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Steinberg Urology: Learn More About Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are small deposits or hard crystals forming inside your kidneys when minerals and salts in your urine bond together. Some kidney stones cause little or no symptoms, while others may pass through the urinary system that causes painful symptoms. If you have kidney stones, you can seek treatment at Steinberg Urology so you can get proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, and for you to focus on long-term health.

What are the risks of developing kidney stones? There are different risk factors and possible causes of kidney stones including family history of kidney stones, obesity, certain diets (high in protein, oxalates, and stones like chocolates, nuts, and spinach), inflammatory conditions (Crohn’s disease, chronic diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease), excess vitamin C or vitamin D intake, and metabolic disorders (gout or hyperthyroidism). When it comes to thesigns and symptoms of kidney stones, it may include severe pain (located in the side or the back, radiating to the abdomen and the groin area), painful urination, frequent need to urinate, urinary urge, blood in the urine (hematuria), nausea and vomiting, foul smelling urine, and fever (stone causing infection). The common diagnostic tools for kidney stones include CT scan, ultrasound, x-ray, urinalysis, and blood work to determine excessive uric acid or calcium. With the help of increased fluid intake (to flush out stones), pain relievers (acetaminophen), and alpha blockers (to relax ureters to allow passing of stones with lesser pain), small kidney stones may pass through the kidneys. Your urologist may advise you to use a special kidney stones strainer to catch fragments and determine what type of stones you have for a proper treatment plan and medical management.

Kidney stones come in different sizes and shapes and there are also different types of stones including calcium-oxalate, struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cystine stones. Genetics, certain medications, high-salt foods, and oxalate-rich foods such as spinach, kale, chocolate, strawberries, nuts, and tea cause calcium-oxalate kidney stones. Struvite stones grow very large, causing infection, and it affects both men and women. Excessive intake of animal protein like red meat may cause uric acid stones which are made of uric acid, a waste product of the body found in the urine. Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) uses high energy shock waves delivered through the body to the stone that breaks up the stone into small particles. Allow us to help you find an expert and experienced urologist through Steinberg Urology today.