Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Kidney Stones
If you’ve ever had kidney stones, then you know how painful they can be. These hard mineral clumps can cause extreme discomfort as they pass through your urinary system, and can cause urine to back up if they get stuck in a ureter or in your bladder. The good news is that your urologist can help you manage the pain associated with kidney stones and even help you prevent them in the future. Continue reading to learn about recognizing the signs of kidney stones as well as understanding the causes and treatment options for them.
If the kidney stones are very small, they may not cause any symptoms at all. Urologists refer to these as silent stones. Larger stones, however, cause a range of symptoms. Pain is the most common. It usually comes on suddenly and may appear as cramping in the side, abdomen, groin, or lower back. It comes in waves but does not improve with rest and is usually quite severe. Nausea, vomiting, fever, and difficulty urinating may accompany the pain.
Kidney stones form when an excess of the minerals that form stones appears in the urine or when urine volume declines. A number of different factors can cause this to occur, including dehydration from the inadequate fluid intake and urinary tract infections (UTI). Many medical conditions can increase the risk of kidney stones, including gout and diabetes. Some medications, such as diuretics, and dietary factors, such as a high-protein diet, can also contribute to kidney stone formation.
Depending on the size of your kidney stone, it may pass on its own, and you may only need pain medications to ease your symptoms. If your stone is too large to pass without treatment, your urologist may prescribe medications or use a procedure called lithotripsy, during which shock waves are used to break up the stone. Surgery to remove the stone is also possible.
At Urology Associates P.C., our doctors can help you get relief from the intense pain of kidney stones in Nashville, and help you develop strategies for preventing future bouts. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a kidney stone, call us at 888-656-0667.