Intense pain, difficulty urinating, and nausea are all common signs of kidney stones, a troublesome but rarely dangerous condition. In many cases, kidney stones will go away with plenty of fluid and time, but symptoms that refuse to go away may indicate a larger stone, or other more dangerous conditions such as cancer. If you’re in the Greater Los Angeles area and need your pelvic pain checked out, call Dr. Kyle K. Himsl at his practice in Thousand Oaks, California to schedule your consultation or request an appointment online.
Kidney stones are crystallized deposits of minerals and salts that form within your kidney. These stones can move along the urinary tract into the bladder, often causing great pain along the way.
Once a kidney stone has passed into the ureter, a tube connecting your kidney and bladder, you’re likely to experience a wide range of symptoms:
Kidney stones share some of these symptoms with other serious conditions, such as kidney cancer, so it’s important to rule out these conditions even if you think you have a kidney stone.
While there is no single cause of kidney stones, there are a few common risk factors that contribute to their formation. Kidney stones are divided into four types based on how they formed:
The most common kind of kidney stone, these stones are made of calcium oxalate, which is manufactured by the liver and found naturally in the foods we eat.
These stones occur as a response to infections in the bladder and can grow quickly and without warning.
Uric acid stones form if you don’t drink enough fluid, or if you stay dehydrated too often. A high-protein diet can also contribute to the formation of uric acid stones.
The rarest type of kidney stone, these occur if you have a hereditary disorder known as cystinuria, which leads to unusually high levels of an amino acid known as cystine in your urine.
For most cases of kidney stones, Dr. Himsl recommends plenty of water and pain relievers while the stone naturally passes through your urinary tract. Larger stones that can’t pass through your tract need medical treatment to remove them. The most common procedures Dr. Himsl performs include:
In extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), Dr. Himsl uses sound waves to break the kidney stone into smaller pieces that can then pass through the urinary tract.
If ESWL doesn’t allow you to pass the stone naturally, Dr. Himsl may perform surgery to remove it.
Using a small camera called a ureteroscope, Dr. Himsl locates the stone and uses several small tools to either remove the stone or break it into passable pieces.
If you’re in the Greater Los Angeles area and you’re suffering from symptoms that you think might be kidney stones, call Dr. Himsl to request your consultation or request an appointment online.