Many Katy-area patients have heard about kidney stones, they may have a friend or relative who experienced the condition. However, it's hard to really understand the symptoms and treatment of kidney stones until you actually experience them yourself. Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine has helped many of his patients diagnose and treat kidney stones and other urological issues. Here, he explains the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones.
As the name suggests kidney are hard stones made of calcium crystals that form in the kidney. When the stones remain small the body passes them in the flow of urine and patients typically don't even know they have them. Stones that grow and move out of the kidney into the ureter can cause irritation, block the flow of urine, and even cause terrible pain.
The exact cause of kidney stones is not known. There is some evidence that suggests that those who drink too few liquids, or who live in hot climates are more likely to experience kidney stones because they are more likely to become dehydrated. When a person is dehydrated the minerals in the urine become concentrated and the crystals form.
Patients and doctors are often tipped off to kidney stones when they experience sudden and severe pain that is described as "waves of pain". Patients can feel this pain in their back, abdomen, side, or pubic area. Patients may also experience nausea and may notice blood in their urine. Sometimes the pain will be more intense when a person has to urinate and may feel the need to urinate more often.
Treating a kidney stone is often a "wait and see" approach in which the physician will keep your pain under control while waiting for your body to pass the stone. You will be told to drink a lot of fluids and educated about how to watch for the stones to pass. If you're in severe pain, have signs of infection or terrible nausea, your physician may suggest surgery to remove the kidney stones.
For more information about how to diagnose and treat kidney stones, call the office of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine today.
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