Kidney stones are a common problem that can affect people of all ages. There are a number of factors that can lead to kidney stones and increase an individual's risk of developing them at some point. Dr. Lucas Jacomides, a urologist at Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX, offers diagnostic and treatment options for kidney stone removal.
Kidney stones are solidified deposits of salt and minerals, and can range in size from small enough to safely pass on their own, to large enough to require surgery to remove them. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium, uric acid, cystine, and struvite.
Common Causes and Risk Factors for Kidney Stones
Kidney stones crystallize when the urine contains an abnormally high concentration of minerals like oxalate, calcium, and uric acid. Staying hydrated and drinking sufficient water on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk.
Along with dehydration, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing kidney stones:
- Personal history (they can be more likely to reoccur if you've had them before)
- Family history
- High sodium/fat diets
- Certain digestive issues
The symptoms vary depending on the size and location of the stones. The most common symptom is pain in the side, lower abdomen, back, or groin. Kidney stone related pain typically fluctuates and comes in waves. Some people also experience pain while urinating. Other symptoms include:
- Dark colored urine (brown, red, or pink)
- Foul odor from urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Urinating more than usual, or in small amounts
- Urine looks cloudy
Seek prompt medical attention if you experience severe pain, have trouble urinating normally, have blood in the urine, or have signs of an infection like fever, vomiting, or chills.
For more information about the causes, risk factors, and preventive steps you can take for kidney stones, contact Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX by calling (512) 540-3937 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacomides today.