While a kidney stone is a common and painful problem affecting both men
and women, men are about four times more likely to develop the condition.
It is believed that men are more vulnerable to kidney stones–the
most frequent disorder afflicting men–because of their larger muscle
mass as compared to women.
Kidney stones are the reason for almost 3 million visits to health care
providers and more than half a million visits to emergency rooms each year.
A patient with a kidney stone typically complains of severe back or abdominal
pain, nausea or vomiting, bloody urine and other changes with urination.
There may have been similar episodes in the past. The stone causes severe
pain because as it travels down the urinary tract from the kidney to the
bladder, it can get lodged in the ureter and block the flow of urine.
Occasionally a high fever and kidney infection can accompany these symptoms.
Kidney stones are usually diagnosed with a combination of urine and blood
testing, as well as a CT scan or ultrasound of the urinary system.
Options for treatment include trying to pass the stone without intervention,
lithotripsy (breaking it up using ultrasound) or using a laser to break it up.
You can help prevent kidney stones by drinking plenty of water throughout
the day and avoiding excess caffeine and soft drinks.
For more information about kidney stones or other urinary conditions,
see your health care provider or make an appointment with
Dr. Stephen M. Graham
Dr. Brad M. Lake
Northshore Urological Associates
at (985) 230-7860 in Hammond or (225) 686-4960 in Livingston.