How Can You Help Pass Kidney Stones

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This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of experience in medical research, Dr. Matsko was honored with the University of Pittsburgh Cornell Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and an MD from Temple Medical School in 2007. Dr. Matzko received a Certificate in Research Writing from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) in 2016 and a Certificate in Writing and Editorial Medicine from the University of Chicago in 2017.

How Can You Help Pass Kidney Stones

How Can You Help Pass Kidney Stones

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Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. They form as a result of excess minerals or other substances being deposited in the kidneys and can lodge in the ureter, bladder or urethra. They are known to be painful to pass, especially if they block the flow of urine. In most cases, your doctor may send you home with advice to drink more fluids until the stone passes. Large stones can be crushed using medical technology, breaking them into smaller pieces to pass through your system.

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This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of experience in medical research, Dr. Matsko was honored with the University of Pittsburgh Cornell Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and an MD from Temple Medical School in 2007. Dr. Matzko received a Certificate in Research Writing from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) in 2016 and a Certificate in Medical Writing and Editing from the University. of Chicago in 2017. This article has been viewed 1,292,389 times.

The content of this article is not intended to represent medical advice, testing, diagnosis or treatment. You should always consult your doctor or other qualified health professional before starting, changing or stopping any treatment.

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If you have been diagnosed with kidney stones, ask your doctor about medications that can help dissolve the stones or allow your body to pass them more easily. For larger stones, they may recommend using sound waves to break the stones into smaller pieces. If the stones are too large to dissolve or be removed by less invasive methods, consider removing the stones with a ureteroscope or try surgical removal. For more tips from our medical co-author, including how to wash or dissolve stones with food or drink, read on! The purpose of this blog is to provide information about the process of passing kidney stones. Specifically, we’ll look at what to expect at each of the four stages along the way. For beginners, kidney stones can be one of the most frightening experiences in a person’s life. The pain starts suddenly and often causes a great deal of panic in the person experiencing the pain. The pain is so severe that it often prompts an ambulance ride or an emergency overnight trip to the emergency room. Either way, it’s not very sweet.

To make matters worse, hospital staff don’t always know what’s going on with you and offer very little useful advice. Even after being diagnosed with a kidney stone, very little is reported. And believe me, this comes from firsthand experience with many kidney stones. It’s not shocking to learn about the lack of education about a condition that affects more than 1 in 10 Americans.

Many people first realize that there is a problem when a kidney stone begins the process of breaking away from the inner wall of the kidney where it forms. The actual process of stone growth is painless and most people do not know it is happening. The only one is if the stone creates some kind of blockage that starts to interfere with the functioning of the kidneys, which can show other symptoms. However, this is not common.

How Can You Help Pass Kidney Stones

When the stone starts to come out of the kidney, the body recognizes the foreign object and begins the process of trying to remove it. This process causes waves of excruciating pain as the kidneys try to flush out the irritant.

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The frequency of cramping will vary from person to person. But count to one about 1-4+ times an hour until your kidneys are clear of kidney stones.

These cramps are often debilitating. For example, hold your breath deeply. No matter how healthy you are or how much you tolerate pain, it has the power to bring you to your knees. Pregnant women often note that the pain from the kidneys is worse than natural childbirth. This is already crazy!

However, one ray of sunshine in all of this is that the pain experienced in Stage 1 is, in most cases, worse throughout the process of passing kidney stones.

Once the kidney stone has left the kidney itself, it will now travel through your ureter. The ureters are tubes that carry urine from the kidneys down to the bladder (see Figure A). The problem is that the normal human ureter has an outer diameter of about 3-4 mm (inner diameter about 2-3 mm) and is 10-12 inches long. Kidney stones can vary greatly in size. But anything over 2mm you will feel.

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Now the pain is not as strong as when the stone is separated from the kidney. But let’s be clear. It still hurts a lot. However, the pain only comes when the stone moves. And pain is a different feeling. In the first stage, the pain is STRONG and feels like a nuclear bomb going off. Stage Two Pain is a radiating sensation, which makes sense because the stone rings and rings as it descends into your bladder.

You may also feel a feeling of pressure that occurs near where the kidney stone may be located at this stage. It’s not uncomfortable at all. But you know something is up.

Once inside the bladder, things change dramatically when it comes to pain. The pain is almost gone. But what you will feel is HUGE PRESSURE. And your body will make you feel like you have to pee every 5 minutes. But it makes sense, the body is very smart and knows that there is a foreign body somewhere in your urinary tract and wants it gone.

How Can You Help Pass Kidney Stones

What you’ll get is like playing with one of those Yomega Brain yo-yos that will sit and spin at the end of your throw and come back a few seconds later (does anyone else remember those things?? ). What I mean is this: you will definitely respond to your body’s signal to urinate and the stone will enter the entrance of the urethra when you try to pass it (your urethra is the path from your bladder to the outside world).

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NOTE: This game will be VERY disturbing to anyone who has recently had a kidney attack. Once that stone is in and the flow of urine stops, the panic starts again. You’ll be like, “Damn, now I’m stuck. Do I need to go to the ER again?!? Phew!”

However, rest assured. Give it 5-10 minutes and the kidney stone will return to the bladder and you will start the process all over again. However, after reading or watching this, you will be able to pass that kidney stone 🙂

This last section will seem a little counterintuitive to some of you out there. But it is very important to follow the advice.

When you feel a kidney stone in your urinary tract, you must PRESS. And push hard. Keep pressing until you hear the stone click into your toilet bowl or hit your plastic filter.

Passed A Kidney Stone ☠️

If you would like to learn more about 4 things you can do to make this process much easier, please view or read our post on 4 Keys to Passing Kidney Stones Naturally. This content will help you set yourself up for success and skip the many pains associated with kidney bypass.

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Joey Weichmann is the founder of Stone Relief and has made it his mission to help health conscious people manage their kidney disease through naturopathic principles.

How Can You Help Pass Kidney Stones

Joey Weichmann

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