How Long Do Kidney Stones Last?

Kidney stones are a prevalent and often painful condition that impacts nearly one in 10 Americans each year. While the experience can be challenging, knowledge about kidney stones, their symptoms, and potential treatment options is crucial.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones, also called renal calculi, are solid formations that start in the kidneys. They form when certain waste products struggle to dissolve properly in urine, leading to the creation of crystals due to an imbalance in waste and urine volume. Over time, these crystals gather more waste, resulting in the formation of kidney stones. These stones, varying in size and composition, must pass through the urinary system to be eliminated. This process highlights the importance of maintaining a balance within the body to prevent kidney stone development and stresses the need for proactive steps to protect kidney health.

How do I know if I have a Kidney Stone?

Keep an eye out for some of these common signs that could be the result of kidney stones:

  • Severe pain on either side of the lower back
  • Persistent stomachache or vague pain
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

How Can I Treat Kidney Stones?

Hydration is Key:

A fundamental and initial step in managing kidney stones is staying well-hydrated. Adequate water intake helps flush out the stones through the urinary system, promoting a quicker resolution. Individuals are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to support the natural elimination of kidney stones.

Pain Management:

Passing kidney stones can be an uncomfortable experience. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can provide relief from the associated discomfort. It’s essential to follow recommended dosage guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.

Medical Therapy:

In some instances, medical intervention may be necessary. Doctors may prescribe alpha-blockers to relax the muscles in the ureter, facilitating a faster and less painful passage of the kidney stone. This approach is particularly beneficial in cases where stones are larger or causing significant discomfort.

Proactive Measures:

Taking proactive measures to prevent kidney stones involves staying well-hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet, and watching calcium, sodium, and protein intake. Regular exercise and weight management are crucial while addressing underlying conditions like high blood pressure is essential. For those prone to calcium oxalate stones, limit oxalate-rich foods like peanuts, spinach, or sweet potatoes. Regular medical check-ups help monitor kidney function and identify potential risks early on. These steps collectively contribute to overall kidney health and reduce the likelihood of developing kidney stones.

How Long Do Kidney Stones Last?

Kidney stones, typically lasting around a month, are influenced by factors such as size and composition. Smaller stones, under 4 mm, often pass within one to two weeks, while larger ones over 4 mm may take two to three weeks. Upon reaching the bladder, stones typically pass within a few days, though this process can extend, especially in older individuals or men with a large prostate.

Tailoring treatment approaches based on these factors is crucial for personalized care. If you’re navigating concerns about the duration of kidney stones, understanding that they generally persist for about a month provides helpful context. Individual experiences may vary, and if you have specific concerns related to stone size or need guidance on managing this common health issue, our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team is ready to offer support and personalized information. Feel free to reach out for assistance, as we are dedicated to ensuring you have the care and information needed for a smoother journey with kidney stones.

What is Ballantyne, NC known for?

Throughout the year, Ballantyne experiences an increase in travelers, whether they’re visiting family or exploring the nearby Grayson Highlands State Park. The community remains vibrant with people engaging in various activities, whether it’s enjoying the inviting atmosphere at Ballantyne Village or seeking a refreshing boost of energy at local favorites such as Brakeman’s Coffee & Supply. Regardless of the time of year, it’s crucial to stay mindful of how to maintain happiness and health amidst the ongoing activities and events in Ballantyne.