Most people know someone who suffers from kidney stones (you might have them yourself).
If you’ve ever had them, you know how painful they can be. The question is, can you die from kidney stones? That’s what we’ll answer in this post.
The Answer: It’s Possible
Don’t be afraid- it’s rare for a person to die from kidney stones. However, it’s not impossible.
If you don’t utilize recommended treatments, for example, it could result in a urinary tract infection. While UTIs typically aren’t life-threatening, they certainly have the potential to be.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Let’s briefly talk about what a kidney stone is. A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidneys.
The kidney is the primary organ of blood filtration. As blood passes through the kidneys, things get filtered out of the blood and enter the bladder.
Eventually, whatever’s in the bladder gets excreted in the urine. Kidney stones can range from very small to quite large.
Large kidney stones pose a problem since it’s possible for them to get stuck in the urinary tract, thus, blocking the flow of urine. In this case, they become a medical emergency.
Untreated Kidney Stones Can Lead to Kidney Failure
How can someone die from kidney stones? Well, if your kidney stones are left untreated, they can cause a lot of damage to the kidney.
If the kidneys fail, it won’t take long for the rest of your body to fail, too. It’s estimated that about 2% of all kidney failure cases in the U.S. are due to kidney stones.
That’s not a lot, but it’s not a little, either. Therefore, you should always be on top of your kidney stones and never leave them untreated.
The Good News
The good news is that developing complete kidney failure isn’t common with kidney stones. That’s because most people have two kidneys.
If one happens to fail due to a kidney stone, the other kidney won’t be affected. People can live off one kidney, which is why a kidney stone will rarely lead to chronic kidney disease or failure.
If you’re paranoid about dying from kidney stones, that should give you a sense of relief.
Tips to Remember
To avoid a rare case of kidney failure from kidney stones, here’s some tips to remember:
- Talk to Your Doctor: If you have a kidney stone that hasn’t passed, and you’re worried, talk to your doctor. Having an open dialogue with your primary physician will reduce the chances of the situation becoming worse.
- Change Your Diet/Lifestyle: Various lifestyle and dietary patterns can put you at an increased risk of developing kidney stones. Talk to your doctor so that you can do the things that reduce your risk the most.
So, to summarize: while it’s possible to die from kidney stones, it’s not likely. While kidney stones can cause a lot of pain, they rarely kill.
Still, it’s recommended that you stay on top of them so that they don’t progress to something worse. The longer they go untreated, the more serious they can potentially become.