Can kidney stones stop urination?

Have you ever heard a man complain about the excruciating pain of passing kidney stones? The condition is no laughing matter since it’s prevalent and can impact urinary function in exceptional cases. While some people may ignore small kidney stones, others grapple with severe symptoms that necessitate urgent medical attention.

In this article, we explore the possibility of kidney stones stopping urination, and everything else you need to know about these painful deposits.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones form when crystals in your urine clump together to create hard pebble-like objects. They develop inside your kidneys after urine concentration exceeds crystal solubility, leading to oxidative stress and poor hydration^(1). People who don’t drink enough water or have underlying conditions such as cystic fibrosis have a higher risk of developing them.

Interestingly, kidney stones aren’t single-entity formations but rather multiple types classified based on some microscopic differences in composition^(2). For example, calcium oxalate crystals are famous for their pricking sensation when passed out along with urine.

Most patients present with nonspecific symptoms such as:

  • Swelling around the feet
  • Troubled sleeping
  • Darkened urine
  • Difficulty breathing

However, severe cases can result in chronic renal failure if left untreated or develop other complications like obstruction owing to the larger sizes assumed by kidney stones ^(3).

Can Kidney Stones Stop Urination?

Yes! It’s possible for large-sized kidney stone fragments blocking one’s urethra (the tube responsible for draining urine from your bladder) to dramatically disrupt normal urinary function. The size limitation varies depending on age and sex-specific anatomical variations; however, calculations estimate 4mm^4 at a rough mean positive predictive value of ~50%^(5).

Women who’ve never given birth due do shape restriction resulting from turning into bone difficulty bearing larger stones than their male counterparts. In most cases, people report feeling an intense urge to pee without success, while others may suffer dribbling or painful urination.

In more severe cases where bladder obstruction leads to renal failure, dialysis may be necessary until the problem is resolved^(6).

Are There Any Preventive Measures?

While some kidney stones are preventable and manageable by home remedies such as increasing your fluid intake and taking painkillers, consult a doctor if you develop any complications that could lead to decreased urine flow.

Some preventive measures include:

  • Cutting back on sodium-rich foods
  • Eating oxalate (specifically if calcium-based) containing foods like spinach and almonds in moderation.
  • Drinking plenty of water- doctors recommend drinking at least twelve cups of water a day.

These measures can not only help evade kidney stones but also other urinary tract infections(UTI)s which present with similar symptoms. UTIs are common among women during pregnancy due to sudden changes in hormones necessitating medical attention when taken beyond control^(7).

The Bottom Line

If you’ve ever suffered from the discomfort caused by passing small kidney stones through your urethra or other related symptoms such as frequent urination and lower abdominal pain-it’s time to talk with your doctor! If left unattended too long, large-sized fragments have been found blocking one’s ability void waste entirely leading to excruciating pain plus countless additional health problems down the line.

1. Salvador-Morales C, Fernández-Marín B et al.: “ Kidney stone disease; A review of pathogenesis &management prognosis”. African Journal Urology 2019 25:1 doi:10.1186/s12301-019-0035-x
2.Tiselius HG., Ferraro PM “Clinical guidelines for Diagnosis & Management Of Calcium Oxalate Nephrolithiasis.”. J Nephrol.R.2014
3. Arkray Healthcare Pvt Ltd., “Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes And Treatments.” Outlook 2021 Last modified June 6.
4. Kantarci F, Mihmanli I et al.: “Accuracy of X-Ray Based Renal Stone Size Prediction in Patients with Ureterolithiasis”. AUA Meeting Abstracts 2008 doi:10.1016/j.juro.2008.02.707
5.Tanaka T ,Tomak Y : “Sex & age-based probability study for the presence of ureter stone on noncontrast computed tomography adjunct to plain renal sonography.” Medicine (Baltimore) 2018 Apr;97(16)
6.Mercolino ME, Retelli MGet al :” The Nexus Between Kidney Failure and Everolimus Use after Heart Transplantation” Congest Hear Fail [Internet].205 Dec.(Epub).
7.Flores-Mireles AB,Walker JN” Urinary tract infections:Fighting Host vs.But rather a little collaboration”. Nat Rev Microbiol.[Internet]

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