If you have ever suffered from a kidney stone, you know just how uncomfortable and frustrating these urinary tract stones truly are. In fact, many people consider passing a kidney stone to be among the most painful experiences one can go through. Because the symptoms of a kidney stone often mimic the symptoms of unrelated conditions, however, you may not always realize when you are passing a stone. The dedicated team of board-certified ER physicians and expert staff at iCare ER & Urgent Care in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX is proud to provide rapid evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for kidney stones to help patients feel comfortable again as soon as possible. Learn more about kidney stones here, including what signs and symptoms may mean an urgent visit to your nearest ER is warranted.
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones, which are hardened or calcified deposits of certain minerals, salts, and other materials, develop in the kidneys themselves before traveling through the ureter and into the bladder, where they are ultimately passed from the body in the urine. Generally speaking, kidney stones affect men more often than women, though virtually anyone can develop a stone. There are a number of potential causes of kidney stones, as well as risk factors that make certain patients more likely to develop kidney stones. Some of the most common causes and risk factors of kidney stones include:
- Dietary factors, such as increased salt, oxalate, or calcium intake
- Certain medications
- Underlying health conditions
- Hormonal conditions
- Personal history or family history of kidney stones
How do I know if I have a kidney stone?
It is not always possible to self-diagnose a kidney stone, though certain signs and symptoms may point to the likelihood that you have a stone. Keep in mind, kidney stones may cause virtually no symptoms early on. In fact, many patients are unaware that they have kidney stones until the stones begin to pass. Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with passing a kidney stone include:
- Pain in the back or flank, typically on one side only
- Lower abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Constant need to urinate
- Difficulty voiding
- Painful urination
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever, chills, or sweating
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may be attempting to pass a kidney stone. The only way to determine with certainty whether or not you have a stone, where in the urinary tract the stone currently is, and whether it has a high probability of passing on its own is to obtain a diagnosis from a medical professional using imaging studies and other diagnostic tools.
Do I need to go to the ER for a kidney stone?
In some cases, small kidney stones (less than 4 mm) can pass on their own without the need for medical or surgical intervention. However, larger kidney stones often require treatment to make it possible for them to pass through the urinary tract. Additionally, stones with an extremely low probability of passing on their own may require surgical extraction. Because untreated stones can lead to a host of other complications, including infection, severe pain, and prolonged illness, it is important to seek evaluation in order to determine whether your stone may pass on its own or whether you need more immediate intervention.
In cases of severe, prolonged, or worsening symptoms related to a kidney stone, patients should visit their nearest ER in Frisco or Fort Worth. This includes:
- Severe pain
- Protracted nausea or vomiting
- High fever
- Prolonged symptoms
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
The knowledgeable team of board-certified physicians at iCare ER & Urgent Care is highly experienced in the complexities of kidney stone diagnosis and treatment, as well as related urinary tract conditions, using the most advanced tools and techniques available today. During your visit to either of our dual-hybrid ER and urgent care facilities in Fort Worth and Frisco, TX, your physician will thoroughly evaluate and discuss your symptoms and order any necessary studies, including lab work, urinalysis, CT scan, and/or ultrasound, to accurately diagnose your stone. Depending on the location, size, and other characteristics of your kidney stone, your provider will recommend the most appropriate course of treatment to help you realize rapid, reliable, and long-lasting relief from your kidney stone.
Furthermore, your provider can help you better understand what may have caused your kidney stones and offer guidance on how to prevent developing additional stones in the future. This may include recommendations regarding your diet, lifestyle, fluid intake, current medications, and more.
Get rapid relief from kidney stones at your nearest emergency room in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX
The pain and frustration of kidney stones can be debilitating and wreak havoc on a person’s everyday life. Not only that, but some kidney stones can cause dangerous complications when left untreated. Don’t sacrifice your comfort, health, and safety when it comes to kidney stones. If you suspect you may be passing a kidney stone or have previously been diagnosed with kidney stones that are now causing you painful or worrisome symptoms, visit your nearest iCare ER & Urgent Care location in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX today. Our exceptional and compassionate team of board-certified emergency physicians looks forward to giving you the relief and confidence you deserve.