Kidney Stone Treatment Specialist in Richmond Hill ON

Kidney Stone Treatment Specialist in Richmond Hill ON

Kidney stone treatment is available today, so contact our team at Viva Health Centres so that we can get your health back on track. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We are conveniently located at 9580 Yonge Street Unit #6 Richmond Hill, ON L4C 1V6.

Kidney Stone Treatment Specialist Near Me in Richmond Hill ON
Kidney Stone Treatment Specialist Near Me in Richmond Hill ON

Table of Contents:

What are kidney stones?
What are the different types of kidney stones?
What are the warning signs of kidney stones?
What are the causes of kidney stones?

What are kidney stones?

The kidneys function to filter the blood and its components and excrete unwanted substances out of the body through urine. Numerous minerals and salts will pass through the kidney during this process, and a higher concentration of such materials can cause hardened deposits or “stones.” Stones are categorized by the material they are made of.

The type of stone will also determine what treatment will be most effective. Kidney stones can descend through the urinary system, from the kidneys to the bladder via a tube called a “ureter.” Most patients will not experience symptoms until this traveling occurs, as the stone’s passage through the ureter can be difficult.

The majority of stones measuring less than six millimeters will pass on their own eventually, though stones larger in size most likely will require medical intervention. It is estimated that ten percent of Canadians will have experienced kidney stones at one point in their lifetime.

What are the different types of kidney stones?

There are four main groups of kidney stones: calcium, uric acid, struvite or infection, and cystine stones. Calcium stones are the most common, seen in seventy to eighty percent of cases. This group is further divided, as stones may be calcium oxalate, which is more common, or calcium phosphate. Uric acid stones and struvite stones are seen in approximately ten percent of patients. Uric acid stones are caused by fluctuations in the body’s chemical concentration, resulting in acidic urine.

This type of kidney stone is often seen with frequent/severe dehydration. For this reason, patients experiencing conditions that cause chronic diarrhea, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, will likely see this kind of stone. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and gout also have been linked to uric acid kidney stones.

Further, a diet with a high intake of animal protein can decrease the body’s pH, creating an acidic environment. Struvite, also known as infection stones, is caused by recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI). This occurs because the presence of gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli, the most common bacteria to cause UTIs, increases pH and creates an alkaline environment. Magnesium ammonium phosphate, known as struvite, is formed into a stone when the urine is more alkaline. Struvite stones can be particularly harmful and painful, as they grow at a fast rate and often develop branches. The final and least common kidney stones are cystine stones.

Cystine stones are associated with a genetic metabolic disorder of the kidneys called cystinuria. This condition is characterized by a decreased ability to reabsorb an amino acid, cystine, back into the kidneys, resulting in an increased concentration in the urine. It is estimated that less than three percent of kidney stones fall under this category, and it is often seen in childhood.

What are the warning signs of kidney stones?

Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms until the stone begins to travel down the ureter, where it can become stuck. Generally, the larger the stone, the more severe your symptoms will be. Initially, patients will likely experience a sharp, sudden stabbing pain in the flanks (sides) and lower back where the kidneys are located.

This pain may radiate through the groin, abdomen, or in men may be felt in the glans (tip of the penis). You may notice many changes in your urination habits, feeling the need to urinate more often. Your urine may appear darker, red-tinged, cloudy, or foul-smelling. If an infection is present, you may also notice a fever or chills.

What are the causes of kidney stones?

There are numerous causes of kidney stones, and they vary depending on the type of deposit. Generally, a low volume of urine due to dehydration will increase the likelihood of formations. A high salt diet may be causative for those with calcium stones, as the body will prioritize the excretion of salt over calcium.

Further, patients with calcium oxalate stones may have too high of an animal protein intake, leading to an increase in acidic by-products as proteins are digested.

Other medical conditions may also lead to kidney stones as they alter the concentration of various minerals. Hyperparathyroidism, an overgrowth of the parathyroid glands, can lead to calcium stones, as the thyroid gland regulates calcium metabolism. Distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA) is a rare condition that interferes with the proper removal of acids in the blood and can lead to the formation of calcium phosphate stones in the alkaline urine. Primary hyperoxaluria is a genetic condition in which the overproduction of oxalate occurs in the liver; the excess often leads to calcium oxalate stones.

Lastly, an increased risk for kidney stone development is seen in weight-loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, as the oxalate production in the liver can be affected.

At Viva Health Centre, our exceptional team of physicians is prepared to help you tackle all of your health concerns, including kidney stones. So should you think you have a kidney stone or would like to talk to one of our doctors about another matter, please do not hesitate to call us. We serve patients from Richmond Hill ON, Vaughan ON, Oak Ridges, ON, Bayview Glen ON, Markham ON, and surrounding areas.