These hard accumulations of minerals that form inside the bladder often cause a great deal of pain. Bladder stones develop when the patient is unable to empty the urine completely from their bladder. In such a situation chemicals accumulate in the bladder, and these stones take shape. Males aged over 50 are one of the groups most commonly affected since there is a link between bladder stones and the prostate enlargement condition. The risk increases after undergoing certain kinds of medical procedures. Statistics show about 6,000 hospital admissions each year for bladder stones (out of a population of around 60 million).
Urination causes pain
Passing urine is one of those regular bodily functions normally performed with little thought. If someone starts to suffer from bladder stones, urination becomes more difficult or painful. This symptom is hard to miss, but the identification with a bladder stones complaint is not automatic. A number of other conditions also make urination painful. For instance, this person might have developed an infection or perhaps they have become dehydrated. If the problem continues the probability, it is bladder stones increases. Blood and urine tests enable the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
Urinating more often than usual
Even in the absence of any pain, urinating more often than usual, especially during the night, could be a symptom of a bladder stones issue. Everyone knows how often he or she normally needs to go the bathroom. The fact that one day this person needs to go more often than usual is probably not significant. However, if they find that the frequency of bathroom visits increases significantly over many days, it is worthwhile consulting a doctor. In addition to bladder stones, the doctor is likely to check for symptoms of diabetics.
Changes in the color of urine
Many people would not pay attention to changes in the color of urine unless they have a certain health issue and the doctor has told them to make this check. Urine that takes on an unusually cloudy or dark color could be another of the well-known indicators of a bladder stones issue. Admittedly, it is unpleasant to make this check after bathroom visits, but if it helps diagnose the health problem and get speedy treatment the unpleasantness is a price worth paying.
Pain in the area of the lower stomach
The stomach aches everyone gets now and again usually give no cause for concern, but whoever feels persistent pains in their lower abdomen must consult a doctor. One of the possible causes happens to be bladder stones, but it could be a kidney stone or a number of other health issues. If the doctor suspects this patient has bladder stones, he or she will send them to a hospital for tests. Blood and urine tests should provide sufficient indication of bladder stones, and they also might want to do a bladder x-ray.
Suffers from incontinence
The mental anguish this condition causes should not be underestimated. Bladder stones could bring it on, but as is the case with so many health problems there are many other possible causes. Older adults often need to contend with this problem but some pregnant women, or women who have been through multiple births, also suffer from incontinence. If a man in his 50s finds to his horror that he has lost control over his bowel movements, the bladder stones diagnosis becomes one of the more likely explanations.
Wash the stones out of the system
Even though bladder stones are understandably associated with stomach pains and difficulties passing urine, some of these stones are so small that the patient remains unaware of their presence. If the doctor discovers a larger stone but one that is still small enough to go through the body, it might still be possible to remove it without resorting to surgery. Doctors usually recommend that the patient drinks as much water as possible in the hope of washing the stone out of their body.
Surgeons need to remove larger bladder stones
Unfortunately, doctors cannot prescribe a medicine to take that is able to dissolve the largest bladder stones. In the majority of cases, a surgeon needs to conduct an operation to remove them. As a rule, the surgeon inserts into the patient a thin tube called a cystoscope. A camera at the end of the tube helps him, or her locate the stones. With the aid of lasers or an ultrasound device, they break up the stones into small segments that are easy to remove.
The need to treat associated health issues
Sometimes the doctor finds that another condition seems to be causing bladder stones to form. Removing the stones only brings temporary relief in these situations. Depending on the nature of the associated problem, surgery might be necessary. For example, suppose the doctor identifies prostate enlargement as the cause of the bladder stones. This might require surgery to remove extra layers of prostate tissue. After this operation bladder stones should no longer develop.
Patients who have undergone certain operations are more at risk
The risk of developing bladder stones may increase after certain hospital operations. Kidney transplants and operations to correct female incontinence problems are a couple of the most common surgical triggers for bladder stones. Obviously, if a patient needs such surgery the risk of developing bladder stones should not dissuade them from undertaking it. This information is most relevant to doctors who need to understand how this particular bladder stone problem came about.
Urinary infections are a common cause of bladder stones, but whoever has an infection can take steps to reduce the likelihood of infection. Doctors recommend that they drink more water than usual to dilute their urine. Three liters of water a day should be a sufficient intake. In addition, they must not delay urinating when the urge comes on. It is also advisable to change diet to avoid constipation, and, if necessary, take laxatives.