Kidney Stone Treatments

Finding and Breaking Down Kidney Stones

If you have developed a kidney stone, chances are you will begin to feel it long before it starts to pass through your system. A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms from crystallization of excreted substances in the urine. In many cases, the stone will eventually pass through your urinary tract and expel itself. This can be painful, but ultimately it is the best outcome.

If your kidney stone is larger than average, it can get stuck in the ureter, bladder or urethra. This will not only cause pain, but also block the flow of urine, resulting in risk of infection and other health complications.

Identifying Kidney Stones

It is rare that a kidney stone goes unnoticed. Pain is an almost inevitable side effect, and people will start to feel discomfort as the stone develops in the bladder.

Common symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Sharp, long-lasting pain in the back or side
  • Blood in urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abnormal urine
  • Frequent urinating
  • Burning feeling when urinating
  • Fever and chills

Imaging or lab testing may be needed to officially diagnose a kidney stone. Your physician may order a CT scan, ultrasound, or urine test in order to find a kidney stone and determine the best course of treatment.

Kidney Stone Treatments

For small kidney stones, the best way to treat it is to drink plenty of water and flush it out. This may be painful, but it should not cause any long-lasting health problems. Taking a mild pain reliever or sedative may help you manage the pain.

Larger kidney stones are at risk of getting lodged in the urethra, meaning more direct treatments should be used to break them up. Physicians will sometimes apply powerful sound waves near the kidney stone in order to vibrate and break apart the stone. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the stone through a small incision in the back.

Preventing Kidney Stones

Once a kidney stone has formed, some pain is inevitable. There are many things you can do to prevent kidney stones and avoid this complication altogether:

  • Drink plenty of water. The more water in your system, the more your urine gets diluted and less concentrated. Urinating frequently will also prevent any urine from having enough time to form a stone. Bright, clear urine is a sign that you are probably getting enough water.
  • Cut down on sodium and meats. Sodium and meat can contribute to the creation of a kidney stone. Cutting back on these in your diet will go a long way in preventing kidney stones.
  • Monitor oxalate-rich foods. Oxalate-rich foods include spinach, sweet potatoes, chocolate, nuts, tea, and more. These foods can cause kidney stones when they combine with calcium in the urine. You can either cut back on these foods, or make sure to eat them simultaneously with calcium-rich foods so that the nutrients bind together before they reach the bladder, thereby preventing the formation of a stone.

If you have already had a kidney stone, your chances of developing another increase. Talk with your doctor about creating a kidney stone prevention plan.

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
Trinitas Regional Medical Center – Williamson Street Campus
225 Williamson St
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
(908) 994-5000
The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 2nd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900

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