Kidney stones are a common and even ancient disorder of the urinary tract. Evidence of kidney stones has been found in an Egyptian mummy estimated to be more than 7,000 years old, reports The New York Times. More than 12 percent of American men and 7 percent of women suffer with a kidney stone at some time in their lives.
Not only has this rate has been increasing since the 1970s, urologists are now seeing patients with kidney stones that are still in their 20s and 30s — a significant change from years past in which this disorder was commonly found in people’s 40s or 50s. The rates in women are rising faster than in men, and while once very rare in children, even this age group is now dealing with kidney stones.

How is a kidney stone formed?

Kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys when your urine is too concentrated and contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in your urine can dilute. These substances include uric acid, calcium and oxalate. The tiny crystals stick together and form a stone that may range in size.
Sometimes the urine carries the crystals out of the kidney, and they travel through the urinary tract when they are still small enough to pass easily out of the body without medical intervention. But if the crystal remains inside the kidney and more tiny crystals join with it, eventually a larger stone forms that can get stuck in the ureters — the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Kidney stones have no single cause, and they can affect any part of the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the bladder.
Urologists are now seeing patients with kidney stones that are still in their 20s and 30s—a significant change from years past in which this disorder was commonly found in people’s 40s or 50s.

What are the common symptoms of kidney stones?

Kidney stones that remain in the kidney may not cause any pain at all. Once a stone begins to move through the ureters and the urethra, you may experience:

• Sudden, severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
• Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen, groin or genitals
• Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
• Frequent and painful urination
• Urinating small amounts of urine
• Pink, red, or brown urine caused by blood in the urine
• Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
• Nausea and vomiting
• Fever and chills if an infection is present

Pain caused by a kidney stone can shift to a different location and increase and decrease in intensity as it passes through your urinary tract.

Are certain foods and drinks more likely to cause kidney stones?

Experts agree that the obesity epidemic in the United States is partly to blame for the rise in kidney stones, especially for women. One study cited by The New York times found that “a 35-pound weight gain since early adulthood increased the risk of stone formation by 40 percent in men but by 80 percent in women.
It appears that certain foods can increase the risk for stones in people who have a genetic predisposition or another medical vulnerability such as a metabolic disorder, gout or intestinal bypass surgery. People who eat large amounts of animal protein without adequate fiber and fluid intake may be at higher risk for stones.
A high-sodium diet increases the amount of calcium the kidneys must filter and significantly increases the risk of kidney stones, as does a diet rich in fructose and sucrose (table sugar).
The reduced consumption of dairy products may also contributing to the rise in stones.
Although calcium supplements have been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones, calcium-rich dairy products appear to lower kidney stone risk. Experts speculate, “The reduced consumption of dairy products may also contributing to the rise in stones.”
Similarly, although some citrus fruits and their juices can help prevent kidney stones, people who take vitamin C supplements increase their risk for stones.

Are you concerned that you might have a kidney stone? Revere Health Urology providers specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of pediatric and adult urinary problems in eight easy-to-access Utah locations. We partner with you and your primary care physician to develop an individualized treatment plan based on the latest technology and research.


Schedule an appointment with a Revere Health Urologist today!

Gunnison Urology

13 East Center Street
Gunnison, Utah 84634
(801) 465-2511

Nephi Urology

48 West 1500 North
Nephi, Utah 84648
(801) 465-2511

Provo Urology

1055 North 500 West #211
Provo, Utah 84604
(801) 357-7327

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