Kidney Stones: Know When To Seek Help

Kidney stones are a common condition in both men and women, and although some can pass without the need for medical attention, it’s important to know when you should seek help.

If you're experiencing severe pain, vomiting, and fever or chills, seek immediate medical attention.

If you’re experiencing severe pain, vomiting, and fever or chills, seek immediate medical attention.

Kidney stones are caused by a crystallization of various substances in your urine, usually calcium. They range in size, sometimes only amounting to a small pebble, but have the potential to grow to the size of a walnut. It is important to know the signs of when to simply make an appointment with your doctor, or when to seek emergency assistance.

There are many ways to treat kidney stones, and not every case requires emergency care. You may not even be aware you have a kidney stone until it begins to pass through your urinary tract, but when this happens you may experience:

  • Pain during urination
  • Red, pinkish, or brown color urine
  • Urine that is foul-smelling or appears cloudy
  • Pain that feels like it’s hitting you in waves of varying intensity
  • Pain in your back and/or side(s)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fever, sometimes accompanied by chills

Although these symptoms do not require immediate medical attention, it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

In some cases involving kidney stones, emergency care is an essential part of the healing process and for your safety. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain, vomiting, fever and/or chills
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty urinating

Treatment Options

As previously mentioned, there are several ways to treat kidney stones. A lot of times, those who develop them are likely to have recurring kidney stones, so preventative measures such as drinking lots of water or maintaining a diet low in oxalate-rich foods should be taken in order to avoid further issues.

For small kidney stones, treatment often includes plenty of water consumption and over the counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In cases involving more severe discomfort, pain medication can be prescribed for relief. If you still have trouble passing the stone, further medication can be given to help assist in the process.

For more severe cases involving larger kidney stones, various procedures may be needed to assist in breaking up the stone in order to pass it more easily. In some cases, however, surgical removal may be necessary.

None of the symptoms listed above should be ignored. Depending on severity, contact your doctor immediately if you experience pain or discomfort of any kind, and seek emergency medical attention if you suspect your case might need immediate intervention.

If you have any further questions or suspect you might have a kidney stone, please contact us at Urology Austin.