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Will My Kidney Stone Pass on its Own?

Will My Kidney Stone Pass on its Own?

Kidney stones come in all shapes and sizes, often causing severe discomfort when they pass through your system. It's pretty easy for a small stone to get through your urethra, but larger ones may require more aggressive treatment.

If you're struggling with a kidney stone, the team at Metro Renal Associates can help. Our team consists of three experienced nephrologists who provide you with customized care and treatments for various types of kidney stones.

Signs of a kidney stone

Kidney stones are solid stones or crystals in your kidney or ureter. They range in size from a tiny grain of sand to a golf ball. Smaller kidney stones might not cause any symptoms and can go unnoticed for long periods. 

Larger stones, however, can lead to severe symptoms, including the following:

Everyone experiences kidney stones differently, depending on their size and location in your system. Stones often cause intense pain when they exit your kidney into your ureter.

Will my kidney stone pass?

Kidney stones need to pass from your kidney into your ureter and into your bladder to exit your body. Once in your bladder, they pass through your urethra and urine.

Two main factors determine if your kidney stone will pass — size and location. Smaller kidney stones, those less than four millimeters, often pass much more straightforwardly and with less pain than larger ones.

Kidney stones smaller than four millimeters often pass within a few weeks. Stones between four and six millimeters can still pass through your system, but it may take up to a month or longer and be significantly more painful.

And although kidney stones that are larger than six millimeters can pass through your system, you should seek medical treatment to avoid severe pain and complications.

The location of the kidney stone is also a crucial component in determining if it will pass on its own. Kidney stones that form closer to the bladder are more likely to pass without incidence than those in the ureter closer to your kidney.

Speeding up the process

If you have a kidney stone and want to pass it quickly and without medical intervention, drinking plenty of water is best. Increased liquid intake promotes urination, which allows the stone to keep moving through your system.

Staying hydrated is the best step, but other measures prevent the stone from growing larger. For instance, watch your calcium intake and limit protein in your diet to keep the stone from increasing.

You can also watch your salt intake and eat plenty of citrus fruits. These fruits have citrate in them, which helps prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place.

However, if you need help getting the stone to pass on your own, our team can help. We evaluate the stone through an X-ray or CT scan to determine the size and location of the stone. If the stone is too large, our team provides you with several treatment options, including shockwave lithotripsy.

Call one of our offices today to discuss treatments for painful kidney stones, or message the team using our convenient online tool.


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