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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. Some kidney stones cause little or no symptoms, while others may pass through the urinary system that causes painful symptoms. 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? 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 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). The common diagnostic tools for kidney stones include CT scan, ultrasound, x-ray, urinalysis, and blood work to determine excessive uric acid or calcium. Patients with small kidney stones (2 to 5 mm in size) usually pass stones through the urianry tract outside the body with the help of increased fluid intake (to flush out stones), pain relievers (acetaminophen), and alpha blockers (to relax ureters to allow easy passing of stones with lesser pain). 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.

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. Struvite stones may occur with a kidney infection, affecting men and women, and they grow very large requiring surgical intervention. Uric acid is a waste product of the body found in the urine and uric acid stones may form because of excessive intake of animal protein like red meat. Shock wave lithotripsy refers to a non-invasive procedure for removing smaller stones (less than 10mm in diameter). Find out more about kidney stones by checking Steinberg Urology website or homepage now.

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