Men are notorious for not wanting to visit a doctor or specialist, even when in serious pain. With decades of experience in various urological services, we want to offer some guidance on signs for when to see a urologist for kidney stones. Kidney stones can be relatively harmless if recognized and treated early.
Kidney stones are a collection of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys and can be of a variety of different sizes. Once formed, they can travel and affect any part of the urinary tract.
Kidney stones can be a result of various different factors. Some of these include diet, prior medical conditions, body weight, and reactions to medication being taken. Proper hydration goes a long way in preventing kidney stones, as they usually form when urine is concentrated, allowing minerals to bind together.
The risk of kidney stones is greater if a family member has had them before. They are not genetic; however, genetic factors can provide an easier environment for them to form.
Kidney stone symptoms will vary based on the size, amount, and placement of the stones. In some cases, stones are so small that one can not even feel them.
Usually, kidney stones will not be felt until they move around in the kidneys or begin to pass into ureters (tubes connecting the bladder to the kidneys). At any point in their movement, they can become stuck, depending on their size and location in the body.
A lodged kidney stone in the body will block urine from traveling, causing swelling. This will cause intense pain below the ribs in one’s side and back. Other symptoms of a blocked ureter are a pain in and around the lower abdomen and groin, fluctuating pain in the area that comes and goes with various intensity, and a burning sensation when urinating.
Additionally, discolored or foul-smelling urine, changes in the number of trips to urinate, changes in the amount of urine, and feelings of nausea and vomiting are all potential symptoms of a kidney stone blockage.
A fever accompanied by chills can be a sign that kidney stone blockage has caused an infection in the body.
We would recommend visiting a urologist if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Causes for concern that necessitate timely treatment are severe pain inhibiting sitting comfortably, pain accompanied with fever and nausea, blood in urine, or difficulties in urinating.
These more severe symptoms can indicate an infection or increased risk of an infection, which, if not treated swiftly, can cause irreparable damage.
If you suspect or know you have kidney stones, we strongly recommend contacting our offices for a consultation and treatment. Dr. Edward Gheiler has over two decades of experience with urological services, including kidney stone treatment, prostate exams, and general men’s health services, any of which could be causing discomfort and pain in your life.