Your kidneys function like filters in your body, processing out toxins and waste to keep your body operating at its best. In most cases, that waste gets transformed into urine so it can leave your body painlessly. Sometimes, though, your kidneys create solid deposits, also known as kidney stones.
Four different types of kidney stones can form, depending on what substance causes the deposits in your urine. Regardless of the type, anyone who’s ever had a kidney stone knows the process of getting rid of that deposit can be far from comfortable.
Fortunately, Abraham Woods, MD, can help. As a specialist in kidney stones, he helps patients identify the right treatment to eliminate them as quickly and comfortably as possible. You can get access to this targeted care at the Center for Urology in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
In this blog, we want to help you understand kidney stones and your treatment options. Let’s start by identifying the different types of kidney stones.
The four types of kidney stones
The solid deposit that your kidney forms depends on what’s going on in your system. You can get four different kinds of kidney stones.
Most people with kidney stones have this type. They can consist of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. While certain medical conditions, particularly metabolic conditions, can contribute to these stones, they can also form from insufficient hydration or dietary deficiencies.
Uric acid stones
Your body makes uric acid when it breaks down purine, a natural substance in some foods. Diabetes and a family history of uric acid stones can heighten your risk for this type.
Your kidneys can develop these deposits after a urinary tract infection (UTI).
You get cystine stones when you have a condition called cystinuria, which stems from an issue with an amino acid called cysteine. These types of kidney stones are fairly rare, but if another family member has them, you’re more likely to get them, too.
Addressing your kidney stones
When they’re caught early, you may be able to pass your kidney stones naturally by increasing your fluid intake. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any discomfort during the process.
If the stones grow large enough to cause you significant pain, Dr. Woods can use targeted treatments like shockwave lithotripsy or laser treatment to break up the stones. He can get rid of most kidney stones — no matter their type — with these options. In some rare cases, though, you may need surgery to remove a stone.
Catching the kidney stone early before it has the opportunity to grow larger can make a big difference. If you’re experiencing symptoms, like pain when you urinate or pain below your ribs, talk to Dr. Woods.
For expert kidney stone diagnosis and treatment, call the Center for Urology at our office Monday through Friday, or book your consultation online anytime.