What Are Kidney Stones?

kidney stonesKidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are crystals that reside inside your kidneys. Though, some have been known to form anywhere in your urinary tract. These crystals or stones are actually made out of minerals and salts that crystallize and stick together. This generally occurs when the urine becomes too concentrated. They are often considered to be one of the most painful but common medical conditions.

Types of Kidney Stones

There are several types of kidney stones. The type may determine the size, severity, and whether or not you might end up with chronic kidney stones.

  • Calcium – Calcium oxalate is the most common kind of stone.
  • Uric acid – This is a common type of kidney stone in men. In particular it can occur in someone with gout.
  • Struvite – These stones are more commonly found in women and are caused by urinary tract infections. The stones are often larger than other types.
  • Cystine – These rarer stones are caused by a genetic disorder.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

Kidney stones can be very painful, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the symptoms of kidney stones apart from other issues. So, if you suspect you have a kidney stone, it is important to know what to look for. A kidney stone may cause some or all of the following:

  • severe pain in one side of the abdomen or back
  • pain that comes in waves like contractions
  • blood in the urine
  • cloudy urine
  • nausea or vomiting
  • UTI symptoms
  • fever and chills especially if there is an infection
  • trouble emptying the bladder

Preventing Kidney Stones

It is expected that about one in every 10 people will have at least one kidney stone in their lifetime. Luckily, there are ways that you can help prevent yourself from being one of these 10. Living a healthy lifestyle is extremely important if you do not want to experience a kidney stone. Follow the tips below to help prevent this painful medical issue.

  • drink enough water
  • get enough calcium in your daily diet
  • reduce your sodium intake
  • cut back on oxalate rich foods such as chocolate, spinach, peanuts, and sweet potatoes
  • minimize animal protein intake
  • avoid ascorbic acid

Contact Questcare Medical Clinic

If you believe you might have a kidney stone and would like to schedule an appointment, contact Questcare Medical Clinic for information about our locations and hours.