Kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that form in the kidneys and are extremely painful to pass. Although kidney stones originate in the kidneys, they can affect any part of the urinary tract. Stones consist of mineral and acid salts that crystallize when urine becomes concentrated. Kidney stones are more common in men than women, with prevalence increasing when a person reaches his or her 40s. For women, kidney stones reach peak prevalence at age 50. Dr. Y. Mark Hong provides advanced treatment methods, such as extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, laser lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, laparoscopic surgery, and stone prevention profile for kidney stone treatment in our Phoenix, AZ, office locations.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are quite common and are rarely life threatening; however, they can be extremely painful. There are many symptoms to alert you that you may have or are passing a kidney stone. These include:
- Severe pain in the side of the torso and back, or below the rib cage
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
- Pain that comes in waves, while varying in intensity
- Pain while urinating
- Discolored urine
- Unusually cloudy or unusual smelling urine
- Feeling the need to vomit (or vomiting)
- Feeling the urgent need to empty the bladder
- Visiting the restroom more often than normal
- High temperatures and chills, if an infection is present
- Urinating in small quantities
Pain associated with kidney stones may change as they move through your urinary tract. For example, pain may begin in the kidneys and be felt in the lower back, then travel to the groin as stones progress toward being passed from the body. Patients should see a doctor when pain causes restlessness and inability to sit comfortably, when they are experiencing nausea and vomiting, or when they notice blood in the urine. There aren’t any known causes of kidney stones, though for certain people, lifestyle factors may contribute to their formation.
With many treatment options, Dr. Hong is equipped to relieve symptoms and pain associated with kidney stones.