Kidney stones: not for the faint at heart


LAGRANGE, Ga. — It’s National Kidney Month. Perhaps one of the most common kidney problems–kidney stones.

Each year, more than a half million people find themselves in emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. Dr. Subhod Rao, with Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center, says kidney stones are very common.  The small pebbles of salt and mineral in the urine can be jagged and the size of a pea to a golf ball.

“They’re unable to pass it, that’s when they come to us. They may need fluids and pain medicines as well. Sometimes IV pain medicines in the beginning, just to help relieve the pain and help them pass the stone as well,” said Dr. Rao.

Most small stones (less than 5 or 6 mm) will typically pass within a few days to a few weeks. Because the stones are jagged, they often get stuck, causing some patients to opt for surgical removal. Danny Moseley of Columbus fought to pass a kidney stone around Christmas 2016. After three days of going back and forth to the emergency room, he knew it was time to exercise another option.

“They had to go in. It was stuck on its way out. So they had to go in and scope it out and remove it,” said Moseley.

The National Kidney Foundation offers these preventative tips

Below are symptoms of kidney stones from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain on urination
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent need to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Fever and chills if an infection is present
  • Urinating small amounts of urine

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