Causes of Kidney Stones

One thing everyone agrees on is that kidney stones are one of the most painful conditions that you can suffer from. About 10% of people will suffer from kidney stones in their lifetime. It is one of the major reasons people end up in the emergency room. At Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines, IA our team of physicians can treat any conditions of the kidneys in addition to kidney stones.

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones can be smooth or jagged and are usually yellow or brown. There are four kinds; calcium oxalate, struvite, uric acid, and cystine. The crystals form when there is too little liquid. The crystals can have very sharp edges. Unless they are flushed out with urine, they continue to grow in size and that is when it becomes a more serious issue. When a stone is tiny, it passes out of the kidney without pain, but if it is larger it may get stuck and pain ensues.

Who Is at Risk of Kidney Stones?

Men are slightly more likely to suffer from kidney stones than women. Certain conditions can increase your risk and those include obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Dehydration is the single most common reason kidney stones form. If you don't drink enough water, you are increasing your risk needlessly.  Knowing your family health history can help you to recognize your risk if other family members have had kidney stones. Eating a diet high in salt or sugar is also a cause. 

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

When a stone that is larger than a grain of salt passes out of the kidney, it can cause pain. You may feel severe pain in the lower back, nausea, cloudy urine, or blood in the urine. Kidney stones in Des Moines, IA usually pass without doing a lot of damage, but they can cause an extreme amount of pain.  In a severe case, surgery may be necessary. 

Treatment for Kidney Stones

Drinking a lot of water can help to flush the kidney stone out. OTC pain medication can help you to get through the pain. In more severe cases, you may need a prescription pain reliever. If the stone is too large or causes an infection or blockage, it can be surgically removed. Soundwave therapy can also be used to blast the stone so that it can pass into the bladder. As with so many other conditions, prevention is the best treatment.

If you are suffering from kidney stones in Des Moines, IA,  contact Iowa Kidney Physicians at one of our two offices. You can reach our offices at (515) 336-6557 for Methodist Plaza and (515) 243-3161 for Riverpoint.