When to go to emergency room for kidney stones
At Bellaire ER educating our patients is part of the treatment. Making an appointment to see your doctor is not always the best option. Sometimes, the emergency room is the best place to get your problem checked out.
Understanding Kidney Stones
These are crystals that form because of substances within urine. When they coalesce, it usually tends to cause pain for the patient. Most kidney stones are quite small. When they form in the kidneys, they will usually travel done a tiny tube connecting the bladder to the kidney call the ureter.
They are usually tiny and inconsequential. However, they can sometimes grow so big that they fill the entire kidney. Kidney stones mostly affect men and women. However, children can be affected too, although it is quite rare. The kidney stones are most prevalent in southern states with a warmer climate.
How to tell if you have Kidney Stones
Kidney stones do not have any symptoms in most cases. The reason is that they are usually so small that they pass out of the body undetected. However, symptoms will appear if you have large kidney stones.
Large stones block the urine flow, which leads to serious symptoms. However, not all symptoms justify a hospital visit. Kidney pain does not always lead to blocked urine flow. At times, it can be lodged in a certain area of the kidneys, causing a lot of pain.
The major symptom that indicates you have kidney stones is feeling pain. In most cases, you will experience a sharp and intense pain on the back or side of the abdomen. The pain starts without warning and then grows slowly over time. With time, the pain can spread to the lower abdomen and the groin.
The pain could be undulating, or it could hit you in waves. Sometimes, it will last for a few minutes, disappear, and then appear again after about 10 minutes. Sometimes, the pain may linger but fluctuate in severity. The fluctuation in intensity occurs as the stone moves along the ureter.
If you notice that the pain appears to change in position, that is most likely a kidney stone. The pain starts in the back, moves slowly to the sides and then to the lower abdomen. It happens as the kidney stones move along the urinary tract.
Some people may confuse kidney pain with stiff muscles. If the pain is originating in the muscles, they intensity should change when you shift position. However, kidney stones pain does not fluctuate when you shift around.
The kidney stones may cause you to have nausea, blood in urine, vomiting, and fever. These symptoms occur because the stone restricts the movement of urine. As a result, there is an accumulation of waste products in the blood.
A good indication that they are kidney stones is the time during which they occur. Most people tend to urinate less often at night and early in the morning. Consequently, kidney stones will form during this time. If you begin to experience any of the above symptoms during those hours, there is a good chance they are kidney stones.
When to Visit the Emergency Room
If you suspect that you have a kidney stone attack, you do not always need to visit the emergency room. For instance, if your kidney stones are of low intensity, you should probably sleep it off. However, that is not always possible.
One reason you should visit an emergency room such as Bellaire ER is if the pain becomes intolerable. Sometimes, you may wake up with a blinding pain that renders you immobile. You may experience pain so sharp that it makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs. In such a case, you should make a quick visit to the ER.
Another reason to go the emergency room is if the medication does not work. Your doctor may have given you medication that is meant to assist your body in breaking down the stones. However, if the pain persists despite taking the medication, you should rush to the ER.
Additionally, if you experience a fever that goes beyond 105.5 degrees, you should go to the ER. It is especially so if the fever persists. Additionally, if you notice excessive amounts of blood in your urine, get yourself to the ER.
Another justifiable reason for going to the ER is if you experience persistent vomiting and nausea. It is especially important to rush to the ER when these symptoms are accompanied by smelly urine.
What Happens at the ER
A doctor will make a diagnosis using modern equipment and provide the proper treatment options. There are various options offered for the treatment of kidney stones. One of these options entails allowing the stone to pass out of the body.
Additionally, the doctor may recommend surgery to get rid of the stone. The decision is usually based on the size of the stone. If it is less than 5 mm, it should pass out of the body without any major issues. Kids larger than 5mm will require surgery.