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What Is Kidney Stone Disease?
Kidney stones are hard mineral and salt deposits that form inside your kidneys. Besides being painful to pass, they can also cause complications such as an infection in your kidney and ureters. This post reviews kidney stone disease, its causes, symptoms, risk factors, and possible treatment options.
Consult a Urologist Brooklyn, New York, if you are experiencing symptoms of kidney stone disease.
Your urine contains crystal-forming substances like oxalate, calcium, and uric acid, which the fluid in your urine dilutes. When the former becomes more than the latter can dilute, kidney stones may form. The same can be said when your urine lacks the necessary substances to prevent crystals from sticking together.
There are several types of kidney stones. If possible, you should preserve your kidney stone after you pass it and present it to your doctor, who can determine whether it was one of the following:
- Calcium stones in the form of calcium oxalate
- Uric acid stones
- Struvite stones, which form in response to a UTI
- Cystine stones
Knowing the type of kidney stones, you can help determine how to treat them and avoid future problems.
While there is no single cause for kidney stones, there are factors that may increase your risk of developing them. These include the following:
- Genetics – You are more likely to develop kidney stones if you have a family history of them or have had them in the past.
- Diet – A high-sodium, protein-rich, or sugar-rich diet can expose you to the risk of kidney stones. Too much salt in your body increases the amount of calcium in your urine.
- Dehydration – People who don’t drink enough water or live in hot areas are more likely to develop kidney stones.
- Digestive disease – Chronic diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease may affect how your body absorbed water and calcium. This could increase the amount of crystal-forming substances in your urine.
- Obesity – Weight gain and having a high body mass index (BMI) and large waist size can increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
Kidney stones will usually not cause any symptoms unless they pass into your ureters or move within your kidney. When this happens, you may experience the following:
- Pain that radiates to the groin and lower abdomen
- Severe pain in your side and back below the ribs
- Red, brown, or pink urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Urinating in small amounts or more than usual
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills
Your doctor will usually tailor your treatment regimen to the type of kidney stones you have. Some of the treatment options available include:
- Medication to relieve pain and combat infection
- Lithotripsy, which involves the use of sound waves to break up the kidney stones into small, passable pieces
- Ureteroscopy, where an instrument called a ureteroscope, is used to remove the stones.
- Tunnel surgery, which involves the removal of the stone through a small incision in your back. Surgery is only done when the stone is too large or is damaging the kidneys.
Dr. Lazare is an experienced urologist working in Brooklyn, NY. If you believe you have kidney stone disease, contact him today online or at (718) 568-7143 to schedule a consultation.Back to Blogs