Can You Wait to Treat Kidney Stones?

Can You Wait to Treat Kidney Stones?

Robert Rechtin MD, an internal medicine specialist at Group Health – Anderson, answers a Local 12 viewer question about whether it is dangerous to wait before seeking kidney stone treatment.

How do Kidney Stones Form?

A kidney stone is a solid mass – usually made of calcium – that collects over time.

The kidney stone starts in the upper area of the kidney, gradually grows, “and for reasons that are unclear, becomes dislodged and moves down the collecting system and blocks the fill of urine from the kidney to the bladder,” Dr. Rechtin explains. One or more stones can be in the kidney or ureter at the same time.

Kidney Stones: When Should I Seek Treatment?

Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Rechtin says the general rule is to do nothing until you’re forced to seek treatment. “The rule of thumb is that if you wait five years, about half the people with kidney stones will have symptoms of them passing.”

Typically, only about a quarter of people who have symptoms of the kidney stone passing end up needing serious treatment.

However, Dr. Rechtin does suggest seeing your doctor to manage pain, which may involve a prescribed medication. “The classic description of a kidney stone patient is a person moving in any direction they can, trying to find relief, and there is no relief to be found.”

Learn more about kidney stones in the Health Library:


Tags Nutrition and Eating , Miscellaneous