The pain would be equivalent to "tearing off an inch". If you've ever suffered from renal colic, just thinking about it will surely make you wince. "It is an extremely violent pain, which no position can really relieve," describes Gilbert Deray, head of the nephrology department at Pitié-Salpêtrière. Wednesday guest of "Without appointment", he returns to the causes and treatments of this kidney disease.
What is renal colic?
Kidney colic is linked "to an acute tensioning of the kidney cavity", explains the doctor. It occurs when an obstacle prevents urine from flowing into the ureter, the channel connecting the kidneys to the bladder. It has long been called "stone disease" because in 80% of cases, the blockage is due to a "pebble" ("lipase" in medical language) composed of various minerals. In other cases, it may be an internal tumor in the kidneys or cancer compressing the ureter.
This disease is very common: 10% of the population is at risk of developing it during their lifetime, specifies Gilbert Deray. Pain is the main symptom. "It is a pain placed high up, at the level of the second rib and near the spine," describes Gilbert Deray.
How to relieve a crisis?
If you recognize its nature, it is best to call a doctor at home, who will relieve you with an anti-inflammatory injection. In the meantime, a hot bath or a hot water bottle can provide temporary relief.
If the pain is accompanied by fever, it is often that the renal colic is doubled with a urinary tract infection. "This is an absolute emergency. In this case, we must go to the hospital as quickly as possible," warns the doctor.
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Is there a treatment for renal colic?
The pebble can be evacuated by itself, by the natural ways. If it is already too thick (more than 6 mm), a doctor can remove it using an ultrasound beam, most often introduced through the urinary tract. The relief is immediate. But beware, a person who has suffered from renal colic has a 70% risk of recurrence.
How to avoid a recurrence?
To avoid a recurrence, you should drink a little more than normal, about two liters of water per day. Gilbert Deray generally advises to adopt a balanced diet, avoiding absorbing too much protein of animal origin. It is therefore necessary to favor fruits and vegetables, rich in magnesium and potassium, which protect the renal cavities.