Once you’ve recovered from the shocking discovery, the chances are you’ll suddenly become a passionate student of the swift removal of kidney stones. So here’s a crash course.
To get rid of your unwelcome visitor, you have three main choices: a hospital procedure, such as ESWL (corporeal shockwave lithotripsy) whereby shock waves break up the stone, which can then be flushed away.
Unfortunately, although this was developed to avoid damaging kidney surgery, the Mayo Clinic found these shockwaves can also inflict their own damage on the kidney, leading to dangerous reductions in the production of blood pressure regulating hormones. They can also increase four-fold the risk of diabetes, due to shockwaves damaging the pancreas, where insulin is produced.
The second route for the removal of kidney stones are pharmaceuticals. But, as you will be aware, very few pharmaceuticals are without side effects and kidney stone drugs are no exception, particularly as they are spin offs from drugs originally designed for other purposes.
It’s impossible to say in advance if you will be affected by the typical unpleasant dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, loss of appetite, itching, stomach upset, headache and general weakness associated with thiazide diuretics.
Medications using acetohydroxamic acid as the active ingredients can induce anxiety; general body discomfort; hair loss; loss of appetite; mild headaches; nausea; nervousness; shakiness; vomiting and tamsulosin hydrochloride (originally created to help with prostate problems) can give you a runny or stuffy nose, dizziness, increased risk of infections, including the common cold or flu, general body pain , back pain, diarrhea or sore throat.
The third choice your doctor will offer you will be to take a painkiller and go home and wait for the stone to pass — eventually. Your doctor will also probably recommend you drink a large quantity of water to help move the stone out.