Kidney stones can develop in your body and you may not even know it – until a stone moves through your kidney or passes into the ureter (the passageway connecting the kidney and bladder) and causes terrible abdominal pain.
Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of concentrated salts, minerals, and other substances in your urine. These minerals can start to crystallize and stick together in large masses; a hardened mass is called a kidney stone.
A stone can remain in your kidney for some time, and you may not even realize it until it starts to travel out from your kidney and to your ureter or bladder. Your body wants to expel it with your urine, and this can cause excruciating pain.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Sometimes the stones are small enough to cause no symptoms at all – they just pass through with the urine like usual. Other times, you may start to feel pain as a kidney stone travels through the narrow ureter.
The movement of a stone can also affect your urination patterns, causing the sense of needing to urinate frequently. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience are:
- Pain in your sides, lower back, or under the ribs
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
- Difficulty or pain during urination
- Brown, pink, or red urine
- Cloudy, fishy, or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Fever and chills (signs of infection)
What Type of Doctor Should I See About a Kidney Stone?
If you pass a kidney stone, it’s likely that there are more inside your body. You’ll want to ensure that if you do pass any more stones, that any future ones are passed as painlessly as possible – and also to prevent your body from forming more.
If you are having unexplained abdominal pains, you should visit with a doctor immediately and ask for an analysis. If you do have kidney stones, they will likely recommend that you increase your water intake and to wait for the stones to pass with your urine. If a stone has become lodged, seek medical attention immediately as this may require surgery.
Diets high in protein and salt can cause more crystal-forming substances to remain in the kidneys. Be sure to stay properly hydrated and maintain a nutritious diet.
A balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. If you are not drinking enough water each day, your urine can become more heavily concentrated, creating a perfect environment for stones to develop.
Urologist in Massachusetts
If you’re experiencing lower abdominal pain or difficulty urinating, or if you know from experience that you have kidney stones, visit us at Urology Specialists of Milford. The goal of our practice is to provide the best urologic care and treatment to patients with a variety of urological problems.
Ivy League-trained urologist and surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg uses the latest treatment options available. To learn more about kidney stones and kidney health, call the Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you and helping you achieve and maintain optimum health.