This Is How Long It Takes to Pass a Kidney Stone

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
02/22/19  10:34 AM PST
Kidney Stone

By Emily DiNuzzo for Readers Digest

Passing a kidney stone can be extremely painful and, in some cases, impossible without medical treatment like surgery. If you are passing a kidney stone, it would be great to know just how long you must endure the pain before it’s over. The short answer, however, is that it depends on a few specific factors.

On average, most people who pass a kidney stone do so in one to three weeks—if they pass at all, according to Jennifer Linehan, MD, urologist and associate professor of urologic oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Most times, you can simply wait for the stone to pass,” she says. At a max, four to six weeks for the stone to pass is safe as long as the pain is bearable, she adds. Make sure you’re not making these 7 innocent mistakes that put your kidneys at risk.

Why passing a kidney stone takes approximately a few weeks has to do with knowing what a kidney stone is—and it’s not really a “stone” at all. “The term ‘kidney stone’ is a widely-used nickname to describe the calcifications consisting of the body’s excess minerals and salts that can build up inside the kidney,” says S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles. “As these substances accumulate in the kidney and begin to harden, they begin to form a crystal.” When multiple crystals accumulate and join together, there’s a pebble-like formation: a kidney stone.

There are a few different types of kidney stones, too. Most are calcium stones which are due to an excess of calcium oxalate, says Dr. Ramin. This compound is found in some foods and is a waste product your body makes. High amounts of sodium, vitamin D, and dehydration are also major contributors to these types of kidney stones, according to Dr. Ramin. Other examples include uric acid, struvite, and cystine stones, but these only make up anywhere from 1 to 10 percent of kidney stones.

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1 comment

  1. I have chronic kidney stones and ckd.I have had 94 surgeries in 7 years been cut open 6 times been in renal failure 4x had sepsis 4x and also been in a coma for 16 days from a kidney surgery gone wrong. There is no one who is going to deal with kidney stone pain for 1-3 week they do not take that long to pass if it takes to long they remove them because of kidney function being jeopardized.I make all 4 kinds of stones and they cant figure out why.I have passed hundreds at home non of them took longer then 48 hours, and mine are BIG I have medical proof.

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