Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. They range in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a pearl.
While most kidney stones pass out of your body without incident, sometimes kidney stones get stuck in your urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and causing pain.
Kidney stones get classified by the substances they are made up of, which include:
The most common type of kidney stone is made up of calcium oxalate, which naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and chocolate. Calcium oxalate also gets made by your liver. High doses of vitamin D and certain medical conditions increase the concentration of calcium oxalate in your urine.
Calcium phosphate forms some kidney stones, especially if you suffer from a metabolic condition, certain migraine headaches, or take certain seizure medications.
Struvite stones result from infections and quickly grow large.
Uric acid stones tend to form when you don't drink enough liquids or lose too much fluid, and if you eat a high-protein diet or suffer from gout. Uric acid stones also tend to be hereditary.
You can end up with cystine stones if your kidneys excrete too much of the amino acids called cystinuria.
Kidney stone symptoms include:
If one of the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care suspects you have a kidney stone, your medical history is reviewed, and you will undergo a physical exam. This exam includes blood and urine tests as well as X-rays. Once you pass the stone, it gets sent to a lab for analysis.
It’s not uncommon for kidney stones to pass on their own. Pain medication, along with the recommendation to increase the amount of water you drink, is often all that’s needed.
However, there are other procedures that the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care recommend for large stones and those that cause infections, such as:
If you suspect you are suffering from a kidney stone, call or make an appointment online today at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care in Arlington, Virginia.
We accept many insurance providers. If you do not see your provider listed here please call our office.