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Steinberg Urology: Learn More 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 risk factors of 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). 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. 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). A special strainer can be used in catching kidney stones or its fragments to help your urologist create the right medical intervention or treatment plan for you.

When it comes to the kidney stones, there are different types such as 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. 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 (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.