Understanding Bladder Stones
posted by Urology | May 8, 2017
Bladder stones, a condition that develops when minerals in the urine crystallize, are similar in some ways to kidney stones, but they are not the same. In some situations, bladder stones won’t present any symptoms or will pass naturally without treatment. In other cases, bladder stones can cause problems that require medication or surgery. They can also lead to infections and other complications if left untreated.
Sometimes, even large bladder stones won’t cause symptoms. In cases where a stone interferes with the bladder, however—by irritating the bladder wall or impeding the flow of urine out of the bladder—there can be noticeable symptoms. These include:
Additional complications that can result if bladder stones aren’t eliminated from the body—even in cases where the stones aren’t causing noticeable symptoms. These complications can include:
In most cases, bladder stones start to form if the bladder doesn’t fully empty itself during urination. Minerals left in the urine then form crystals, which create the stones. In other cases, infections or underlying conditions may be a cause. A couple of the most common conditions that can lead to bladder stones include:
Other causes of bladder stones include:
A few factors can raise your general risk of bladder stones:
Diagnosing bladder stones may involve one of a few different tests, depending on your symptoms and history. Once they’ve been identified, the primary goal of treatment is usually removing the stones. In some cases, this can be done naturally—your doctor will recommend staying hydrated and attempting to pass a stone without any additional help. In cases where this isn’t effective, treatment options include:
Preventing bladder stones can be difficult if they are caused by certain underlying conditions, but you can take other steps to decrease your risk:
If you’re developing symptoms of bladder stones, speak to your doctor about treatment.
“Bladder stones.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bladder-stones/home/ovc-20233501
“Bladder Stones: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments.” Medical News Today. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/184998.php
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.