Learning About Kidney Stone Diagnosis
Learning about how your doctor concludes that you have a kidney stone helps build confidence in his abilities and knowledge about your own body as well as lessens the apprehension about the actual diagnostic process. Two articles are available that break down the steps involved in kidney stone diagnosis as well as the equipment and lab tests used to reach a conclusion.
Steps to DiagnosisThe first step is to establish if a kidney stone exists so that treatment can begin as soon as possible to alleviate the pain and discomfort. Once your doctor may suspect that you have a kidney stone due to the information you have provided about symptoms, such as sharp, sudden pains and difficulty in urinating, then an initial physical exam is conducted. After that, additional steps, such as laboratory tests, are implemented to reach a definitive answer. These steps help determine the type, size and severity of the stone or stones that you may have as well as whether the stone is blocking urine flow.
Since it is vital to get a treatment started as soon as possible, many doctors will not go to great lengths in their diagnosis unless your stone has returned or there is noticeable change in its size. If this is the case, the doctor will conduct tests that measure urine and blood chemistry in an attempt to find any metabolic disorders behind the problem. According to some research done, only 35% of people who have had stones before receive these tests from their doctor. The concern is that nearly half of young people who have kidney stones may do so because they have some sort of metabolic disorder, making them five times more likely to experience at least one other stone in their lifetime.
Is It Actually a Stone?
In making a diagnosis, it is important for doctors to not jump to any conclusions. This is because there are a plethora of other disorders that mimic the signs of kidney stones. Sometimes, a urinary tract infections could be the cause of pain that seems similar to that of kidney stones. In this case, it is important to watch for chronic cases of an infection, which may be a sign that your risk for a kidney stone is greater. Similar pain can emanate from the same part of the body, confusing both you and the doctor. These troubling disorders could include:
Although it may seem strange, it could also be a sign of a heart attack, not
a kidney stone.
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Information Pages on Stones of the Kidneys: