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Steinberg Urology: All 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.

What are the risk factors of 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). 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). 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). 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.

When it comes to the kidney stones, there are different types such as calcium-oxalate, struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cystine stones. The most common type of kidney stones are calcium-oxalate caused by oxalate-rich foods such as spinach, kale, chocolate, strawberries, nuts, and tea, high in salt food, and certain medications. Struvite stones grow very large, causing infection, and it affects both men and women. 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 (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.