Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can cause blood in the urine, as well as pain in the back, groin and lower abdomen

A kidney stone is formed when substances in your urine, such as calcium, oxalate and cysteine or uric acid, form “crystals” inside your kidney, which range in size from very small, like a grain of rice or speck of dirt, to very large, like a walnut. A kidney stone that size would be very rare. A stone can form in any area of the urinary tract, from the bladder (bladder stones) to the kidneys.

Symptoms you may experience with a kidney stone

You may have a kidney stone and not even be aware of it until the stone(s) begins to move from the kidney through the ureter, the tiny tubes that carry urine from the kidney to bladder. When this happens, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain during urination
  • Red, pinkish or brown color urine
  • Urine that is foul-smelling or appears cloudy
  • Pain that feels like it’s hitting you in waves of varying intensity
  • Severe pain in your back or side(s), in the area below your ribs
  • Feeling a persistent need to urinate or urinating more than usual
  • Dribbling urine in small amounts
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fever, sometimes accompanied by chills

Make an appointment to see one of our Urology Austin doctors as soon as possible if you experience one or more of these symptoms.

Sometimes, you may experience more serious symptoms, which will require immediate medical attention.

  • Severe pain that prevents you from getting comfortable in any position
  • Experiencing severe pain, along with vomiting, nausea, fever and/or chills
  • Finding blood in your urine
  • Finding it difficult to urinate

What are the risk factors for developing a kidney stone?

Often, we don’t know what causes kidney stones, but known risk factors increase your chance of developing kidney stones.

  • Dehydration caused by getting too little water each day or living and working in a hot climate where you sweat profusely
  • Family or personal history of kidney stones
  • A high sodium diet that creates excess calcium
  • A diet that is high in protein and sugar
  • Obesity or having had gastric bypass surgery
  • Having inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea

How can I prevent kidney stones?

Our Urology Austin doctors recommend that patients drink plenty of water each day and eat a low-sodium diet that includes more non-animal sources of protein like beans. You should also discuss whether or not you need calcium supplements.

Developing a kidney stone is a common problem for both men and women. To learn more, contact us. Urology Austin doctors have the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat kidney stones.

How Do You Diagnose Kidney Stones?