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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. Kidney stones may pass through the ureter, which is a thin tube leading to the bladder outside the body, and some stay in the kidneys causing little or no symptoms, while others cause tremendous pain depending on the location and size of the kidney stones. 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.

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). 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.

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. 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. Both men and women are at risk of developing struvite stones and they are a very large type of kidney stones that can cause infection. 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. Find out more about kidney stones by checking Steinberg Urology website or homepage now.

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