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Steinberg Urology: Learn More About Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are small deposits or hard crystals forming inside your kidneys when minerals and salts in your urine bond together. Some kidney stones cause little or no symptoms, while others may pass through the urinary system that causes painful symptoms. 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? 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. 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. 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. Struvite stones grow very large, causing infection, and it affects both men and women. 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 (SWL) refers to a non-invasive procedure for removing smaller stones (less than 10mm in diameter) wherein high energy shock waves are delivered through the body to the stone, breaking up the stone into small particles. Allow us to help you find an expert and experienced urologist through Steinberg Urology today.