Recognizing the Signs of Kidney Stones

An estimated 500,000 people in the United States seek medical treatment for kidney stones each year.

To help lower your risk for persistent pain and other complications of kidney stones, our team at Urology Specialist Group offers comprehensive care in-office for both men and women.

Understanding kidney stones

A kidney stone is a solid mass of crystals that develops in your kidneys or in other sections of your urinary tract including your bladder, urethra, and ureters. The condition affects males and females of all ages, especially those between 20 and 50.

Depending on the type of kidney stone you have, the crystals may form from excess calcium in your body. Many people also develop stones that are made up of uric acid, struvite, or cystine.

These crystals are able to form in your kidneys or urinary tract if you’re not producing enough urine every day. This might occur due to:

You might also be at increased risk for kidney stones if you have a history of gastric bypass surgery or if you take certain anti-seizure medications or calcium-based antacids.

Signs you might have kidney stones

Kidney stones can cause severe pain in your back or your abdomen, especially if they are large. You might not begin to experience pain until the stones begin moving out of your kidneys and into your ureters. 

You might also develop other symptoms that are common with kidney stones, including:

Kidney stones can also cause you to feel a frequent need to urinate, but you might only produce small amounts of urine at a time.

In some cases, the stones are too small to cause symptoms, even as they pass through your urinary tract. However, if you experience any symptoms of kidney stones, schedule a diagnostic evaluation with our team at Urology Specialist Group. 

We offer onsite testing services, including blood testing and urinalysis, to confirm your issues relate to kidney stones and not another condition.

Options for treating kidney stones

Your treatment plan for kidney stones depends on the size and type of stones you have. Initially, you can increase your water intake to help your kidneys flush out bothersome stones. If the stone is too large or too painful, we might recommend:

Medications

There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription pain-relieving medications we can recommend to help you find fast pain relief. If you also have an infection in addition to stones, we can prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear it.

Shockwave therapy

If stones are large, our team can use extracorporeal shock wave technology to break them apart. This procedure involves delivering shock waves through your skin to reach and destroy the stone.

Surgery

When kidney stones are too large for conservative treatments, you might need a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove it. We also send the stone to a medical lab for further analysis and can help you make necessary lifestyle and diet changes to prevent a return of stones.

If you have persistent abdominal pain or back pain that might relate to kidney stones, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Urology Specialist Group online or by calling the office nearest you today. 

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