When it comes to getting kidney stones diagnosed, you may be wondering what your first step should be. Kidney stones can be extremely painful and they can certainly affect your day-to-day life. While most stones will pass on their own if you drink plenty of water, you may require treatment to break up a stone that won’t pass.
Common symptoms of kidney stones include:
- Burning and pain while urinating
- Bloody or dark urine
- Pain in your back, groin or side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Intense urge to urinate
- Inability to urinate
If symptoms become severe or start to affect your ability to work or relax, you should contact a specialist as soon as possible. If pain becomes intolerable or you develop a fever, go to the emergency room right away. Receiving a proper diagnosis will put you on track to getting the relief you need.
Diagnostic tests and procedures used to diagnose kidney stones include:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Kidney, ureter and bladder X-rays
- CT scan
- Intravenous pyelogram X-ray
Once kidney stones have been diagnosed, your doctor will determine if treatment is necessary. If the stones don’t pass on their own within a few days, you may be prescribed a certain medication to treat and prevent calcium stones, such as potassium citrate or orthophosphate. If stones cause unbearable pain, a urinary tract infection, or completely block your urine flow, other treatment may be necessary. Common options to break up a stone include percutaneous nephrolithotomy, ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy. If all other options are unsuccessful, surgery may be required. Metabolic tests may also be used to help your doctor determine why a kidney stone developed in the first place and what type of stone might form in the future.
If you develop kidney stone symptoms, don’t wait to get a proper diagnosis. Let your doctor know as soon as symptoms develop, and be sure to drink plenty of water and stay properly hydrated.
At Arkansas Urology, we’re here for you. Our patients’ health has been and will always be our top priority! Do you suspect kidney stones? Call us at 1-844-NOSTONE. You can also book your appointment online.