Have you ever had sharp pains in your lower back that has moved to your side or groin? Do you have nausea, fever, bloody urine or burning during urination?
These are symptoms of kidney stones. A medical evaluation can help you determine if this is the source of your problems.
WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES?
Kidney stones are solid, stone-like lumps that form within the kidneys. They are made of accumulations of mineral salts and other substances. Similar stones also can form in most other portions of the urinary tract.
Many of these stones are small enough to pass out of the body during urination, but some larger stones may partially or fully block the normal flow of urine. Kidney stones can cause intense pain and other symptoms.
About 10 percent of people will experience a kidney stone at some time during life. Kidney stones are a common cause of blockage of the urinary tract in adults, accounting for 1 of every 1,000 hospitalizations.
HOW BIG ARE KIDNEY STONES?
A stone may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Many small stones pass naturally. Medium sized stones are often crushed with special equipment. Very large stones may need to be removed using an invasive procedure.
WHAT WILL A DOCTOR DO FOR ME?
The purpose of a medical evaluation is to find out if you have a stone and to determine its size, shape, location and composition. Your doctor will then decide how to treat you stone and suggest a prevention program for you to follow.
You may be asked about you medical history. It is easier for doctors to evalutate the problem just by knowing your diet, your symptoms and family medical history.
The doctor may perform a series of test to determine if you have kidney stones:
- URINALYSIS- to test for blood in urine
- URINE CULTURE- to detect a urinary tract infection
- BLOOD TESTS- to detect a kidney infection
- IVP X-RAY- to locate a stone
- ULTRA-SOUND- to create a 3-D picture of the kidney
- CT SCAN- to help locate and identify a stone
HOW DO I GET RID OF KIDNEY STONES?
There are three methods of eliminating kidney stones.HOW CAN I PREVENT HAVING KIDNEYS STONES AGAIN?
Removing or passing your stones starts your treatment process, but it doesn't prevent future stones. Fortunately, with your doctor's help, you can reduce your risk of forming new stones.First, you'll need to drink lots of water every day to dilute the level of stone-forming chemicals in your kidneys and to create enough urine to flush your kidneys well. Depending on the compostion of your stone, your doctor may prescribe medications or simple diet changes to reduce your level of stone-forming chemicals even more. Finally, your follow-up visits to your doctor detect new stones if they recur.