Kidney stones appear in the form of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid, or other combinations of minerals, and can be extraordinarily painful. They may be as small as a grain of sand or quite large. They may pass on their own, or they may require certain medical interventions to pass.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Depending on the size of the kidney stones, you may not have any symptoms at all. For larger kidney stones, according to the Mayo Clinic, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Severe, sharp pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual, or urinating in small amounts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
If you have any of these symptoms, some of which can be quite severe, you need to seek professional medical help. Some of these symptoms may be the sign of an infection, and even when there is no infection, an untreated kidney stone needs to pass out of your kidneys before it grows too large.
Risk Factors of Kidney Stones
According to The American Kidney Fund, there are a number of risk factors for kidney stones, including:
- Having had kidney stones before
- Having a family history of kidney stones
- Being constantly dehydrated
- Having a diet high in protein, sodium, and/or sugar
- Being overweight or obese
- Having gastric bypass surgery or another intestinal surgery
- Having polycystic kidney disease or another cystic kidney disease
- Having certain conditions that cause your urine to contain high levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid, or calcium
- Having swelling or irritation in your bowel or your joints
- Taking certain medicines, such as diuretics (water pills) or calcium-based antacids
People of non-Hispanic Anglo Saxon descent are also at higher risk than normal for having kidney stones.
It’s also possible that a hormone imbalance can cause your parathyroid glands to produce too much calcium in your body, which may then lead to stone formation.
Hormone Replacement Therapy May Help
If you suffer from kidney stones, hormone replacement therapy may help.
Contact us today to learn more.