Our body consists of two kidneys. These kidneys are located on both sides of the lower back portion of the body. The kidneys are considered to be the main or primary organs in our urinary system. It is in our kidneys where our blood is being filtered or cleaned from all the waste products it carries. Once these wasters are separated, it will then be delivered to the urinary bladder via the ureters before it is expelled from the body through the urethra. The purpose or the function of the kidneys is always considered important for our day to day survival. Without the kidneys, our body cannot eliminate the harmful waste products in our blood, which can lead to certain types of complications and even death. This is the reason why we should always keep our kidneys healthy or in good condition. Unfortunately, our kidneys could also experience different types of problems. One of the most common problems our kidneys can experience is none other than the formation of kidney stones. But what are kidney stones and how long does it take to pass a kidney stone?
Learning More about the Kidneys and the Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are defined as hard masses of crystals that develop from the minerals that are found in the urine. Usually, the urine contains chemicals that prevent these crystals from developing. However, certain conditions such as infections, diet problems and/or metabolic disorders prevent these inhibitory chemicals from functioning properly. Because of this, kidney stones can start to form, which can cause excruciating pain at the lower portion of the back. So long will it take for these stones to pass?
There is actually no exact time as to how long will it take for these stones to pass. However, base on findings and actual situations, kidney stones can take as short as a few hours to as long as weeks before passing them out of the system. Nevertheless, if proper and immediate treatment is provided, waiting for these stones to be expelled from the body can be more comfortable and less painful. So in order for us to treat or manage kidney stones, we must first learn all about the details of the said kidney problems and as well as the proper ways in dealing with it.
Passing the kidney stones will not only make us feel relieved but it can also aid our doctors in classifying the type of stone that we have. There are actually different types of kidney stones and these stones matter depending on the type of diet or metabolic problems that we have. It is important for us to know the specific type of stones in order to provide appropriate treatment or management. Specific stones also require specific interventions, which mean that our actions will also have to vary depending on the nature of the kidney stones.
A kidney stone usually originates from the kidney, which can then travel towards the renal pelvis. The renal pelvis is a funnel-like opening that is located between the kidney and the ureter. The ureter is a thin tube that links or connects the kidney towards the urinary bladder. This structure serves as a passageway for the urine and as well as the kidney stones if there are any. Once the stones are in the bladder, it will then be expelled along with the urine through the urethra. However, these stones can get stuck at any point of their journey out of the body. Once this occurs, it can block the passage of the urine and it can cause swelling and damage to any part of the system. The longer these stones are stuck, the greater the damage will occur.
The size of the kidney stones can also vary. Some stones are very tiny or small that we sometimes eliminate them along with our urine without even noticing them. This allows them to pass through the kidneys and the other organs without any noticeable signs or indications. However, some stones could also be as large as a golf ball. Once this is the condition of our kidney stone, then there is no other choice but to resort to surgery.
Stones that are larger than 2 to 3 mm in diameter can already stretch the walls of the ureter and the renal pelvis. Once these muscles are stretched, it can experience spasms as it tries to push the stones out. This is the primary reason why there is pain in our flank, back or even the stomach area of our body. Nevertheless, once the stones have already passed through, the pain will also subside. Just like what is mentioned above, these stones will usually take hours to weeks before it can be finally expelled from the system. On average, it takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks to pass.
Once the stones do not pass within the said time-frame, then the stones can be stuck. If this is the case, then infection and other problems or complications can be expected to happen. Large stones can be assessed with the use of ultrasound or CAT scan. Large stones can be managed by using the shock wave treatment in order to break down large stones. A stent can also be used in holding the ureter open in order to let the stones pass out of the system.
These are just some of the key facts pertaining to kidney stones, which includes the time-frame these stones are expected to pass and as well as the possible interventions that can be done in order to manage them.