A kidney stone is a solid mass of hard crystals and granules that have separated from the urine within the urinary tract. If these collections of hard-developed crystals remain small enough, they can pass through the ureters to the urine stream. If they are large enough, they will block the flow of urine and cause a considerable amount of pain as they try and pass. Kidney stones can range in size as small as grains of sand or as large as golf balls. They can either stay in your kidneys or travel out of your body through the urinary tract. Kidney stones can reside in the kidney for a while without any pain whatsoever. However, a sudden, severe pain is associated with the travel of the kidney stone from the kidney to the bladder.
Kidney stones are probably the most painful urological disorder known. Each year, more than a half million people head towards their local emergency rooms to receive treatment for kidney stones.
Some people are more susceptible to get a kidney stone(s). Diet, nutrition and a family history do a play a part, but the most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. It’s important to drink enough water to keep your urine clear (about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day). Other causes for kidney stones include: inflammatory bowel disease, gout, Atkins diet, urinary tract infection, vitamin C (over 2 grams per day), or calcium supplements if taken without food or if used excessively.
Kidney stone symptoms include severe or extreme pain in your side, back, or groin that does not go away, urine that looks pink or red due to blood in urine, cloudy urine, burning sensation while urinating, fever and chills, nausea or feeling sick to your stomach, and/or vomiting. Kidney stone symptoms will range from person to person.
Kidney stones can be eliminated kidney stone treatment such as shock waves or lasers. Both of these kidney stone treatment procedures are used to remove the stone, but on extremely rare occasions open surgery is needed. Each individual should discuss the benefits and risks of all the kidney stone treatment options to find out which one is best.
If fluid and dietary measures do not completely prevent stones, tests can be done to determine the metabolic cause of the stones and medicines used to help prevent them.
If you think you have a kidney stone or are experiencing kidney stone symptoms, please contact North Dallas Urology Associates. To schedule an appointment at our Plano, Richardson and Frisco locations, call 972.612.8037. To schedule an appointment at our McKinney location, call 972.548.8195.