How to Manage Kidney Stones Stuck in Ureter
Calculus is generally a concentration of minerals and salts occurring usually in hollow organs and ducts. They can even occur in the kidneys or anywhere else in the urinary tract, but their origin almost always is from the kidneys. Kidneys carry out of the actions of a filter. They remove waste fluid and mineral mater, or basically any end product of metabolism from the blood, and use these to secrete urine.
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Under normal conditions, the urine output should range between 1.5 to 2 liters of urine in a day. This, however, depends largely on the quantity and quality of fluids taken in. Drinking plenty of water will ensure that the urine produced is less concentrated and pale yellow in color. Approximately 90% of the urine volume consists of water while the remaining contain enzymes, pigments, uric acids, and ions like potassium, calcium, phosphate, etc. These are all dissolvable substances that dissolve in urine having sufficient amounts of water.
The problem arises when water content in urine is less and the urine solutes are more. In concentrated urine, it is not possible for all solutes to dissolve easily, leaving some behind. When urine concentration becomes a regular phenomenon, then there is this gradual build up of crystal-forming substances, eventually shaping into crystals and finally becoming a solid mass of kidney stone. The stone begins to form in the kidneys. Initially they are small in size, and may travel out of the kidneys, pass through the ureters and end up in the urinary bladder. Ureters are the ducts that connect the kidneys to the urinary bladder and assist in carrying urine away from the kidneys.
There is a possibility for the stone to get lodged in the ureters for these are narrow ducts. This possibility largely depends on the size of the stone formed. A single small stone, lesser than 4 mm in diameter, can easily move out of the urinary system. Stone larger than 5 mm will experience a decrease in their ability to be expelled out of the system spontaneously. A stone anywhere in the 10 mm size range will not be voided successfully without some help from external interventions. Also, a stone lodged in the center of the ureteral duct will experience some difficulty to loosen up and pass through than those deposited at the point of attachment, like at the start of the ureteral tubes (coming down from the kidney); or at the end of the tubes (the point of entry into the urinary bladder).
The first step that will always be recommended by physicians is to increase the flow of urine by drinking plenty of water. This is time and again stressed to kidney stone sufferers by their physicians. Increased fluid intake, especially pure water, will not only assist in flushing out tiny stones from the urinary system, it will also prevent stones from occurring at a later time.
Next, alpha blockers may be given to improve urine flow. This group of drugs work by relaxing specific muscles of the urinary system, making them less tense and rigid, providing enough room for more urine volume to flow though the ducts. Copious free flow of urine will loosen up stones and push them out of the ureters into the bladder to finally get eliminated out.
Ureteral stents, a small mesh tube, at times will need to be inserted and left in place to keep the ureters open for the passage of stones. This is usually a last resort taken to get rid of ureteral stones for they cause a lot of discomfort and pain.