What is happening to me?
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Your body is trying to eliminate a stone from the kidney down the ureter. Your pain is caused by powerful muscle contractions and release of chemicals within the kidney.
Why am I in so much pain?
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It is your body's way of letting you know that there is a problem. The pain can be extremely severe and very frightening when you first experience it.
Is it life-threatening?
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No. Symptoms can be very severe but they can usually be relieved, relatively simply, by a variety of measures and the condition is not life-threatening.
Why do I constantly have a high temperature?
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A high temperature is a simple message from your body to say that it has an infection. This message should not be ignored and you should seek medical advice promptly.
Is it an infection which can be passed on?
No. Infection in the urine cannot be passed on to your family or sexual partners under normal circumstances.
Why do I feel so tired all the time?
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Tiredness can be caused by several issues (including an inadequate diet) but ongoing pain and/or infection often results in your feeling tired, lacking in energy and unwell.
Why don't the doctors explain anything to me?
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When you are first reviewed, your doctor may not be sure of the exact diagnosis. This means that he/she cannot always tell you exactly what is going on.
What are the doctors going to do for me?
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First they will relieve your symptoms, then establish a definite diagnosis and, finally, decide on the best treatment and find out why you have formed stones.
Will I be in hospital for long?
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If your stone is small and your pain settles quickly, you may be discharged very quickly but, if surgery is needed, you will be in hospital longer.
How can people help when I am in severe pain?
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By giving you painkillers as soon as your pain begins (do not wait for it to become severe), keeping you well-hydrated and helping you to remain mobile.
Will I need dialysis or a kidney transplant?
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It is extremely unlikely. It is very rare for stones to result in renal failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation although a temporary reduction in kidney function may occur
Would I ever need a "bag"?
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It is highly unlikely that you would need a permanent drainage bag although it is common after any operation to have temporary drains.
Can I eat & drink anything or do I need a special diet?
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At this early stage, it is difficult to advise you on diet but this will be assessed in more detail during your investigations..
Should I stop drinking alcohol?
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As a general rule, no. Small amounts of alcohol do no harm but large quantities can cause dehydration which is not desirable in patients with stones.
Are stones caused by hard water?
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No. The calcium & magnesium salts which result in "hard" water are not usually absorbed to any significant degree and do not, therefore, play a part in stone formation.
Does stone formation run in families?
In most cases, no. Some types of stone, however, do run in families (e.g. cystine stones) and families who live together are, of course, subject to the same factors (e.g. diet, dehydration etc).
Why am I the only one in my family affected?
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Stones which run in families are rare. Stones usually form because of specific factors (e.g. dehydration, dietary excesses, urinary infection) which often exist only in individual patients.