While most kidney stones don’t cause long-lasting damage, there can be long-term consequences of having a stone. Kidney stones can cause excruciating pain in the back or side, hematuria (blood in the urine), nausea and other symptoms that affect your day-to-day life. The good news is that the pain is temporary and stones usually pass on their own without complications. Be sure to drink plenty of water with lemon juice to help move it along if you have a stone. The bad news? Sometimes it isn’t that simple.
On occasion, a person may stop experiencing pain and incorrectly assume that a kidney stone has passed. You shouldn’t automatically assume that the stone is gone just because you’re no longer in pain. It’s possible that it’s still there, and you should always visit a doctor to be on the safe side. If a kidney stone is left untreated, you can end up with long-term kidney damage or even lose your entire kidney simply because you didn’t get checked out.
In some cases, large kidney stones can also cause serious complications. For example, they can get trapped in the urinary system and prevent you from being able to urinate while increasing your chances of developing an infection. Blockages can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can also cause permanent kidney damage in the long run. While rare, a ureteral blockage can even lead to kidney failure or death. Don’t attempt to just “ride it out” and skip going to the doctor! If you develop a large stone, surgery may be required to break up or remove it from your body.
The majority of kidney stones will pass without causing major problems, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up with your doctor. Long-term complications are rare but possible, and most of the time they can be avoided.
At Arkansas Urology, we’re here for you. Our patients’ health has been and will always be our top priority! Do you need to schedule an appointment? Contact us today or book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon.