Over half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems every year.
Symptoms & signs
- severe pain on either side of your lower back
- more vague pain or stomach ache that doesn't go away
- blood in the urine
- nausea or vomiting
- fever and chills
- urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
Causes & stone types
Common, created when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine.
Common, caused by high purine intake leading to monosodium urate production.
Less common, caused by infections in the upper urinary tract.
Rare and tend to run in families with a history of cystinuria.
The lifetime risk of kidney stones is about 19% in men and 9% in women
Family or personal history of kidney stones: If you or a family member has had kidney stones, you are more likely to develop a stone.
Dehydration: Excessive sweating or not drinking enough water can increase your risk for kidney stones.
Diets high in protein, salt, or sugar:Diets high in one or more of these items increases your risk for certain types of stones.
Obesity: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
Digestive diseases or surgeries: Surgeries which change your digestive system can affect absorption of calcium and water, increasing the concentration of stone-forming substances in your urine.
Other medical conditions: Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cystinuria may increase the risk for kidney stones.
Diagnosis of a kidney stone starts with a medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests.
Imaging tests: Your doctors will want to know the exact shape and size of the stone. This can be done with a high resolution CT scan. Other imaging options may include a KUB x-ray, or an intravenous pyelogram.
Urine testing: The doctor may also ask that you collect your urine for 24 hours to test for levels of stone-forming minerals and stone-preventing substances.
Blood testing: Your doctor will test your blood for calcium, phosphorus and uric acid.
Stone analysis: The stone will be analyzed after it comes out of your body in order to determine cause and a plan for prevention.
Medical procedures may be needed to break down larger stones.
Drink plenty of water
Be aware of sweat
Cut back sodium
Prevention by stone type