedure is required, which can be through a tube into the urethra, bladder and ureter (ureteroscopy), or a keyhole or open surgical approach from the kidney’s side. Sometimes, a tube may be left in the ureter (a ureteric stent) to prevent the recurrence of pain.

    Preventive and structive measures are often advised such as drinking sufficient amounts of water, milk and coffee, although the effect of many dietary interventions has not been rigorously studied.
    Restriction of oxalate-rich foods, such as chocolate, nuts, soybeans, rhubarb and spinach, plus maintenance of an adequate intake of dietary calcium. There is equivocal evidence that calcium supplements increase the risk of stone formation, though calcium citrate appears to carry the lowest, if any, risk.
    Some fruit juices, such as orange, blackcurrant, and cranberry, may be useful for lowering the risk factors for specific types of stones. Orange juice may help prevent calcium oxalate stone formation, black currant may help prevent uric acid stones, and cranberry may help with UTI-caused stones.

  2. Terri W, 04 May, 2010

    It really depends on how much the stone decides to move. My Doctor suggested that I drink plenty of cranberry juice or combinations of cranberry and other fruit juices. Cranberry Juice helps to clear the kidneys. The doctor should have given you a strainer so filter your urine, this will help you to know when you pass it, if not then look into getting yourself an extra fine strainer. I had to drink 16 to 24 ounces of cranberry juice per day.

    Good Luck. Those little suckers are as painful as labor pains.

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