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Steinberg Urology: Learn More About Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can be small as a grain of rice while others can grow as large as golf ball, which are hard deposits or crystals forming inside your kidneys when sals and minerals bond in the urine 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.

Are you at high risk 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. 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. 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.

Kidney stones have different shapes and sizes including uric acid stones, calcium-oxalate, struvite 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. 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. Allow Steinberg Urology to help you manage your kidney stones.