Kidney stones and diarrhea: Can kidney stones cause diarrhea?

Can kidney stones cause diarrhea? Do you want to know if Kidney stones and diarrhea are related or not? We will find the answer to this question in this article. Along with this, let us also learn about the symptoms and treatments of kidney stones.

One major problem associated with kidney is stones in the kidney which many people go through in their life. Stones are masses of calcium and uric acid that often gets combined to form hard lumps. The size of the stones often vary, some are just a few inches in size, and some are as big as the kidney itself.

There are certain medical conditions that aggravate the chances of kidney stones e. g Ulcerative colitis are associated with inflammation of the bowel. This can lead to diarrhea; Diarrhea causes less urination by the person and can lead to stone formation. Thus kidney stones and diarrhea are related to each other.

Stones usually accumulate because of some minerals not getting flushed out of the body, insufficient intake of water in the body could be one of the reasons for this. Many times stones tend to pass out of the body without requiring any treatment. However, when the pain is excruciating, special treatment needs to be taken like Painkillers, antibiotics.

Symptoms of kidney stones:

kidney stones and diarrhea
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Many symptoms are seenKidneyandney stones. Some of the symptoms include:

Loin pain: Lower abdomen pain or lower back pain or pain in side of the body or loin pain. The pain is more often experienced when the stone enters a narrow passage such as ureters. The intensity of pain experienced is usually very high.

Pain and burning during urination: When the location of the stone is near the ureter or the bladder, the pain is experienced by the person during urination. An itching or burning sensation is experienced by the person.

Urine urgency: The person might feel a need to visit the washroom for urination multiple times, there is incomplete emptying of the bladder as a result of stones

Diarrhea: Kidney stones and diarrhea are not much correlated, Diarrhea is not that frequent in case of stones, but in many people, kidney stones and diarrhea are observed together. Usually the symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, fever, fatigue etc. are experienced by the person when the stone enters the ureter.

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Blood in the urine: Another symptom that is observed in people with stones blood in the urine, Many times people observe that the colour if the urine is reddish or pink

Cloudy or smelly urine: Usually the urine of the healthy person is not that smelly; however a person having a stone in the kidney may have smelly urine and is slightly pale.

Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are quite often associated with kidney stones. Kidney stones often stimulate the nerves in the GI tract causing severe vomiting and nausea.

Fever and chills: In the cases where a person has some other problem along with kidney stones like a kidney infection, in those cases, a person might suffer from a high fever which could also be accompanied by body shivering. In such severe conditions, the person should immediately be taken to a doctor.

Treatment options for kidney stones:

Some of the treatment options used for kidney stones include:

Drinking water: Drinking 1.9 -2.8 litres of urine helps in flushing out flushing out the urinary system and helps in clearing out the small stones from the body.

Analgesics: Pain relieving medicines are mostly required for the management of kidney stones. The pain experienced during kidney stones is very high and often would require a need for pain medicine either oral or parenteral. Some of the pain medicines prescribed for this is ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen etc.

Alpha- blocker: Many a time doctor prescribe medicines for the expulsion of stones from the kidney. These medicines help in relaxing the muscles of the ureter and help to move the stones out of the urinary tract.

For stones that are large, following treatment is used to remove them from the body:

Soundwave therapy is used for the treatment: This treatment uses sound waved to break the large stones into smaller stones

Surgery used to remove stones: Another methodology used to remove large stones is through surgery. Usually for kidney stone surgery incision or a small cut is made on the back of the person. The surgery to  remove the stones is performed  after giving general anaesthesia to the person and would require hospitalization for a couple of days

Using a scope to remove the stones: In case there are small stones located in the ureter. The doctor may pass a small tube with a camera and a source of light to find the location of the stone. The doctor will then insert a special instrument that will help in breakage of the stone into very fine particles. These small particles will then get flushed out through the urine.

