Stones can develop anywhere in the urinary tract, and they can vary widely in size. Most stones are caused by a buildup of minerals or other substances, such as uric acid, that stick together in the urine and form a solid mass.
There are several options for treating urinary tract stones. However, since many gallstones pass without surgery, management of renal colic is often a primary concern during treatment.
Manifestations of renal colic fluctuate contingent upon the size of the stone and its area in the urinary lot. A few little stones cause gentle renal colic, and an individual can pass them in the pee absent a lot of inconvenience.
Large stones can cause severe pain, especially if they get stuck and block any small passages in the urinary tract. Sensitive areas include the ureters, which are the tubes through which urine passes between the kidneys and the bladder.
The most common symptom of renal colic is pain on the affected side of the body between the lower ribs and the hip. This aggravation will in general emanate to the lower mid-region and crotch.
The pain usually comes in waves, lasting 20 to 60 minutes each, before it subsides.
Renal colic is one of the symptoms that can be caused by urinary tract stones.
Other symptoms that commonly occur along with renal colic include:
- Pain or difficulty urinating
- Unusual smell of urine
- small particles in urine
- Feeling a constant urge to urinate
- cloudy urine
- urinating more or less than usual
Some people may have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). These include fever, chills, and cold sweats. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should speak to a doctor.
Anyone experiencing the following symptoms along with renal colic should contact emergency medical services or go to the emergency room immediately:
- Complete inability to urinate
- Uncontrollable vomiting
- Fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
Renal colic occurs as a result of stones settling in the urinary tract, which is usually the case in the ureters. Here, the stone stretches the surrounding tissue as it tries to pass, which can be painful.
In addition, restriction of urine flow may lead to inflammation and increased pressure.
Kidney stones can be made up of several different chemicals and minerals.
Stones develop due to including a few different risk factors:
- Excess calcium in urine
- Gastrointestinal (GI) disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Gout that occurs due to excess uric acid
- some medicine
- Cysteinuria, where stones are made of an amino acid called cysteine
- Gastrointestinal surgeries such as gastric bypass
- A family history of urolithiasis
Treatment and its types
Specialists regularly use blood tests to check for expanded degrees of stone-framing substances in an individual’s body. An imaging test can help locate any large stones in the urinary tract, such as a plain film X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound.
Medical treatment often depends on the type of stone. Different types of stone, including:
- Calcium stones: They are the most common type of stones and are made of calcium oxalate.
- Uric acid stones: These stones develop when uric acid becomes concentrated in the urine.
- Cystine stones: cystine stones are rare and are caused by cystinuria.
- Struvite stones: Bacteria in the urinary tract can cause struvite stones, although they are also less common.
Most people can pass small stones in their urine. Doctors will recommend hydration, and may prescribe pain medication to help the person deal with the pain. They will watch the person until the stone passes.
A combination of procedures can help a person remove large stones and relieve renal colic.
- Ureteroscopic lithotripsy: This invasive surgical procedure involves a doctor inserting a thin endoscope with a light and a camera attached into the urinary tract.
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): ESWL is a non-surgical treatment. It is the process of directing small sound waves into the kidneys to break the stones into small pieces. A person can then pass these fragments in their urine.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: Doctors usually perform this procedure under general anesthesia. They will make a small incision in the person’s back to access the kidney and remove the stone using a lighted endoscope and small surgical tools.
- Placement of a stent: Sometimes doctors will place a thin tube in a person’s ureter to help loosen the blockage and promote the passage of stones.
- Open surgery: Some people who cannot pass stones may need open surgery. However, this takes longer to heal than other procedures. Doctors will often try to extract or break up the stones so a person can pass them before considering open surgery.
Treatment may also include medications that help relieve symptoms or reduce stone buildup.
These treatments may include:
- alkalizing agents
- Calcium channel blockers
- Selective alpha-1 blockers