Why Do You Suffer From Kidney Stones?

If you suffer from kidney stones, you may wonder why you have them and if there's a way to keep them from coming back. Kidney stones develop in people who can't process or break down uric acid properly. Learn more about your kidney stones and how you can treat them below.

Why Do People Get Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hardened crystals or masses that form inside your kidneys or other parts of your urinary system. Stones can form from several things, including a buildup of purines and uric acid. Purines are chemicals that keep every cell in your body healthy. When your body no longer has any use for purines, it breaks them down into a byproduct called uric acid. Uric acid normally exits your body through your urine.

Uric acid can become a problem for you if the substance remains inside your kidneys for long periods of time. The substance eventually crystalizes or turns into hard pieces of stone. Most stones remain small enough to pass out of your body without notice. However, some stones can become too large to pass through your kidneys' ureter tubes and/or urethra. The large stones can cause great pain and discomfort throughout your urinary system. 

Certain things can cause excessive uric acid to build up inside your kidneys, including a lack of water. Water helps break down purines in your bloodstream and kidneys. Eating a diet high in foods that contain natural purines can also trigger kidney stones, including shellfish and red meat. 

Kidney stones can return time and time again without the right urology treatment. Excessive uric acid in the kidneys can also lead to gout. Gout develops when crystallized uric acid forms around the joints of your body. A urology doctor can treat your kidney stones as well as prevent gout and other health problems for you. 

How Does a Urologist Treat Your Kidney Stones?

Before a urologist confirms the cause of your kidney stones, they must test the contents of your urine and/or blood first. Diagnostic tests, such as urinalysis and uric acid test, help determine several things, including how much uric acid resides in your kidneys and/or bloodstream. Large levels of uric acid can cause problems throughout your body, including your joints.

If a doctor discovers high levels of uric acid in your urine or bloodstream, they may place you on a low-uric acid diet. Increasing your fluid intake may also help cleanse your urine of uric acid. 

If a doctor discovers stones in your kidneys, ureter tubes, or bladder, they may instruct you to take special medications soon. The medications remove stones from your urinary system by dissolving them. A urologist may use surgery to remove any stones that remain after your treatment.

Learn more about your kidney stones by contacting a urology doctor's office such as Nashville Healthcare Center today.