What you need to know about kidney stones

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Kidney StoneThey can be intense

Mothers who’ve given birth without any kind of pain block often report that the pain of passing their kidney stone was worse.

Signs you might have a kidney stone:

  • Pain in your lower back on one side
  • Pain that radiates down to the stomach or lower
  • Pain that comes and goes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • No signs at all

How your doctor can diagnose a kidney stone:

  • Overall physical exam
  • Discussion of your symptoms
  • Urine test
  • CAT scan

Why a kidney stone can be so painful

The stone blocks the flow of urine through your kidney, causing the intense pain. Your kidney is still producing urine, but it can’t flow through as it normally would due to the blockage. The result is hydronephrosis, a backup of urine into the kidney. Kidney stones can cause infections and even kidney damage.

What you can do to help avoid forming a kidney stone:

Maintain a healthy weight

  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat less salt, salty foods
  • Eat less meat

If you have hypoparathyroidism, diabetes or a family history, you’re more likely to develop a stone.

What we can do to treat them

If your stones are small enough, they can pass on their own, often with out you noticing. If you are passing a stone and feeling pain, we can give you medications to help. If your stone is too large, you may need additional medical help:

  • Shock wave lithotripsy — a noninvasive procedure using shock waves to break up the stone
  • Ureteroscopy – a laser is used to break up the stone
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy – surgery for very large stones

If you get one, you are more likely to get another

Once you get a kidney stone, it puts you at a much higher risk of getting another stone within the next five to 10 years.

The biggest risk factor

With the increase of obesity in the U.S., more people than ever are developing kidney stones, including children. And while men used to be more likely to have them, obesity is causing women to catch up.

If you think you have a stone, call today for a diagnostic appointment:

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