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Nov 18

Overwhelmed by the Complexity of Professionals? This May Help

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. Kidney stones may pass through the ureter, which is a thin tube leading to the bladder outside the body, and some stay in the kidneys causing little or no symptoms, while others cause tremendous pain depending on the location and size of the kidney stones. The urologists at Steinberg Urology are experienced in the treatment of stones affecting both men and women, providing specialized diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, focusing on long-term health.

What are the risks of developing kidney stones? The possible causes and risk factors of kidney stones include certain diets (high in protein, oxalates, and stones like chocolates, nuts, and spinach), excess vitamin C or vitamin D intake, inflammatory conditions (chronic diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease), family history of stone diseases, metabolic disorders (gout or hyperthyroidism), and obesity. The signs and symptoms of kidney stones 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), foul smelling urine, nausea and vomiting, 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. Patients with small kidney stones (2 to 5 mm in size) usually pass stones through the urianry tract outside the body with the help of increased fluid intake (to flush out stones), pain relievers (acetaminophen), and alpha blockers (to relax ureters to allow easy passing of stones with lesser pain). You may be asked by your urologist to use a special strainer to catch the kidney stones or fragments to determine what type of stones you have to help in the management of your kidney stones that may form in the future.

When it comes to the kidney stones, there are different types such as calcium-oxalate, struvite stones, uric acid 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. Both men and women are at risk of developing struvite stones and they are a very large type of kidney stones that can cause infection. Eating too much animal protein may cause uric acid stones which are made of uric acid, a waste product of the body. Shock wave lithotripsy refers to a non-invasive procedure for removing smaller stones (less than 10mm in diameter). Allow Steinberg Urology to help you manage your kidney stones.