Kidney Stone Sizes And What It Means For You
Kidney stone sizes vary, depending on the type of stone it is and how long it has been in the kidney.Â Some stones are considered silent stones because they are small enough to pass unnoticed through the kidney and urethra, leaving the individual's body without causing pain. However, for the larger stones, which can get up to the size of a golf ball, passing without help is impossible.
The main weapon anyone has against these stones is water. To stay "kidney stone free", and to avoid dealing with the pain that comes with large kidney stone sizes, a person should drink lots of water to help flush the kidneys on a regular basis.
The "silent stones" can be as small as a kernel of sand. These are stones that have started to form in the kidney, but have been washed out before they got large enough to cause physical discomfort. The only time a person will normally know if they had a stone this size is if it gets lodged in a very sensitive place, like the urethra, for example.
Kidney stone sizes that are between two to three millimeters, smaller than 1/8 of an inch, are the stones that people start to notice. These stones are large enough to get blocked in the urethra, and other areas, that will cause pain in a person.
The pain comes from blockage, which can lead to infection, but it can also come from the kidney stone moving around in the kidney. Some of the larger kidney stone sizes can get to be as big as a golf ball. At this point, the stone is no longer "silent", and the person can literally writhe in pain.
Physical symptoms of the larger kidney stone sizes are:
Vomiting and nausea
Pain in the back or under the ribs
Blood in the urine
Urgent, painful urination
Mild to extreme discomfort in the lower abdomen and groin area
Chills and/or fever from infection is possible
When a person begins to suffer from these symptoms, he or she should see a doctor immediately. The larger kidney stone sizes will not pass or go away on their own, and should be taken seriously, to avoid symptoms worsening or infection developing further.
Modern day techniques for dealing with the larger kidney stone sizes include using shock waves in a process called ESWL. This process breaks down larger kidney stones to help them pass safely and quickly through the kidney and urethra. If this process does not provide a satisfactory result, other procedures can be used, like surgery, to manually remove the stone from the person's body. The surgical procedure offers faster results with a little more recovery time, whereas the ESWL is non-invasive and is done as an out-patient treatment.
A doctor should be consulted about the symptoms that indicate the presence of a kidney stone as soon as they appear. Whereas the symptoms may be minimal to begin with, kidney stone sizes will grow if the stones are not dealt with in a timely fashion. Not only is there physical pain to think about, but there is the risk of a major infection that can result as a consequence.