Types of Kidney Stones

About 1 in 10 men and 1 in 20 women in the United States experience kidney stones at some point in their lives. Kidney stones are hardened deposits of minerals and salts, but they can vary widely in size, location, and even mineral makeup.

No matter what type of kidney stones you have, Dr. Eric K. Seaman at New Jersey Urology can help. Kidney stones can be intensely painful. But the good news is that we offer a range of treatments to eliminate them, from oral medication to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). 

Take a moment to learn more about the most common types of kidney stones and what causes them.

Calcium kidney stones

Calcium is a mineral that contributes to some of the most common kidney stones, including calcium oxalate stones and calcium phosphate stones. While having high calcium levels in your urine contributes to the formation of these stones, getting enough calcium through your diet can actually help prevent them.

Calcium oxalate kidney stones

Calcium oxalate stones can form when your urine is low in citrate and high in calcium, along with high levels of oxalate or uric acid. Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance found in foods, and it’s also made in your liver.

Decreasing the amount of oxalate-rich foods in your diet can reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. If you get calcium oxalate stones regularly, Dr. Seaman may recommend limiting foods like spinach, potatoes, chocolate, and nuts. 

Calcium phosphate kidney stones

Calcium phosphate kidney stones are also triggered by high calcium levels, but these stones are more common in people with metabolic conditions. Renal tubular acidosis and certain medications may make these kidney stones more likely.

Problems within your urinary system could also trigger calcium phosphate stones. Calcium phosphate stones and calcium oxalate stones can occur together.

Struvite kidney stones

Struvite kidney stones can develop along with a urinary tract infection or kidney infection. This type of stone is more common in women than men. Struvite stones can grow very quickly, but you may not have any symptoms at first. 

Getting treatment is critical because a struvite stone can get so large that it fills your entire kidney. It may also cause a severe urinary tract infection or lead to loss of kidney function.

Uric acid kidney stones

Uric acid stones tend to occur in men more frequently than women. They form with high uric acid content in urine, which can be caused by diets high in animal protein or not drinking enough water.

Animal proteins like meat and fish have high purine contents, a substance that increases the urine’s acidity level. You’re more likely to develop them if you have a family history of uric acid stones. In addition, having gout, having diabetes, or undergoing chemotherapy may make this type of kidney stone more likely. 

Cystine kidney stones

Cystine stones are the rarest type of kidney stone. Cystine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the kidneys, but it can leak into the urine if you have a genetic disorder called cystinuria. When high levels of cystine enter the urine, it can cause stones to form in your kidneys, bladder, and/or ureters.

If you have kidney stones, don’t delay. Find the treatment that’s right for you by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Seaman. Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, at 973-259-6695 or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Signs of Male Infertility

The decision to grow your family is an exciting one. But if you and your partner find out that having a baby isn’t as simple as you thought, it can be frustrating. Learn to recognize the signs of infertility so you can get the treatment you need.

Understanding Testicular Sperm Extraction

Testicular sperm extraction can be a successful fertility treatment for men, whether they’re facing infertility or they previously had a vasectomy. If you’re infertile but you hope to father a child, it’s time to learn more about this microsurgery.

Erectile Dysfunction or Normal Aging?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects millions of men, and it gets increasingly common with age. But is it an unavoidable part of getting older? Learn more about the signs of ED and how treatment could enhance your sex life, no matter your age.

Recovering from a Vasectomy: What to Expect

Are you considering a vasectomy? It’s a safe and effective form of birth control, but the thought of undergoing surgery is enough to make anyone nervous. Learn what it’s like to recover from a vasectomy.

Common Signs of Low Testosterone

As you get older, your testosterone level naturally decreases. But when it drops too far, you might notice unpleasant symptoms like low sex drive and loss of muscle mass. Learn to recognize the signs of low testosterone.

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer affecting men, and your risk increases as you get older. Get regular prostate screenings to catch the disease early, and learn the signs of prostate cancer here.