Kidney stones may be small in size, but even small stones can cause major pain. Don’t avoid medical treatment because you can’t stand the thought of sitting around an emergency room’s waiting room. When you need your pain treated fast, get to The Urgency Room . Our facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology, including CT and ultrasound, the common imaging studies used to diagnose a kidney stone, to help anyone who may be suffering from passing kidney stones.
Kidney stones aren’t actually rocks, but hard deposits of minerals and salts in urine that form harden in the kidneys. Typically starting small, these deposits can grow and stay in the kidneys without causing any problems. However, when these stones begin to travel through the ureter to the bladder, they often cause significant pain. Thankfully, although passing a kidney stone is often very painful, most stones do not cause any lasting damage to the kidneys. In rare cases, kidney stones can become infected or block the flow of urine, which may contribute to kidney failure.
Kidney Stone Causes
There are several types of kidney stones. Each type of kidney stone is causes by a different problem in the body. If you pass a kidney stone, keep the stone and bring it to your doctor so that lab tests can be performed to determine what type of stone your body made.
You might be at risk of developing:
- Calcium oxalate stones – This is the most common type of kidney stone. This common type of kidney stone can develop due to high levels of vitamin D, foods with high oxalate levels, dietary factors, and metabolic disorders.
- Struvite stones – These develop most often in response to a urinary tract infection.
- Uric acid stones – Those who have gout, lose too much fluid, or don’t drink enough fluid are most at risk for developing uric acid stones.
- Cystine Stones – These stones are a result of a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much cystine, an amino acid.
Risk Factors of Kidney Stones
As with many health conditions, there are several factors that might put you at a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
These factors can include:
- Family or personal history – If someone in your family has developed kidney stones in the past, you may be at a higher risk of developing them yourself. Additionally, if you have already developed them in the past, you have a higher risk of them reoccurring.
- Certain diets – A diet high in animal protein, salt, or sugar may put you at a higher risk of developing kidney stones. This is especially true of diets high in sodium.
- Dehydration – This is likely the #1 controllable risk factor for kidney stones! The urinary salts are more likely to stick together and form stones in concentrated urine. Unless directed to restrict fluids by your doctor, you should drink enough fluid to pass light colored urine several times per day.
- Medical conditions or metabolic diseases – Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, metabolic disorders can put you at a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
Kidney Stones Symptoms
Some kidney stones cause no or minimal symptoms, however, it is common for kidney stones to cause pain as they travel down the ureter from the kidney to the bladder. Common symptoms of kidney stones include:
- Sudden onset severe pain in the back, lower abdomen or side
- Painful urination
- Feeling like you always have to urinate
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Cloudy urine
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Bad-smelling urine
- Pain in lower abdomen
- Pain in groin
- Pain in waves
How We Treat Your Kidney Stones
Some Kidney stones pass with minimal symptoms, however, a significant portion of people require medical attention. For severe or sudden onset pain, it is important to be evaluated by a physician to confirm the diagnosis, control pain and check for complications of kidney stones, such as infection or renal failure. The majority of kidney stones pass on their own however some stones will require referral to a specialist to help remove the stone. At the Urgency Room, we can diagnose your kidney stone, check for complications, treat pain and determine if you need a referral to a specialist. In severe cases, we can arrange admission at a local hospital.
Kidney Stone Prevention
While there is no foolproof way to prevent kidney stones from ever appearing, there are some things you can do to decrease your risk.
- Drink water throughout the day – Drink more water so that there is enough fluid in your urine to dilute concentrations of substances, especially for those who have a history of kidney stones. If you live in a hot, dry climate or exercise frequently, you may need to drink even more water to produce enough urine. Light and clear-colored urine will likely mean you’re drinking enough water.
- Diet changes- If you are able to test your kidney stone and find out what it is made of, your doctor can make recommendations for dietary changes to prevent recurrent kidney stones.
- Talk to your doctor before taking a calcium supplement– While calcium in food won’t have an effect on your risk of kidney stones, you should consult with your doctor before taking calcium supplements. Calcium supplements have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
Get Relief from Kidney Stones Today
Our doors are open every day of the week. Avoid the long wait times you find at typical emergency rooms and get kidney stone treatment as soon as possible at The Urgency Room. We can help assess, diagnose, and treat your kidney stones so you can get back to living a happy and healthy life today.
Each Urgency Room is owned and operated by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) and is staffed by highly trained physicians who also work at local Twin Cities emergency rooms. The mission of The Urgency Room is to fill the medical treatment gap between emergency and urgent care.
Our well-equipped facilities are outfitted with an extensive array of equipment, including:
- CT Scanner
- High-Complexity Lab
- Sedation for Adults and Children
Our locations in Vadnais Heights , Eagan , and Woodbury are open 365 days per year, including holidays. Our friendly physicians can assess, diagnose, and treat anything from chronic aches to broken bones—including kidney stones. If you’re experiencing painful kidney stones, come to your nearest Urgency Room now. Don’t wait any longer to get the care you need.
Have more questions? Contact us today or take a virtual tour of our typical Urgency Room. Our physicians are ready and waiting to help you when minutes matter.