Is your sleep disturbed due to a kidney stent? You are not alone on this journey. According to research, 80 percent of the patient find sleepless nights with Kidney Stents.
What is a Kidney Stent?
A kidney Stent or ureteric stent is a tube inserted into the ureter to help drain urine and sometimes blood. Kidney stents are used to prevent blockage in the kidney which can be due to kidney stones. The stents are flexible and approximately 10 inches in length. Some stents might have a string that is visible outside.
Why do you need a Kidney Stent?
The basic purpose of a Kidney stent is to maintain the flow of urine and prevent blockage. The blockage will lead to swelling, inflammation, and hence kidney damage. The disorders which can cause kidney blockage are:-
- Kidney Stones
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Blood clots
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Internal tissue growths
Problems with a kidney stent
The idea of inserting a plastic tube inside the body can be scary! But what are the actual problems faced by the patient who has undergone the procedure?
- The patient with a kidney stent might witness blood in the urine. The blood in the urine comes and goes at random intervals. This situation gets better after the removal of the stent.
- The patient will experience abdominal pain. The pain in the kidney will get worst during urination.
- The frequency of urination increases in patients with a kidney stent.
- With pain in the abdomen, anxiety, and frequent urge to pass out urine, the sleep of the patient gets lost in the way. Sleep is the real healer for the patient. But patients are unable to sleep during this period. The patient’s sleep is disturbed because of pain and the frequent need to urinate during the day. So, it is important to understand the need for better sleep.
But how to keep your mind at peace when some foreign device is creating catastrophe inside your body?
There are some ways in which you can try to relieve trouble and unsettlement caused by kidney stents.
Some tips to find better sleep with a Kidney stent
- Relax your muscles – Alpha Blockers
If you get something that helps your urine to pass easily without causing any pain, your sleep will not be disturbed much. Alpha-blockers are the type of medication that lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscle. When alpha blockers relax the muscles and open the blood channels, the flow of urine is improved. The urine will pass out without causing any pain or irritation. There are many alpha-blockers available in the market. Consult your doctor and follow the prescription. Do not change the dosage or duration of medication on your own.
- Decrease the frequency of urination – Anti-cholinergic drugs
Anticholinergic drugs inhibit or lower involuntary muscle movements in the body. They help to regulate the actions of the urinary bladder. After the insertion of a ureteral stent, patients have an overactive urinary bladder. The number of times patients wake up to pass out the urine is decreased by an anticholinergic drug. The trips to washrooms during the night irritate the patient and hence disrupt the sleep cycle.
- Relief from pain
Intolerable pain during the night will never let you sleep deeper. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever is a wise decision. There are many NSAIDs available in the market. You can talk to your doctor about such medicines. You will not need a prescription for drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. But it is suggested to consult your doctor to avoid any complications. Once you get relief from your pain, sleep will come to your pillow.
- Balance between fluid intake and sleep pattern
When you get a Kidney stent inserted, it is recommended to drink a lot of fluid. You have to stay hydrated. But if you increase your fluid intake before bedtime, this habit will spoil your sleep routine. To maintain the balance, try to increase the intake of water during the day. The goal is to have a pale-yellow color in urine. If you maintain your fluid intake during the day, you can manage to stay hydrated. Don’t intake a lot of fluid before sleep. Fluid intake during the night will cause urgency to pass out urine. Before going to bed, clear your bladder.
Peaceful sleep is equally important for increasing the process of healing.
- Turn towards the opposite side
It is difficult to decide the accurate sleeping position with a kidney stent inside you. Experts recommend that one should sleep on the opposite side of where your stent is positioned. With soft pillows and bed sheets like microfiber pillows on your side, the struggle becomes easy. When you turn in the opposite direction, support from the pillow provides comfort and protection. After tossing and turning for a while, what you need is accurate positioning of your head and the location of the pillow to sleep. So, the pillows of the patient with kidney stent should be kept in the right direction to reduce pain and discomfort.
- Are you planning to go to the gym in the evening?
You should avoid any physical activity for the first 24 hours after the surgery. After that crucial period, you should not perform an exercise before bedtime. Exercise might initiate pain and it is not a good sign. If you want to do yoga, exercise, etc., plan it in the morning. You should relax before sleep.
Kidney stent is a risky procedure, and it is tough for the patient to sleep peacefully. Try meditation, music, and other means to fall asleep. Rest to body and mind is the source to cure the pain.
Once the Kidney Stent is removed, the worries come back in a different pattern.
After the Removal of the Stent in Kidney
When the Kidney stent is removed, it follows painful nights for one or two days. You will witness blood in the urine for several days. Burning, irritation, fever, and pain are some common symptoms.
But this will go away after few days. None of these symptoms will last. You should maintain your proper sleep cycle and balance the intake of fluid.
Do you need a doctor?
Insertion of Kidney stent might invite other problems such as urinary tract infections etc. You need to be careful. There are some signs which will indicate you need a doctor. You should consult doctor immediately when:-
- High fever
If you are suffering from a fever above normal for a few days, talk to your doctor. Take the required precautions and medications.
- Blood clots
A small amount of blood is normal in urine. But a large amount of blood or blood clots in urine is an alarming sign.
- Unable to clear bladder
If you feel that you are unable to empty your bladder, visit your doctor. Some medication might help.
- Sleepless nights
Some degree of pain after a kidney stent is expected. But a high degree of pain in the pelvis region is something you need to worry about.
The insertion of the kidney stent is a procedure that is performed to bring relief to your body. But sometimes it might lead to troubled nights. Focus on having goodnight’s sleep.
Coddle yourself with cosy pillows and soft bedsheets as comfort is the secret. Fix your health with comfort.
No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap- Carrie Snow