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Kidney Stones: Common Causes And Treatments

Anyone who has ever passed a kidney stone will tell you it was probably the worst pain they ever felt. The last thing they want is to ever have another one. The bad news is that once you have a kidney stone, you are likely to have another. Discover why that is, as well as other causes and treatments.

Check Your Urine

The easiest way to know if your kidneys are working properly and to avoid getting kidney stones is to check the color o

Medical provider holding diagram of kidney.

f your urine. It should be very light, pale yellow and clear. Urine that looks deep yellow, orange, or is hazy is suspect and you could be dehydrated. This means you should be drinking more water every day to prevent kidney stones. Urine with no color means you might be drinking too much water.


Why Do We Get Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are actual hard objects made from the chemicals in our urine. They can be as small as a grain of salt and pass out of the body without your knowledge. Others are large enough to cause severe pain as they move through the urinary tract.

Kidney stones form due to the following:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Exercising too vigorously or not enough
  • Obesity
  • Eating foods with too much salt and sugar
  • Family history
  • Too much fructose in foods

We get kidney stones when we have a high concentration of minerals like calcium, oxalate, or uric acid in our urine, and they come together to form a crystal or stone. If you do pass a stone at home and have the ability to strain your urine, bring the stone to The Urology Center of Colorado. That way we will know the make-up of the stone and be able to give you dietary recommendations to avoid future stones.

Treatments For Kidney Stones

Small stones can pass with drinking extra water, OTC pain meds, and sometimes prescription medications to help you pass the stone.

Larger stones are problematic. They can be too large to pass, they can block the urinary tract, or cause infections. In these cases surgery is recommended.

  • Shock Wave Lithotripsy is a non-invasive treatment that uses high energy sound waves to break up the stone.
  • Another less invasive treatment for kidney stones is a ureteroscopy where The Urology Center of Colorado uses an endoscope inserted into the ureter to remove or destroy the stone.
  • Lastly, for very large stones, a surgical procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy is employed. Small telescopes and instruments are inserted through a small incision in the back. This is performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia, and you may remain in the hospital for several days.

Preventing Future Kidney Stones

Don’t want another stone?

The two most important things you can do after an experience with a kidney stone is to drink more water and follow the dietary restrictions recommended by The Urology Center of Colorado.

Visit The Urology Center of Colorado Kidney Stone Hotline if you think you are suffering from a kidney stone, or if you have passed one, and want to prevent another bout.

We’re here to help.

For appointments at any TUCC location, request an appointment online.