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Steinberg Urology: All About Kidney Stones

Kidney stones vary in size and shape which are hard crystals or small deposits that form inside your kidneys when salts and minerals in the urine bond together. Some kidney stones cause little or no symptoms, while others may pass through the urinary system that causes painful symptoms. In Steinberg Urology, patients with kidney stones are given the proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, focusing on long-term health.

Are you at high risk of developing kidney stones? It includes family history of kidney stones (first-degree relatives), dehydration (lack of fluids), certain diets (high in protein, oxalates, and stones like chocolates, nuts, and spinach), excess vitamin C or vitamin D intake, inflammatory conditions (Crohn’s disease, chronic diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease), metabolic disorders (gout or hyperthyroidism), and obesity. The signs and symptoms of kidney stones depends on the sixe, location, and type of stone whichmay include the following: severe pain (located in the side or the back, radiating to the abdomen and the groin area), urinary urge, blood in the urine (hematuria), nausea and vomiting, painful urination, frequent need to urinate, foul smelling urine, and fever (stone may cause 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. Small kidney stones can pass through the urinary tact with the help of pain relievers (acetaminophen), alpha blockers (to relax ureters to allow passing of stones with lesser pain), and increased fluid intake (to flush stones). 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 have different shapes and sizes including uric acid stones, calcium-oxalate, struvite stones, and cystine stones. Calcium-oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones caused by foods high in salt as well as oxalate-rich food like spinach, kale, chocolate, strawberries, nuts, and tea. 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. Find out more about kidney stones by checking Steinberg Urology website or homepage now.