Kidney stones are a common problem that affects nearly 9% of all adults, causing sharp, severe pain when the stones travel through the urinary tract. The board-certified Nephrologist, Sowmya Puthalapattu, MD, at Kingwood Kidney Associates have helped many patients safely eliminate kidney stones, performing minimally invasive procedures when needed to treat large stones. If you develop severe pain in your side that radiates to your abdomen or groin, call the office in Kingwood, Texas, or book an appointment online.
Different types of minerals, salts, and other substances are normally in urine. But when their levels are too high, these substances start to crystallize and turn into stones.
Kidney stones are small at the start, small enough to leave the kidney, enter the ureters, and leave your body along with your urine.
They grow larger over time, however, and then problems can develop when they pass into the ureter. Depending on their size, they can cause significant pain as they travel through your urinary tract and, if they’re large enough, they can block the ureter and stop the flow of urine.
The primary component of a kidney stone determines its type. The most common types are:
Calcium stones represent 80% of all kidney stones. Of the two types of calcium stones, calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate, stones containing oxalate are the most common.
About 5-10% of kidney stones consist of uric acid crystals. You’re at a higher risk for this type of stone if you don’t drink enough fluids, eat a high-protein diet, or have high blood sugar.
Struvite stones may develop in people with frequent urinary tract infections or who have long-term tubes in their kidneys or bladder.
As kidney stones travel through your ureters, they may cause symptoms such as:
You experience pain in different locations as the stone moves through the urinary tract.
Though the process is quite painful, moderately sized kidney stones usually pass through your urinary tract and leave your body without further intervention.
You can help the process by drinking a lot of water and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. In some cases, you may need prescription medications to help relax your muscles.
If your kidney stones are too large to make it through your urinary tract, Kingwood Kidney Associates may perform:
If you develop symptoms of kidney stones, call Kingwood Kidney Associates, or schedule an appointment online.