Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Care – Going for Kidney Stones
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are solid pieces of material, e.g., calcium that form in the kidney, or sometimes in the bladder. These deposits occur in the urinary system and can occur as one, or several stones. The kidneys are located in the abdomen, on either side of the spine, just above the waist. People with kidney stones tend to have pain within that region and need immediate medical attention. Individuals with high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes also have a high risk of developing kidney stones. Here is more information on kidney stones Frontline ER would like you to know.
Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Care
An Urgent Care Center may diagnose kidney stones, but not have the capacity, regarding staff and equipment, to treat you for the condition. The doctors will have to carry out a CT scan, an X-ray or an ultrasound. Samples of your urine are also tested. Some stones become very large and require surgery.
Visiting an Emergency Room, such as Frontline ER, is safer because you are assured of quality treatment, emergency surgery, and a quick transfer to a hospital in case of further complications.
How Do Kidney Stones Occur?
Kidney stones are formed due to an imbalance in the water, salt and mineral level ration is one’s urine. The most common type of stones is calcium stones. When the water intake into the body is less than required, the salts combine and form a stone that settles in the kidney. Sometimes, the stones may be carried through the ureter to the bladder, or get stuck, hence the pain.
Calcium stones are formed when there is too much calcium in the urine. A chemical known as oxalate, commonly found in spinach, leafy vegetables, coffee, chocolate, and tomatoes. Oxalates readily bind with calcium to form stones. Certain conditions such as overactive parathyroid also increase the chances of developing calcium stones.
Another type of kidney stone is the uric acid stone which forms as a result of having too much uric acid in urine. An increase in uric acid occurs due to dehydration, and also in patients who have gout. The third type of kidney stone is the Struvite stones that are formed when the urine is infected with bacteria. The last and rarest stone is the Cystine stone that occurs due to a genetic disease called cystinuria.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Just like other diseases, kidney stones exhibit signs and symptoms. Here are some of the signs you should look out for. If you have any of the following symptoms, visit Frontline ER, or the closest ER for treatment.
- Crampy pain in the back and abdomen (renal colic)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood in urine
- Fever and Chills
However, symptoms do not always show, until the stones become big and uncomfortable. The blockage of the ureter causes uncontrollable pain, but if the stones are small, you may pass them during urination.
How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?
Once you arrive at Frontline ER, the physician on site will ask you for your symptoms and ask for a urine sample. The following tests may also be required to confirm the presence of kidney stones:
- An X-ray of your abdomen
- Ultrasound Scan
- CT Scan
How Are Kidney Stones Treated?
The treatment administered depends on the type, size and the location of the kidney stone. You may be treated by taking a lot of fluids and pain medication. The healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help you pass the kidney stones, and also prevent the formation of more stones. You may be required to strain your urine until the stone passes, for testing to see what kind of stone it is.
The stones may also be broken down with the aid of a machine, then passed through urine. This procedure is known as lithotripsy and involves the use of shockwaves, ultrasound, or laser to break the stones into smaller pieces. The equipment is light as has thin flexible tubes that can be passed through the urethral opening.
Another procedure is the surgical procedure known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy. The doctor makes a small incision in your back, and a scope is inserted to remove the kidney stone. This procedure is used when other modes of treatment are unsuccessful.
Taking Care of Yourself
Kidney stones occur due to dehydration of the body. Ensure that you take enough water to carry away any deposits, check what you eat, and visit the hospital for checks regularly to treat any stones before they become huge. If you already have the condition, follow the instructions provided by your Frontline ER healthcare provider.
Where Should I Go for Treatment?
Frontline ER is equipped and well-staffed to diagnose and treat you for kidney stones. With our round the clock quality services, do not let the pain in your lower abdomen prevent you from living. Visit any of our facilities and our website for more information.