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Steinberg Urology: All 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. 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. In Steinberg Urology, patients with kidney stones are given the proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, focusing on long-term health.

What are the risks of developing 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. 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. 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. A special strainer can be used in catching kidney stones or its fragments to help your urologist create the right medical intervention or treatment plan for you.

When it comes to the kidney stones, there are different types such as 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 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.

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