What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals, salts and crystal-forming substances (calcium, uric acid and oxalate) that form inside the kidneys. Passing these deposits through your urinary tract can be extremely painful, but they will not cause a lot of damage if they’re recognized early enough.
What are the causes?
A kidney stone can have multiple causes, but they form when your urine is concentrated. This process allows minerals to stick together and crystallize. Most kidney stones are calcium stones and are formed by calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. Oxalate can be found in fruits, vegetables, chocolate and nuts, and it is also made daily by the liver, while phosphate is associated with seizure medications. Struvite stones form in response to urinary tract infections. Uric acid stones form in people who do not drink enough fluids, or who lose too much fluid, those with gout and those with a high-protein diet. Cystine stones are more hereditary and form in people whose kidneys excrete too much cystinuria (an amino acid).
What are the symptoms?
If you are suffering kidney stones, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain during urination
- Severe back pain or pain in the sides (below the ribs)
- Pain that varies in intensity and comes in waves
- Red, pink or cola-colored urine
- Cloudy urine
- Vomiting and nausea
- Frequent urination
- A constant urge to urinate
- Urinating in small amounts
You might not experience any of these symptoms until the kidney stone moves around the kidney and passes into the ureter–which connects the kidney and the bladder. If the stone passes to a different location, the pain can increase in intensity.
Treatments in Torrance, California
If your pain is severe, if you are having issues urinating or if there is blood in your urine, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If you live in Torrance or the surrounding area, Dr. Shelby Morrisroe is an experienced urologist who can provide the proper diagnostic tests and procedures. Treatments will depend on the size of the stone. Lifestyle changes might also be suggested by Dr. Morrisroe. To schedule your appointment, use our online scheduling form or give our office a call.Schedule
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.