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You may be more at risk of kidney stones if you:
There is more than one type of kidney stone, and knowing what type you have can help determine the cause of your kidney stones.
Identifying what type of kidney stone you have can determine its cause and help you avoid or reduce the chances of developing more kidney stones in the future.
Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones. They are usually formed from calcium oxalate but are sometimes made of calcium and phosphate. Oxalate is a substance made daily by your liver or absorbed from your diet. Certain fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and chocolate, have high oxalate content.
Struvite stones can form when you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI can cause bacteria to make ammonia, and the ammonia builds up in your urine. Struvite stones can grow quickly and become quite large, sometimes with few symptoms or little warning.
Uric acid stones can form when your urine is too acidic. People who lose significant amounts of fluid because of chronic diarrhea or malabsorption, those who eat a high-protein diet, and those with diabetes or metabolic syndrome are at a higher risk for uric acid stones. Certain genetic factors also may increase your risk of uric acid stones.
Cystine stones are the rarest kind of kidney stone. They are caused by a hereditary disorder called cystinuria. Cystinuria can make the kidneys excrete too much amino acid, which builds up in the urinary tract and causes cystine stones.
In the early stages, a kidney stone will not usually cause symptoms. And small kidney stones may cause minor pain or even pass unnoticed. This is because the smaller the stone, the less difficult it is to pass, and the less likely it will get stuck.
When a stone becomes stuck in your urinary tract, you will experience moderate to severe symptoms. This is called renal colic.
Kidney stone symptoms include moderate to severe pain in the back or abdomen area.
If a kidney stone becomes lodged in a ureter, it may block the flow of urine. This could cause the corresponding kidney to swell and the ureter to spasm. This will be felt as pain as well.
The most common symptoms of kidney stones include:
Other symptoms include:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and think you may have a kidney stone, it’s essential to seek medical treatment immediately. Book an appointment with a medical professional at CityHealth Urgent Care.
If left untreated, kidney stones can put pressure on the kidneys, block normal urine flow, and cause infection. However, these complications are rare as most kidney stone cases are treated quickly.
Your medical professional will recommend the best treatment after a complete exam.
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on the stone’s size, the cause of the stone, what symptoms you are experiencing, and whether the stone is blocking your urinary tract.
Diagnosis of kidney stones requires a complete health history assessment and a physical exam. To answer these questions and determine the proper treatment, your medical professional might ask to run some tests.
These tests could include:
If your medical professional is concerned a kidney stone is obstructing your urinary tract, they may run one or more of the following tests:
If your test results show that your kidney stone is small, your doctor may prescribe pain medication and plenty of fluids to allow the kidney stone to pass naturally.
If your kidney stone is large or blocks your urinary tract, your medical professional may discuss further treatment options. The most common treatments for large or obstructing kidney stones are:
It’s not always possible to prevent kidney stones. Medications, pre-existing conditions, and family history can put you at risk for developing kidney stones. However, there are many steps you can take to reduce the risk and, for some people, avoid kidney stones completely.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of kidney stones, or you are at high risk for kidney stones, speak to a medical professional at CityHealth Urgent Care.
At CityHealth, we have an onsite imaging lab and a fully equipped medical testing lab so that you can get your test results back immediately.
Our patient-centered approach means we will work with you to determine the cause of your kidney stones and develop a personalized treatment plan that works with you.