Associated Urologists of North Carolina
Urologists located in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh & Wake Forest, NC
The excruciating pain of kidney stones can be especially alarming, but with the right appropriate medical care and support, you can find relief and protect and improve your urinary health. The caring providers of Associated Urologists of North Carolina provide quality testing and treatment methods for myriad kidney and urinary complications, including kidney stones, at seven convenient offices in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh, or Wake Forest, North Carolina. The goal isn’t just to treat your existing stones, but to prevent them and complications from returning in the future. Call your nearest office to schedule an appointment today.
Kidney Stones Q & A
What are Kidney Stones?
A kidney stone refers to a hard deposit of salts and minerals that develops inside your kidneys. You can also get stones in other areas of your body, such as your bladder or urethra.
Kidney stones often form when your urine becomes too heavily concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and get stuck together.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Some kidney stones may not cause symptoms until the stone starts to move around within your kidney or pass into your ureter — the tube connecting your bladder and kidney. At this point, you might experience:
- Pain during urination
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Severe pain in the side and back
- Pain radiating to your groin and lower abdomen
- The frequent urge to urinate
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
As the stone travels through your urinary tract, the pain might change or increase in intensity or location.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones happen when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances, such as uric acid, oxalate, and calcium, than fluid. Your urine might not contain enough of the substances that help dilute it and prevent the crystals from sticking together.
Most kidney stones are calcium stones, usually calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance that’s produced by your liver every day and found in your food. Some chocolate, nuts, vegetables, and fruits have higher oxalate content.
Struvite stones form in response to an infection like a urinary tract infection. Uric acid stones typically develop in men and women with gout and in people who lose too much fluid or don’t drink enough fluids.
The cause of kidney stones isn’t always clear, and multiple factors might play a role, such as:
- Digestive diseases
- High doses of vitamin D
- Metabolic disorders
Intestinal bypass surgery can also increase the calcium or oxalate concentration in your urine.
How are Kidney Stones Treated?
After a consultation and sufficient testing, e.g., blood or urine samples and imaging, your urologist might recommend certain treatments, such as:
- Medication to help you pass your kidney stone
- Healthy lifestyle changes like nutritional counseling
- Surgery when needed
In some cases, you might just need to rest and drink water to pass a kidney stone, but if stones are associated with a urinary infection, or become lodged in your urinary tract and cause complications, a surgical procedure may be necessary.
At a time like this, you’ll need the care of experienced urologists. Call Associated Urologists of North Carolina today.