Kidney stones are made up of minerals and salts in your urine that can form hard, stone-like deposits in your kidneys. These deposits can be very small and may pass through your urinary system without you ever knowing they existed. Larger stones can become quite painful, however, when they move around in your kidney or begin to travel through the thin tubes, called ureters, which carry urine from your kidney to your bladder.
A kidney stone that’s on the move may cause:
Kidney stones may form when you have high levels of minerals, such as calcium, in your urine and not enough fluid to properly dilute these substances. Sometimes your urine lacks naturally-occurring substances that prevent minerals in your urine from clumping together.
To understand what’s causing your kidney stones, Dr. Coutinho may ask that you strain your urine so he can analyze the stones you pass. Calcium stones, for instance, are the most common type of kidney stones and are often due to high-calcium diets.
Struvite stones are a type of kidney stone that form in response to an infection, such as a urinary tract infection, and uric acid stones can occur in individuals who don’t drink enough fluid. Once he’s analyzed their chemical structure, Dr. Coutinho can develop a plan to help prevent more kidney stones from forming in the future.
Depending on the size and location of your stone, you may be able to pass it with pain medication and by drinking copious amounts of water. Many stones, however, are large enough that they require further treatment.
For larger stones or those causing significant pain, Dr. Coutinho may recommend:
Dr. Karl Coutinho is considered an in-network provider with the following insurance plans. This is not a complete list, if you do not see your plan listed please contact our office to verify your benefits.