Kidney stones are small pieces of hard, crystallized material that form in the kidney. Another name for this common condition is renal lithiasis. Most kidney stones pass out of the body in the urine without serious problems. On occasion, a kidney stone can get stuck in a ureter, which is the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. This can result in potentially serious, even life-threatening complications, such as kidney infection and kidney damage.
Dignity Health can help you get the professional treatment you need to ease the discomfort of kidney stones in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas. Visit your nearest Dignity Health emergency room for medical attention. Our experts will help you determine if your kidney stone can be managed with your primary care doctor or if additional emergency services are needed.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are often made up of calcium, but they can also contain uric acid or amino acids. One or more kidney stones can form in one or both kidneys. They begin as tiny specks and may gradually increase in size.
Our knowledgeable staff can explain to you the risk factors for developing kidney stones:
- Prolonged exposure to a hot climate or high altitudes
- Prolonged inactivity, such as being bedridden
- Personal or family history of kidney stones
- High blood pressure
- High-protein diet
- Urinary tract infection
- Male gender
Kidney Stone Signs & Symptoms
Small kidney stones or kidney stones that do not move and remain in the kidney may not produce any symptoms. A small kidney stone even may pass out of the body without causing pain or other symptoms. Severe, sharp, or stabbing pain in the middle area of the lower back is the main symptom of a large kidney stone that moves out of the kidney. The pain may spread to the abdomen or groin. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty urinating
If you have a high fever and unbearable pain in addition to these symptoms, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Treating Kidney Stones in the Sacramento Region
Your treatment options depend on whether the kidney stones are causing symptoms. Small stones may pass on their own without any treatment. To treat larger stones, doctors recommend drinking fluids to dilute the urine and flush the stone. Medications can help the stone pass by relaxing the ureters. Pain medications may be necessary to keep you comfortable.
If the stone doesn’t pass, a procedure may be necessary. This includes shock wave therapy to crush the stone, a catheter procedure, or surgery to remove it. Rely on your doctor at Dignity Health to help you determine the right treatment for your kidney stones.
Dignity Health provides emergency care for kidney stones and the relief of kidney stone symptoms in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas.