Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   General Questions (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   Ways to relieve kidney stone pain (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=333816)

Polerius 09-07-2005 11:01 AM

Ways to relieve kidney stone pain
 
Does anyone here on the SDMB know of some ways of temporarily relieving the pain from kidney stones (until the stone is removed)?

wonky 09-07-2005 11:27 AM

I honestly don't think there are any. Kidney stones are notoriously horrible, and when my husband went through a bout of them a year or so back, they gave him some pain pills and sent him off. Later, he was hospitalized and on mega-doses of morphine and even that didn't mask the pain.

dolphinboy 09-07-2005 11:46 AM

BTW, does anyone know why kidney stone pain is so... well... painful? Why would there be some many nerves concentrated in that particular organ?

Blackclaw 09-07-2005 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polerius
Does anyone here on the SDMB know of some ways of temporarily relieving the pain from kidney stones (until the stone is removed)?

I just went through this. Morphine works remarkably well.

But the pain has to reach a level where you get admitted into the hospital to get that.

Which happened to me.

Percecet was my -stay at home, prescribed by doctor- remedy. It was quite successful at reducing pain until I had a tube get completely blocked. Since I could not pass the stones (plural - I was so unlucky), they went in to retreive them manually. More percecet followed after that procedure. Coming off the percecet is not a good feeling, but pain management isn't something you should fool around with. When I was first checked into the hospital I was in so much pain that I was vomiting and had elevated blood pressure. What surprised me was that although it was agonizing, I felt like I could somehow take more pain if I had to. However, my body informed my silly brain that wasn't necessarily true.

Pain, all by itself, can cause you physical problems far beyond just the measure of discomfort that you feel. Work closely with your doctor on dealing with pain management.

andygirl 09-07-2005 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dolphinboy
BTW, does anyone know why kidney stone pain is so... well... painful? Why would there be some many nerves concentrated in that particular organ?

What, your kidney, or the urethra that the jagged little stones are passing through?

dauerbach 09-07-2005 12:31 PM

I have been told it is distension of the urinary system that causes the pain. A non-obstructing calculous causes little if any pain. Why the urinary system should be so sensitive is a mystery to me however. If you have a small stone diagnosed, and the doctor is waiting for it to pass, an excellent home treatment is a sixpack of beer. The alcohol acts as an anesthetic and diuretic and is often successfull in popping the little bugger out. This is only if the stone is small enough to pass. If it will require intervention it will only hurt like hell and still not move.

muttrox 09-07-2005 01:14 PM

I was told the pain is not the stone. It is the overreaction of the body trying to get it out that is painful.

wolf_meister 09-07-2005 01:57 PM

I have had many kidney stone attacks. I don't think there is anything you could take at home to releive that kind of pain. Quite often, with those attacks I get nasty attacks of vomitting. So, any pills you could manage to swallow won't stay down for very long.

bouv 09-07-2005 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andygirl
What, your kidney, or the urethra that the jagged little stones are passing through?

Actually, most of the pain is when the stone is in the ureter (I think), the tube connectiong the kidney to the bladder. The pain is from the fact that the stones are sometimes sharp, and can cut into the wall of the ureter, and also the muscles aroudn the ureter are trying to force that stone out. Ever had pain from lifting something too heavy for you? Similar thing. The tiny muscles in the ureter are not designed to force something that large and hard out, but they try anyway, and BAM, lots of pain. More pain can also be caused by the backup or urine. The stone won't let a lot of urine pass sometimes, yet more of it is always forming and wants to get by.

irishgirl 09-07-2005 02:05 PM

Do NOT drink alcohol if you have a kidney stone.
I'm serious, it's a very, very bad idea. Your kidneys are under enough pressure without adding the forced diuresis and dehydration that would result from large amounts of alcohol.



The best thing you can do is to keep moving, drink lots of water and get the strongest pain pills you possibly can from your doctor. This is assuming you already have had a definitive diagnosis that the stone is small enough to pass on its own.

The pain is from the spasms of the urinary tract as it tries to push out the stone, which is why it comes in waves or bursts.

bouv 09-07-2005 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolf_meister
So, any pills you could manage to swallow won't stay down for very long.

You can take pills without having to swallow them, you know. ;)

flight 09-07-2005 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by irishgirl
Do NOT drink alcohol if you have a kidney stone.
I'm serious, it's a very, very bad idea. Your kidneys are under enough pressure without adding the forced diuresis and dehydration that would result from large amounts of alcohol.

Why is this a problem for the kidneys? As I understand it, they just have to deal with a greater flow through, which is exactly what you want and why you are supposed to drink so much water.

I have had many kidney stones and when untreated they cause writhing on the floor pain. If I sit a bath that is as hot as I can take it and load myself up on OTC pain killers/muscle relaxants, then there is no pain whatsoever. Three minutes after getting out of the bath, though, I am writhing again. A heating pad also works, but not nearly as well.

RetroVertigo 09-07-2005 02:39 PM

One of my biology teachers brought in his stone that he had surgically removed. It was the size of an acorn, and had like two hundred little spikes on its surface. seeing it made me quit drinking soda. :)

As for your question, my father three times a week would go up to the civic center and sit in the hot tub for an hour. He couldn't take the really strong pain medicine,and he claimed that this helped with a lot of the pain.

ivylass 09-07-2005 06:49 PM

Drugs. A wonderful IV drug that worked when the Demerol couldn't.

You have my sympathies. I've had two children and one kidney stone and I'd rather go through childbirth again. Kidney stones aren't very cuddly. ;)

samclem 09-07-2005 07:56 PM

This one's closed. I think the OP has enough info, good and bad. Medical threads just aren't encouraged here.

samclem GQ moderator


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.