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Your Guide to Kidney Stones

No one will ever really know, but it’s said that kidney stones are the closest equivalent to labor pains that a man can experience. If you’ve suffered a kidney stone or two you’ll probably agree with that statement!

It’s important to remember that the kidneys are tasked with the vital role of cleaning waste from the blood and removing it in the urine. The kidneys also control levels of potassium, sodium, and calcium in the body.

kidney stone diagramWhat Are Kidney Stones?

According to Dr. Sean Castellucci of Urology Partners in Bradenton, Florida, kidney stones impact more than one million people every single year, and that number just keeps rising. Even children have become more susceptible to kidney stones in past years. This extremely painful problem is a result of the dissolved minerals and salts in the urine that form into stones of various sizes and fill the inner hollow structures of the kidney. Though some stones stay in the kidney and never even make themselves known, others try to travel down the tube between the kidney and the bladder (the ureter). The pain of kidney stones occur if the stone becomes lodged in the ureter instead of reaching the bladder to be passed out of the body in urine.

What Are the Symptoms of Stones?

Sharp cramping pain in the back and side that seems to travel down the abdomen and into the groin area is the key symptom of a kidney stone. This pain occurs as the body tries to rid itself of the stone. The intense need to urinate, burning during urination, and dark or red urine are also major kidney stone indicators and should absolutely not be ignored.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

There are a number of contributing factors to kidney stones, but dehydration, high levels of sodium, obesity, and family history can all play a part in your likelihood of suffering from a kidney stone. It’s always best to stay fully hydrated and limit your salt intake to prevent kidney stones.

If you think you have a kidney stone, contact your urologist right away to find out how it should be handled. Treatment is based on the severity of pain and length of time symptoms have been occurring. Options include letting the stone pass, taking medication to induce the stone passing, and receiving minor surgery.

 

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