ABC Medical Center > Kidney stones

What is Kidney stones?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


They are small stones formed in the kidneys from minerals and other substances present in the urine. When concentrated, they cause the minerals to accumulate, building crystals that, when united, generate grit or larger stones that can be extremely painful.

The origin of stones varies, ranging from diet, obesity, and certain health conditions to drugs and supplements. Stones are likely to lodge in various areas of the urinary tract, be it the kidneys, the ureters, or the bladder.

Its expulsion can be very painful, although it can often be achieved by ingesting painkillers and large amounts of water. However, when they are larger, a surgical procedure is required to dissolve or extract them.

When the liquid in the urine decreases, some substances present in the urine begin to crystallize (uric acid, oxalate, phosphate, calcium, and carbonate, among others), causing the formation of stones, whose main component, when analyzed and identified, gives the treating physician important elements to correct your diet and habits to avoid recurrence.

Signs and symptoms Kidney stones

Mostly, kidney stones do not cause symptoms and are expelled naturally, but when they get stuck in the ureters, they hinder the passage of urine, manifesting the following symptoms:

  • Piercing pain in the lower back and on the sides.
  • Pain radiating to the groin and lower abdomen.
  • Pain that changes in magnitude.
  • Intense burning and pain when urinating.
  • Reddish or brown shades in the urine.
  • Foul smell and lack of transparency in the urine.
  • Frequent urination and in small amounts.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • High fever in case of an infection.

See your doctor immediately if you have severe pain that prevents you from sitting up, vomiting, fever, hematuria, and problems urinating.

Potential risks:

Some of the factors that influence the predisposition to generate stones are:

  • Family members who have suffered from kidney stones.
  • Insufficient fluid intake.
  • Diets high in sodium, sugar, and protein.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Poor absorption due to obesity surgeries.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections, renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, and hyperparathyroidism.
  • Excess vitamin C supplementation.
  • Laxatives.
  • Calcium carbonate antacids.

Diagnosis and treatment Kidney stones

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, he or she will perform a physical examination and request a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound, and computed tomography.

The treatment plan will depend on the size of the stone, so if it is small, it will be enough to have plenty of fluids and some medications, but if they are larger, various procedures must be used to dissolve or extract them, such as:

  • Shock wave lithotripsy.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
  • Surgery with a ureteroscope.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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