Kidney stones are hard, mineral residues that form inside your kidneys or urinary tract. These stones, whether small or large, can cause excruciating pain when passing through your urinary tract. While most kidney stones are small enough to pass out of your body without medical intervention, larger stones may require surgical removal. Murray Hill kidney stones have a prevalence rate of around 10% among the American population, which makes them a significant health concern that can lead to complications such as urinary tract infections, kidney damage, and chronic kidney disease. Understanding your risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options for kidney stones is crucial for preventing and managing this painful condition.
Signature symptoms of kidney stones
Your symptoms can vary depending on their size, location, and shape. You can pass small kidney stones through urine without noticing, while larger stones can cause severe pain and discomfort. The signature symptom of kidney stones is intense pain in your back, side, or lower abdomen. The pain may manifest in waves and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. You may also experience burning during urination, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, or the need to urinate more frequently. You may also notice blood in the urine, fever, chills, and difficulty passing urine. If a stone becomes lodged in your urinary tract, it can cause a blockage, leading to complications like urinary tract infections, kidney damage, and even sepsis in severe cases.
Factors contributing to the development of kidney stones
Kidney stone formation is complex, but several known factors contribute to their development. One primary cause of kidney stones is dehydration. When your body doesn’t have enough water, your urine becomes concentrated with minerals, forming stones. Other factors that can elevate your risk of kidney stones include a diet high in sodium and animal protein and obesity. Studies show that if you have a family history of this disorder, you are more likely to develop it. Additionally, certain medications such as diuretics and antacids can increase the risk of kidney stones by altering the chemical balance in your body.
Available treatments for kidney stones
If you have small kidney stones, Dr. Rotman may recommend drinking plenty of fluids, taking pain medication as needed, and waiting for the stone to pass through the urine. While this approach may be effective for small stones, it can be painful and time-consuming, particularly for larger stones. In addition, there is a risk that the stone may become lodged in your urinary tract, which can lead to other complications. Your doctor will closely monitor you to ensure you pass the stone safely and without complications.
Your provider may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) if you have large stones. This non-invasive technique uses shock waves to break the stones into smaller pieces that can easily pass through your urine. ESWL is effective for stones less than 2 cm in diameter, with success rates ranging from 50% to 90%, depending on the location of the stone.
Call the practice or book an appointment online for more information about kidney stones.