According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 37 million Americans have kidney disease, though many kidney conditions go undiagnosed. Learn the signs of kidney problems and get treatment from the experts at Flagstaff Surgical Associates in Flagstaff, Arizona. With state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and procedures available in the office, the doctors can help you enjoy better kidney function. To schedule an exam, call the office or book online today.

What are your kidneys?

Your kidneys are part of your urinary tract. You have two kidneys that are located under your rib cage and are responsible for filtering your blood and removing waste.

Your kidneys are responsible for removing excess fluid from your body, but symptoms can develop when your kidneys don’t function properly and the fluid remains. The increased fluids back up into other areas of your body, like your feet, ankles, and face.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of kidney disease, you’re at an increased risk of developing kidney problems. There are a variety of kidney problems that don’t cause obvious symptoms, so it can be hard to know when you have a problem.

What causes kidney stones?

Kidney stones are one of the most common kidney problems that affect men and women of all ages. Kidney stones contain different minerals and salts that are normally in the fluid in your kidneys. When these minerals and salts build up over time and urination does not remove them, they can combine to form stones.

Common symptoms of kidney stones are:

  • Severe pain in your sides or back below your ribs
  • Pain that extends into your lower abdomen or groin
  • Waves of pain that fluctuate in intensity
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Urine that’s cloudy or smells bad
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased need to urinate but only urinating small amounts
  • Fever and chills if infection occurs

Passing kidney stones can be extremely painful. In most cases, kidney stones don’t cause permanent damage as they exit your body through your ureters. However, many people prefer getting treatment to relieve the pain rather than waiting to pass the stones through urination.

How are kidney stones diagnosed and treated?

There are three main ways to diagnose kidney stones: a blood test, a urine test, and imaging like X-rays or a CT scan. Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your pain, your doctor at Flagstaff Surgical Associates recommends the best test option for you.

Based on the location and size of your kidney stone or stones, your doctor offers treatments like:

  • Pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy
  • Surgical removal (ureteroscopy)

Drinking plenty of water to increase your urine volume is advised to allow for faster passage of kidney stones.

To get testing and treatment for kidney problems, call or schedule a visit online at Flagstaff Surgical Associates now.