Kidney stones are formed when hard deposits of minerals and salts from the urine crystallize and stick together.
It is possible to pass kidney stones if they’re not lodged in the urinary tract. Patients may need to take medication and drink lots of water in order to pass the kidney stone. If the patient is unable to pass the kidney stone, complications such as a urinary infection may develop, requiring surgery. In these cases, the best urologist in California will run the necessary tests to determine if surgery is the appropriate treatment.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Patients exhibiting the following symptoms may have kidney stones:
- Pain that radiates to the groin and lower abdomen
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Pain that is severe or sharp in the side and back, below the ribs
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Frequent urination
- Urinating in small amounts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills (caused by an infection)
When You Should Consult with The Best Urologist in California
Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they are experiencing:
- Severe pain that makes it impossible to sit still or in a comfortable position
- Pain with nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain with fever and chills
Causes of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones may form when urine has high levels of crystal-forming substances, making it difficult for the fluid in the urine to dilute. Before suggesting treatment, the best urologist in California will run tests to determine the type and size of the kidney stone.
There are four different types of kidney stones: calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine.
Calcium stones. This type of kidney stone is the most common and is usually made of calcium oxalate. Calcium stones may form when urine has a high concentration of calcium or oxalate. This may be caused by diet, high doses of vitamin D, intestinal bypass surgery and metabolic disorders. Calcium phosphate stones are more common in patients with metabolic conditions or those taking certain medications.
Struvite stones. These types of stones can develop very quickly and become large; they are typically caused by a urinary tract infection.
Uric acid stones. Uric acid stones may be formed in patients who eat a high-protein diet, lose excess fluid because of malabsorption or chronic diarrhea, or have been diagnosed with diabetes or a metabolic syndrome.
Cystine stones. These stones are formed in individuals who excrete too much of a specific amino acid. This is caused by a hereditary disorder called cystinuria.
Treatment of Kidney Stones
The best urologist in California will request a blood test, urine test, or a CT scan to diagnose the condition. Depending on the results, the urologist may recommend the following treatment options.
To treat small stones with minor symptoms:
- Drinking water
- Pain relievers
- Medical therapy
To treat large stones causing severe symptoms:
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) to break the stones into smaller pieces
- Surgery to remove very large stones
- Ureteroscopy to remove the stone(s) located in the ureter or kidney