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By | November 18, 2017

Steinberg Urology: Increasing Awareness and Understanding 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. Some kidney stones cause little or no symptoms, while others may pass through the urinary system that causes painful symptoms. 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 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. 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). Most patients are diagnosed of kidney stones because of extreme pain from large stones, so they are usually diagnosed in the emergency department or in a urologist’s office, and the diagnostic tools may include CT scan, ultrasound, x-ray, urinalysis, and blood work to determine excessive uric acid or calcium. 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 have different shapes and sizes including uric acid stones, calcium-oxalate, struvite 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) 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. Find out more about kidney stones by checking Steinberg Urology website or homepage now.