Kidney Stones Awareness

By Dr. Pragnesh Desai in Urology

Mar 24 , 2023 | 1 min read

Kidney stones can be a serious problem. A kidney stone is a hard object made from chemicals in the urine. There are five types of kidney stones:

  • Calcium oxalate: Most common, created when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine. 
  • Calcium phosphate: Can be associated with hyperparathyroidism and renal tubular acidosis. 
  • Uric acid: Can be associated with a diet high in animal protein. 
  • Struvite: Less common, caused by infections in the upper urinary tract. 
  • Cystine: Rare and tend to run in families with a history of cystinuria.

People who have had a kidney stone are at higher risk of having another stone.

Kidney Stones Symptoms

A stone that is small enough can pass through the ureter with no symptoms.

Stones that don’t move may cause significant pain, urinary outflow obstruction, blood in the urine, nausea or vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.

Kidney Stones Risk factors

Risk factors can include a family or personal history of kidney stones, diets high in protein, salt, or sugar, obesity, digestive diseases, or surgeries. Dehydration can also increase your risk for kidney stones.

Kidney Stones Diagnosis

  • Imaging tests KUB x-ray, but the gold standard is a CT scan of the kidney.
  • Urine and blood tests
  • The stone can also be analyzed after it comes out. This can be used to find out possible causes and help plan for the prevention of future stones.

Kidney Stones Treatment

Initial kidney stone treatment options can include drinking more water and taking medications either for pain or to help the stone pass.

  • Shock Wave Lithotripsy uses high-energy shock waves to break stones into smaller pieces for passing. 
  • Ureteroscopy uses a small scope to remove the stone.
  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy removes the stone surgically from the back.

Kidney Stones Prevention

  • Drinking enough water each day
  • Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage blood pressure and sodium intake.
  • Citrate might also be used to help prevent certain stones.
  • Citrus juices contain citrate.
  • Alkali citrate can be prescribed and is available over the counter.
  • People should remember to speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional about which treatment options are right for them.