If you have had a kidney stone in the past, you already know how painful it can be. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without help from a doctor, other times a kidney stone may require the assistance from an urologist if it won’t pass.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that stick together to form small stones or “pebbles.” 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.
When a change occurs in the normal balance of water, salts, and minerals found in urine, kidney stones can form. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine clear (about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day). Some people are more likely to get kidney stones because of a medical condition or family history. If people in your family have had kidney stones in the past, you are more likely to have them too. Other causes for kidney stones include: diet, 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.
When kidney stones are formed in the kidneys they often cause no pain. However, a sudden, severe pain is associated with the travel of the kidney stone from the kidney to the bladder. You should call your doctor immediately if you think you have a kidney stone. Kidney stones are known to cause 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 Treatment
Very small stones are able to pass on their own and do not require any further treatment besides drinking plenty of water (10 glasses a day). However, if the stone is not able to pass on its own, Dr. Allen is able to treat it with a variety of different treatment plans that are suitable for each patient and their unique situation. Usually the kidney stone is demolished by either shock waves or lasers to remove the stone, but on very rare occasions open surgery is needed. Dr. Allen will discuss the benefits and risks of all the treatment options to find out which one is best for you.