Do you think you may have kidney problems? See a urologist without delay.
Kidney stones are one of the more painful conditions we can experience. Typically formed in the kidneys as a combination of salts and minerals (for example, calcium), which bind together and form what are known as kidney stones. The urology problem arises when the stones either create a blockage, or break away and push their way into the ureters, which are narrow ducts transporting the urine to the bladder. When this occurs, you’ll definitely know you’ve got a painful problem. However, there are other conditions, such as appendicitis, which may mimic the symptoms of kidney stones in certain ways.
First, we list the classic symptoms of kidney stones and then note how some of your symptoms may be due to another condition, as well as where you go from there.
Symptoms of kidney stones:
As the kidney stones make their way down the urinary tract, here’s what you might experience:
1. Sharp, severe pain in your back, stomach or groin.
2. Urination may become more frequent and/or painful.
3. Nausea and/or vomiting
4. Signs of blood in your urine
That said, there are also other serious conditions resulting from conditions other than kidney stones and which require immediate urologic medical attention. For example, appendicitis might be the problem in cases of severe abdominal or back pain. If you experience pain while urinating, you may have a urinary tract infection, rather than kidney stones.
Especially when the onset of the pain is sudden, you should first call your urologist or local emergency room to describe your condition. If they tell you to immediately come to the office or hospital, don’t waste any time getting there!
If the cause of your symptoms are determined to be kidney stones, the urology specialist will be able to assess the size of the stone(s). If they are small enough, your doctor may give you a pain medication and instruct you to drink those famous 8-10 glasses of water each day to help flush out the kidney stones on their own.
Kidney stones may be triggered by a variety of factors, including the beverages you drink, your diet, certain chronic diseases and a disruption in the normal balance of the ‘electrolyte soup’ which affects the ratio of water, salts and minerals passing through the kidney.
People who experience the symptoms of kidney stones often have a genetic or gender-based susceptibility to this painful condition. For example, white men are statistically more vulnerable, often beginning to form stones in their early to mid 40s, while their female counterparts get a break – until their 50s. Chronic conditions, such as gout and HBP, can also contribute to your proclivity to forming kidney stones. However, with proper control of such conditions as advised by your urologist, this risk can be virtually eliminated.
Perhaps the number one culprit behind the formation of kidney stones is dehydration – drinking too little water. An excess of protein and/or salt in your diet can increase your risk of developing the symptoms of kidney stones. This is also true if you’ve put on some pounds. Certain medications can make you more vulnerable to kidney stones. You can see that, if your urologist has diagnosed you with kidney stones, you’ll want to discuss a preventative regimen with your urology clinic!
Now that you know the symptoms of kidney stones, you’re able to assess your relative risk and consult with your urologist on preventative measures.
If not kidney stones, is it kidney failure particularly in your child?
When something goes wrong with a child’s kidneys, should a parent feel guilty wondering about what she might have done wrong? The kidneys are usually thought to be parts of the body whose job it is to purify the blood of uric acid. While that is an important function that the kidneys perform, you might be surprised to know that there is a lot more that they actually do. They produce red blood cells, they regulate blood pressure and they make sure that your body maintains the right levels of minerals in its system. What happens when the kidneys don’t develop properly in a child? Some symptoms of kidney failure are apparent in prenatal testing and can be set right with medication or other more invasive procedures once the child is born. Other symptoms of kidney failure or disease emerge much later when the child is about 5 or so and experiences all kinds of kidney-related difficulties – blood pressure problems, an inability to grow normally, or unending episodes of urinary tract infection. Sometimes, a cure only comes with several complex urologic surgical procedures.
If your child has been diagnosed with some manner of chronic kidney disease, there are all kinds of questions that are likely to be crowding your head – what kind of treatments are going to be needed and how your child is going to feel through all of it, being the main ones. The symptoms of kidney failure that you need to be on the lookout for if your child has some kind of kidney dysfunction are a low red blood cell count or anemia, problems in how your child grows from month to month, and the kind of blood pressure your child has. A child living with chronic kidney disease needs to keep on top of her medicines and needs to take up a strict diet.
Battling the symptoms of kidney failure, your child’s treatment typically includes a strict diet and medicines (drugs). The drugs (urological pharmaceuticals) are usually things like vitamins, blood pressure pills, carbonate and calcium. That’s quite a lot of medicine for a child who tops out at three feet – and you do need to help your child find a system to help remember all of this. Medicines to treat a child’s kidney problems appear in new forms these days – such as some that can be injected – especially the ones that help with an anemic condition and growth retardation. Erythropoetin for instance, is a great injectable drug that can help your child be more energetic through her day – it helps improve her red blood cell count. Human growth hormone injections can help your child grow the right way too.
Children have amazingly resilient bodies. Often, parents won’t even notice that there is anything wrong until a case of chronic kidney failure advances so far that the child’s kidneys lose about 80% of their function. That’s when all the symptoms of kidney failure actually start showing up – a sense of confusion, nausea, fatigue, swollen limbs and other things that no child should ever have to experience. When that happens, transplant and dialysis are the only choices available.