Maintaining good kidney health for our patients is one of CKS’s top priorities. In an effort to provide our patients with the tools to do their part, below are questions and information to educate you on one of the common health conditions that can lead to kidney issues.
- What are kidney stones?
- Do kidney stones contribute to kidney disease?
- How do I know if I have kidney stones?
- Can kidney stones be removed?
Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form. Possible causes include drinking too little water, exercise (too much or too little), obesity, weight loss surgery, or eating food with too much salt or sugar.
Kidney stones in some cases can actually result in a “dead” kidney or kidney failure. The good news though is that this doesn’t happen very often and it often takes a long time to occur, providing the opportunity for treatment to occur before resulting in permanent damage.
Symptoms of kidney stones include:
- severe pain on either side of your lower back
- vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
- blood in the urine
- nausea or vomiting
- fever and chills
- urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage, but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.