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What are Kidney Stones?

Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone probably knows the pain that often accompanies them. These small, yet hard crystal-like deposits form over time in the kidney. The stones are formed when salts and other minerals in the urine are bonded. Some people are more prone to these stones and once they have formed, may be susceptible to recurrent bouts of kidney stones.

Kidney stones come in different shapes and sizes. Some may have jagged edges, which cause the most pain when moving through the urinary tract. Some stones may be small and cause no symptoms, while others are large and can be difficult to pass, causing pain as it moves through the kidney, down the ureter (the thin tube that leads to the bladder), and out of the body. Smaller, smoother stones are often passed naturally with the aid of pain medication, while larger stones may require surgical intervention.

The kidney stone specialists at Colorado Urology will assess the type of stones you have through advanced diagnosis and develop the right treatment plan for you, which includes a focus on avoiding future stones.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

A kidney stone that has passed into the urinary tract may produce the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in a person’s side or back
  • Pain near the abdomen and the groin area
  • Painful urination, urinary urge and a frequent need to urinate
  • Urine that smells bad or has blood
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fever if the stone has caused an infection

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Causes and risk factors for kidney stones include:

  • A family history of kidney stone disease
  • Dehydration
  • High protein diets can increase the risk of developing kidney stones
  • Gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease and metabolic diseases such as hyperparathyroidism or gout can increase the likelihood of stone formation
  • Obesity
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Appointments & Information

*If this is an emergency, please call 911 immediately.

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