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  • Saturday, September, 2020| Today's Market | Current Time: 12:44:20
  • With the lockdown restricting each and every moment kidney stone pain can be quiet distressing. Not just that it is quite difficult to step outside but also the diversion of health care facilities to fight the virus and defend sicker patients makes it difficult to get the right medical attention. In this season it is imperative to make knowledge the power and fight kidney stones on your own especially if you are a known stone former.

    Let us first understand what are symptoms of kidney stones. Kidney stone pain typically happens when the flow of urine is blocked from the kidneys. Stones that are simply lying in the kidneys do not cause any pain or damage to the kidneys. Only when one of the stones or its fragment blocks the ureter or the pipe of the kidney or the mouth of this pipe called the pelvi-ureteric junction does the distention of the kidney happen, thus leading to pain. The pain arises from the side of your back and goes down to the lower part of your tummy near the urinary passage. It can also travel to the testis and the inner part of the thigh.  Usually this pain is very severe and is associated with a feeling of vomiting which we refer to as nausea. Many times actual vomiting can also take place. As the stone travels down the pipe of the kidney it may cause some burning in the urine and increase in the number of times that one has to go to pass urine. Kidney stones are rarely associated with loose motions and if you have loose motions then you are more likely to be having some intestinal infection. Sometimes the patients may notice redness in urine due to blood.

    Patients who have already been stone formers know that kidney stone formation is not a one time process. Upto 50 % of patients develop stones again within 10 years. If you get a stone pain the first thing you can do is to take a painkiller. You can find a painkiller in your list of older prescriptions. But in many cases the pain is too severe to be relieved by an oral painkiller and the best thing in that situation is to get an injectable painkiller from a nearby clinic or hospital. Usually a single shot of injectable pain killers is sufficient to reduce kidney stone pain drastically.

    An increased intake of  fluids can help you flush away these fragments if they are small but if it’s a large stone then the pain is bound to recur. The next step therefore is to assess the exact size and location of the stone. For this the best way is an ultrasound of the Kidneys which in more than 97% cases can ascertain the size and location of the stones. In some cases it may need to be complemented by an X-ray of the Kidneys.

    Stones less than 6 to 7 mm have a good likelihood of passing with just stone dissolving syrups and medicines to widen the pipe. This combination of medications is called the medical expulsive therapy or MET. Stones greater than 7 mm may require a more specialized approach and the best doctor to help you with that is going to be a Urologist. Usually if detected in time kidney stone management is easy and some of the surgical options available such as lithotripsy do not involve any pain, hospital stay or anesthesia. Most stones can be managed with laser surgery that does not involve any scars or prolonged bed rest.

    ‌Dr.‌ ‌Raman‌ ‌Tanwar (‌ Secretary‌ General‌ ‌of‌ ‌Men’s‌ ‌Health‌ ‌Society‌ ‌of‌ ‌India‌ ‌and‌ ‌leading‌ ‌national‌ ‌Andrologist‌)