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Steinberg Urology: Increasing Awareness and Understanding About Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are small deposits or hard crystals forming inside your kidneys when minerals and salts in your 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. 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.

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 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). Patients with large kidney stones use CT scan, ultrasound, x-ray, urinalysis, and blood work to determine excessive uric acid or calcium, and they are usually diagnosed in the emergency department or in a urologist’s office. 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. 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. 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 refers to a non-invasive procedure for removing smaller stones (less than 10mm in diameter). Allow us to help you find an expert and experienced urologist through Steinberg Urology today.

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