Problems with kidney stones

Problems with kidney stones

More than one in 20 people in the Netherlands (men more often than women) have problems with kidney stones once in a while. Once someone has had problems with kidney stones, the chance that the problems recur is high. It is thus wise to check for the underlying causes of kidney stones such as metabolic disorders, anatomical abnormalities or urinary tract infections. Your urologist can help with this so that you do not have any problems with kidney stones again.

Problems with kidney stones can be caused by:

In these situations, the urine may contain a lot of waste products. These waste products can form small crystals. Most people just expel these crystals in their urine and have no problems. However, if these crystals stay in the kidneys they may eventually form kidney stones.

How do you know if you have kidney stones?

Kidney stones do not always lead to complaints as they only cause pain if they get stuck. This usually starts with a vague, hardly noticeable pain in the lower back (sides). The gradually gets worse and comes in increasingly painful waves, usually in the sides or belly. The pain often spreads to the groin, the thighs or the genitals. When suffering an attack, the person often feels a strong urge to move. The patient feels restless and often moves around. Some patients even literally crawl over the ground from the pain.

Other complaints could be:

What can be done?

When suffering from a kidney stone attack, the most important thing is to relieve the pain with medicines. Medicines that help relax the muscles of the urinary tract can help too. They make the urinary tract wider thus allowing the stone to be passed more easily.

This does not usually work if the stones are large. In this case, the stone can be removed by: a kidney stone pulveriser; a laser; or through endoscopy. If treatment is required, the urologist will explain the course of action in detail.