Kidneys are organs that most people think very little about until something goes wrong with them. Kidneys work hard to flush toxins and excess debris from our bloodstream. When all is well, we are able to urinate without pain, frequency, or urgency. When something goes wrong, however, kidney troubles can throw a curve in our functionality.
Kidneys: What is Their Function?
Kidneys are two bean-shaped, fist-sized organs that rest just below your ribcage on either side of your spine. Their purpose is to filter out waste and regulate electrolytes, while also controlling your body’s fluid balance. As the kidneys do their work, all refuse collects as urine and travels down narrow tubes called ureters to your bladder.
What is a Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone is the buildup of salt and minerals that can occur during the kidneys’ filtration process. This buildup creates a stone-like formation that can range in size from a sugar crystal to a ping pong ball. Typically, these stones go unnoticed unless they dislodge and cause a blockage in the ureters.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
There are many possible causes of kidney stones. Most commonly, a change in diet and lack of water consumption can throw off your body’s natural balance of water, salt, and minerals, thus causing a stone to form.
If a person has existing health conditions such as gout or Crohn’s disease, their body is at greater risk for forming kidney stones. A family history of kidney issues could also put a person at higher risk.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.
- Blood in urine
- Change in the smell or appearance of urine
- Pain in kidneys and/or during urination
- Sharp lingering pain in the lower back or abdomen
- Vomiting, fever, and/or chills along with urinary changes
What Treatments for Kidney Stones Does a Kidney Specialist in Jupiter, FL Offer?
Though smaller kidney stones will pass without a person noticing and without requiring treatment, passing kidney stones that are large can be excruciatingly painful. It is important to visit a kidney doctor who knows how to get rid of kidney stones properly.
While some cases can be treated with mild pain relievers and drinking large amounts of water, other cases may require a more in-depth treatment plan. Some stones can be broken into smaller pieces through the use of shock waves. This method helps a stone pass with less intensity.
In rare situations where natural passing or the use of shock waves isn’t enough, board-certified kidney specialist and internist, Dr. Abbas Rabiei may utilize other treatments, such as using a ureteroscope to break up the stone. In the severest of situations, Dr. Rabiei may need to make a small incision in the lower back to remove the stone completely.
Don’t ignore the signs of kidney stones any longer – stones can lead to chronic kidney disease and ultimately renal failure requiring dialysis. Please call kidney doctor, Dr. Abbas Rabiei at Coastal Nephrology, Dialysis, & Internal Medicine today at 561-253-8121.