Can you pass a 5mm kidney stone on your own?
As someone whose biggest fear in life used to be the thought of passing a kidney stone, I know that the road ahead looks tough. But fear not my lovely readers because today we’re going to go over everything you need to know about this excruciating experience and how you can come out on top.
What is a Kidney Stone?
Before we get into whether or not you’ll be able to expel it from your body naturally, let’s first discuss what actually happens during the terrifying process of passing a kidney stone. As the name suggests, this lovely “rock” is essentially just an accumulation of hard minerals such as calcium and oxalate in our kidneys.
But why does it even happen anyways?
Well, there are many reasons one might end up with some mineral buildup in their precious organs – poor diet choices (I’m looking at you cheese lovers), dehydration or chronic urinary tract infections could all contribute.
Now that we understand what exactly this unpleasant little guy is made up of, let’s talk about size…because boy oh boy does size matter when it comes down to successfully pushing one out yourself.
The Dreaded 5mm: Is It Too Big To Pass Naturally?
The short answer is nope! No amount of cursing at said offending item will make it dissolve into nothingness overnight; however, studies have shown that even max-size stones (upwards from 10 mm) have been passed without surgical intervention by lucky individuals with dilated ureters (the tube that carries urine outside our bodies). Will everyone be lucky enough though? Unlikely, but don’t lose hope yet haha.
So How Likely Are You To Need Surgery Based On Its Size?
Statistics show us around ~20% get so large they end up needing either extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (breaking them up w/ machine), ureteroscopy, and/or percutaneous nephrolithotomy. How much of that 20% is made up of the dreaded 5mm size you ask? Well researchers say its more than half – so I guess we could call them our half-hearted unlucky stooges.
Before we continue discussing just how to pass the stone(s), let’s address what kind of symptoms are typically associated with trying to pawn one off yourself.
Pain Is Not Fun
Let us not mince words readers, plain and simple: pain is pretty much a given when it comes to this wonderful process – many patients end up in emergency rooms due to intolerable levels during their journey. Where specifically can you expect all this pain you may be asking? Usually severe abdominal or back discomfort based on where the stone ends up blocking your urinary tract (which desperately needs those pee particles out) but otherwise folks have reported everything from pelvic achiness to numbingly terrible genitalia sensations…so there’s quite a range for cool souvenir stories.
The List Goes On…
If potential dick sensory issues weren’t enough scary fun for ya my friendly peeps, below are some other symptoms patients have been known experience while expelling some mineral know-how:
– Urinating less frequently than usual
– Painful/burning sensation whilst doing #1
– Blood appearing in urine
– Feverish feelings
As always it should go without saying but if things get too painful or other parts of your body start getting involved that shouldn’t be then please seek professional medical help! Don’r try play hero kids wowzers.
So now that we’ve got an idea how “fun” this whole event could possibly become, lets evaluate treatment options depending on whether our dear friend decides he’d like hang around even longer.
Drink More Water… Seriously
Assuming the stone is small enough to pass by means of a balanced diet and hydration alone, the usual course of treatment your doctor will suggest is absolutely nothing! Wowzers. They may recommend simply drinking lots and lots of water since this multi useful fluid has been proven to help prevent more stones from forming which can be pretty awesome if you’d rather not revisit another time.
But What About Medications?
The answer there is it depends on what exactly had caused these dastardly minerals to conglomerate in your pee producing organs in the first place – some medications could help either break up or shrink (calcium- blockers) some kidney stones increasing likelihood they’ll get passed without fuss, while others target different causes entirely such as infections fitting where appropriate. Other drugs could help make things more comfortable during the entire process minimizing pain felt at all stages hmm interesting.
When Gravity Alone Isn’t Enough…
#### Let's Whip Out The Soundwaves And Lasers!
If all else fails hoss, there are two go-to methods doctors employ when its clear our friends are going nowhere fast:
1. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy uses shock waves externally focused on ability to mechanically break up larger stones into smaller pieces. This allows patients then excrete each piece w/ less difficulty over time.
2. Ureteroscopy involves using a thin tube + camera inserted directly through patient external urinary tract towards location where stone(s) resides before blasting them with an instrument emitting laser energy breaking them down further for easier passage out normally.
Prevention Is Key
As someone who likes to avoid pain wherever possible, making sure I won’t have any future full of hiding behind sofas like Indiana Jones trying dodge incredibly unrealistic boulders seemed wise so let’s consider prevention shall we?
Drinking More Water Works For More Than Just Hangovers
#### Literally Drink All Day
This little trick should come as no surprise at all, but it bears repeating and emphasizing that hydration is key people. Making sure you’re getting enough fluids daily (around 2 liters ideally) will not only prevent new kidney stones from cropping up but helps everything else run smoothly.
This Diet Is Not The One
Staying away from foods with high oxalate levels such as spinach and nuts can help a lot too. An alkaline diet consisting of more fruits over meaty dishes could also potentially do wonders for your pee party too – so go ahead, dip into that produce section like the nutritional champ you are!
While there’s no denying combating these adorable little stone friends naturally isn’t always sunshine and rainbows it seems very possible to push them out on your own unless they have to end up entering ~~laser tag~~..sorry lasers down below giggles. Make sure to stay vigilant when experiencing any potential symptoms whilst quenching thirsts all day errday; following this advice may even keep ya safe in case one decides he loves hangin around way more than anyone ever truly desires – you know just in case adventures aren’t quite what we had mind! Anyway thanks for reading peeps y’all rock stars!