What are Kidney Stones?
Every year, over 500,000 Americans wind up in the Emergency Room because of kidney stones. It is believed that one out of every 10 people in America will at some point in their life have a kidney stone.
Most kidney stones will be passed through urine, either on their own or with therapeutic help. There are medications that can help relax the muscles in the ureter. Increasing the intake of liquids can be helpful, and of course, medication for pain management is available. In a minority of cases involving larger stones, a surgical intervention may be recommended by Dr. Carpenter.
About 25% of Kidney Stones occur in people who have a family history of kidney stone disease. Other common causes can include dehydration (not drinking enough water), obesity, a diet too high in sugar or salt content, over or under exercising, bariatric weight loss surgery and in some cases infections.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Kidney Stones can range in size from grain of salt or a large pebble, although there are rare cases when they can be golf ball size. Generally speaking, the larger the kidney stone, the more evident and intense your symptoms will be.
These can include:
Severe lower back pain on the affected side
Generalized stomach pain or ache that won’t subside
Blood in the urine
Urine that smells bad
Nausea and/or vomiting
Fever and/or chills
Why does the Doctor need to Understand the Makeup of the Kidney Stone?
If you’ve had a kidney stone the likelihood of having another is increased. In fact, about 50 percent of people who have a kidney stone will probably develop another within 5 to 7 years of the first occurrence. Long term, kidney stones increase a person’s risk of developing chronic kidney disease.