Steinberg Urology: All 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 come unnoticed and stay in the urinary system with little or no symptoms, but as they grow in size and move location, there may be intense pain requiring surgical intervention so as not to obstruct urine flow and proper urinary system functioning. 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.
What are the risk factors of kidney stones? It includes family history of kidney stones (first-degree relatives), dehydration (lack of fluids), certain diets (high in protein, oxalates, and stones like chocolates, nuts, and spinach), excess vitamin C or vitamin D intake, inflammatory conditions (Crohn’s disease, chronic diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease), metabolic disorders (gout or hyperthyroidism), and obesity. When it comes to thesigns and symptoms of kidney stones, it may 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), nausea and vomiting, foul smelling urine, and fever (stone causing 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. Small kidney stones can pass through the urinary tact with the help of pain relievers (acetaminophen), alpha blockers (to relax ureters to allow passing of stones with lesser pain), and increased fluid intake (to flush stones). 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. Struvite stones may occur with a kidney infection, affecting men and women, and they grow very large requiring surgical intervention. 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 us to help you find an expert and experienced urologist through Steinberg Urology today.
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