If your elderly loved one passes a kidney stone, they will probably experience some pain. They might want to know how long it is going to take for them to pass it or if it will even pass on its own. The more that you can learn about kidney stones, the more information you can give your elderly loved one. One of the most important things to know is that if you suspect your elderly loved one has a kidney stone, they should get checked out by a doctor. Some kidney stones can be dangerous, while others aren’t. The doctor can order tests to determine what needs to be done in your loved one’s case.
Defining Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in the body as hard minerals that formed in the patient’s urinary tract. However, sometimes they are formed in the kidneys, as well. After they have been formed, they will move from the patient’s kidneys to their bladder. The stones will need to go through the ureter tubes which are quite little. This is what usually causes the cramps and stabbing pains that patients experience. Patients might also experience blood in their urine if they have kidney stones. Pain in the back, abdomen, and groin might occur, as well.
Time It Takes for Kidney Stones to Pass
There are factors that determine how long it will take for kidney stones to pass. Some of these factors include the following:
- Prostate enlargement
- Stone’s size
- Size of the patient
- Other health issues
- Type of stone
With this being said, many patients are able to pass a kidney stone on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. If the kidney stone is able to get into the patient’s urinary tract, they will usually pass it in 2 days. The majority of kidney stones will pass on their own in 40 days or less.
Making the Call to the Doctor
Your elderly loved one might need to call their doctor if they have a kidney stone. Some kidney stones can be passed without any medical help. However, if your elderly loved one has a kidney stone that is 5mm or bigger, they might need treatment to help them pass it. If the kidney stone is 10 mm or bigger, this could become dangerous without medical treatment.
Ultrasounds shockwave treatment is prescribed for many patients who have kidney stones. However, with larger kidney stones, surgery is often needed to help the patient. This is usually the course of treatment if the patient has a kidney stone due to an infection, the stone is very large, they have a lot of bleeding, or the patient can’t urinate because the kidney stone is too big.
Ways to Avoid Getting Kidney Stones
If you or elder care providers are helping to care for your elderly loved one, it is important to know ways that they can avoid getting kidney stones. Some of the things that your elderly loved one can do to lower their risk of getting a kidney stone include the following:
- Eating a diet low in sodium, sugar, and animal proteins
- Drinking plenty of water every single day
- Exercising regularly
If your elderly loved one does these things, they can significantly lower their risk of getting a kidney stone.
Kidney stones can be quite painful. However, most of them will pass on their own. If your elderly loved one is experiencing blood in their urine, moderate to severe pain, or they have had a kidney stone for some time that hasn’t passed on its own, they should see a doctor for a treatment plan.