Kidney stones — small pieces of hard, crystallized material formed in the kidneys — can pass out of your body without any serious problems or cause a number of painful symptoms.
A kidney stone can get stuck in one of the tubes connecting your kidney and bladder (ureter). This can cause serious, potentially life-threatening complications, such as a kidney infection or kidney damage.
If you are experiencing painful symptoms of kidney stones in Northern California, call 911 or come to a Dignity Health North State emergency room. Our emergency doctors and staff can provide personalized treatment. Use InQuicker to select your estimated arrival time at our ER, then wait at home until your time to be seen.
Recognizing Symptoms of Kidney Stones
You may not feel any symptoms if your kidney stones do not move and remain in your kidney, or if the stones are very small. A small kidney stone can pass through your body without causing pain or other symptoms.
However, a large stone that moves out of the kidney can cause severe, sharp, or stabbing pain in the flank area of your lower back. The pain can spread to your abdomen or groin.
Other kidney stone symptoms include:
- Profuse sweating
- Difficulty with urination
- Blood in the urine
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones begin as tiny specks in your kidneys and gradually grow in size. They are often made of calcium, but can also contain uric or amino acids. One or several stones can form in either, or both, of your kidneys.
Your risk factors for developing kidney stones are:
- Being male
- Personal or family history of kidney stones
- Prolonged inactivity, such as being bedridden
- Long periods in a hot climate or high altitude
- High blood pressure
- High protein diet
- Urinary tract infection
Talk to your doctor about underlying conditions, such as gout and high blood pressure, that can contribute to kidney stone formation.
Effective Kidney Stone Treatment at Dignity Health North State
Treatment options depend on the severity of your kidney stone symptoms. Medical care may not be necessary for small kidney stones that produce light or no symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend drinking lots of fluids to dilute your urine and flush the stone from your body. Certain medications can help the stone pass by relaxing your ureters. Pain medication is often prescribed to help keep you comfortable.
If your stone does not pass with fluid intake and medication, you may need to undergo a procedure. Shock wave therapy is sometimes used to break up a kidney stone into smaller pieces that can pass through the body easier. You doctor may also recommend more invasive procedures, such as surgery, to remove the stone.
Our health experts at Dignity Health North State provide unparalleled medical care with respect and compassion. Learn more about our services in Northern California.
Dignity Health North State is here if you need urgent help for your kidney stones in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.