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Kidney Stones And Urinary Tract Infection

Back pain as a symptom of kidney stones could be accompanied with painful urination, abdominal pain, frequent urination, and other bodily symptoms including fever and chills.  These are symptoms of Pyelonephritis, or upper urinary tract infection which is often caused by the inability of the patient to empty his bladder fully due to a blockage – kidney stones that have been dislodged from the kidneys and passed on to the urinary tract are often the culprit.  Anyone who thinks he has symptoms of kidney stones and urinary tract infection should consult his physician right away.  Depending on how severe the pain and infection can be, the physician can prescribe the corresponding treatment.

Kidney stones, or renal lithiasis in medical terms, are small and hard deposits made of various substances that are formed in the kidneys.  These mineral and acid salts are often diluted in the urine, but, there are times when these substances crystallize, stick together, and then solidify into kidney stones.  The most common kidney stones are calcium stones.  About 80% of those who have kidney stones have calcium stones in the form of calcium oxalate coming from the liver.  Passing these kidney stone can be excruciatingly painful with the pain starting at the sides or at the back just below the ribs and the radiating to the lower abdomen and the groin area.  In extreme cases, medical intervention apart from pain medication is necessary.

It is important to find out what type of kidney stones and urinary tract infection is present.  This is important to determine what kind of treatment is necessary.  The type of kidney stones and urinary tract infection that is present will also allow the physician to advise precautionary measures so that further stone formation can be avoided.  When kidney stones are suspected as a cause of urinary tract infection, the physician could recommend several diagnostic tests.  A 24-hour urine collection test will be recommended to check if there is elevated presence of stone-forming minerals or a lowered level of inhibiting substances.  A blood analysis will also be done to check calcium and uric acid levels.

Among the other tests that can be performed to determine the presence of kidney stones include:  a computerized tomography scan or a CT scan, an abdominal x-ray and ultrasound, and an intravenous pyelography.  These tests will enable the physician to visualize kidney stones using varied methodologies.  Any one or a combination of these tests can be recommended.  When stones are small enough, they are often just passed through the urine.  The physician could also recommend that you urinate through a strainer so that the passed stone could be studied and the right precautionary measures can be advised. 

When the imaging tests show stones that are bigger than 5mm will necessitate medical intervention especially when the kidneys are found to be enlarged.  These stones could be through either lithotripsy or a manual operation using a scope inserted through the urethra and the bladder.  Smaller stones can be flushed out through water therapy.  In the meantime, while pain is persistent, some sedatives and pain killers could be prescribed by your physician.

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