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Parathyroid gland surgery: Sometimes the patient requires the surgery for parathyroid glands to prevent further formation of the stones. Parathyroid glands in few cases tend to excrete more of calcium which results in the stone formation

Lifestyle changes: To treat these and prevent the occurrence of stones again there are certain necessary lifestyle changes required:

  • Drinking lot of water which would help in keeping the body hydrated and would help in flushing out the extra minerals and calcium from the body
  • Eating fewer oxalate-containing food items: one should reduce the quantity of  oxalate-containing food items to prevent the kidney stones formation
  • Choose a diet low in sodium
  • Calcium salts should be used with caution and should be consulted with the doctor to prevent any harmful effects.

Medications for kidney stones:

The doctor will also prescribe some medicines along with the other treatment options. The type of medicines prescribed by the doctor depends on the type of salts present in the kidney:

Calcium stones: To prevent the formation of calcium stones in the kidney, the doctor may prescribe thiazide diuretics or phosphate containing medicines along

Uric acid stones: For uric acid stones, the doctor may prescribe allopurinol along. The main function of Allopurinol is reduce the level of uric acid in blood. This medicine helps to keep the urine alkaline and reduces the formation and helps in breaking down of uric acid stones

Struvite stones: To prevent these stones in the urine, the doctor will prescribe certain medicines to reduce the number of bacteria in the urine and kidney which leads to infection.

The doctor will prescribe antibiotics for the treatment. The antibiotics are also recommended before and after the kidney stone surgery. Some of the antibiotics used for the treatment are tamsulosin, norfloxacin, Omeprazole, ibuprofen etc.

Cystine stones: These don’t have much treatment options available for this, however, the doctor would recommend drinking as much fluid as possible to help drain out the stones through urine.

Side effects of medicines prescribed:

The medicines prescribed to help flush out the stones or slow down the formation are useful but also leads to many side effects. The doctor should weigh out the benefits and side effects before initiating the treatment. Some of the side effects associated are”:

Kidney stones and diarrhea:

Most of the people question- Can kidney stones cause diarrhea and the answer to this is Kidney stones and diarrhea does not have any direct relation. However, drugs like tamsulosin, norfloxacin and other antibiotics that are prescribed for the treatment of infection causes severe diarrhea.

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Tamsulosin and other alpha adrenergic receptor medicines lead to diarrhea. In general, the relationship between kidney stones and diarrhea is rare.

There is a cycle for Kidney stones and diarrhea, Diarrhea often increases chances of kidney stones. The drugs like Tamsulosin which are used to treat stones and often lead to more stones due to diarrhea as a side effect. Thus, making a paradox between kidney stones and diarrhea becoming true.

Before being prescribed tamsulosin, one should clarify with the doctor:

  • A patient does not already have kidney stones and diarrhea. A preexisting situation of diarrhea can severely drain the person and cause weakness.
  • Already if the person is having symptoms like nausea, vomiting and dizziness should be discussed with the doctor. As if there is a further situation of kidney stones and diarrhea, it will be a nightmare for the person undergoing treatment.
  • Dosing of the alpha 1 adrenergic drugs should be discussed and adhered well to reduce both kidney stones and diarrhea
  • If you are already taking some drugs, that should be discussed with the doctor to avoid kidney stone associated diarrhea.
  • Exercise and physical activities should be avoided to prevent fatigue, kidney stone pain, and diarrhea
Some of the other side effects of taking these medicines are:
  • Body pain: This very annoying for the person as to cure a kidney pain, he takes a medicine which in turn leads to other body and chest pains
  • Fever, chills, body aches and flu-like symptoms are also associated with these drugs
  • Painful penis erection is another problem associated with this
Other side effects include:
  • Dizziness,
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • A headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems
  • Blurred vision etc.

Any side effects that are unbearable for the person should be discussed with the doctor with our fail.

Thus in most cases, we don’t see that kidney stones and diarrhea are not found associated in most patients. However, in case these have severe consequences in some patients. If the person is having kidney stones and diarrhea, he should discuss with the medical practitioner.

References:
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/symptoms-of-kidney-stones#the-bottom-line
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5703100/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29204267

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