Recognize kidney stones; prevent future problems

If you take good care of your kidneys, there’s a better chance they’ll take care of you. One of the most painful things you can experience is a kidney stone, especially when it’s passing from the kidney to the bladder. Kidney stone symptoms can be confusing, though, and mistaken for the aches and pains of the flu. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you should know the signs of a kidney stone so you can seek medical help – and perhaps minimize the pain. Males between the ages of 20 and 40 are most at risk. Kidney stones generally cause pain in the back or lower abdomen that lasts for minutes to hours, followed by periods of relief. They also may cause nausea or vomiting, fever, chills and weakness. You may have an urge to urinate or a burning sensation. Urine may be cloudy, bloody or foul smelling. Some of these symptoms can be signs of other kidney problems that also need medical attention. While a lot of kidney-stone risk is genetic, some cases can be prevented by drinking plenty of liquids. Kidney stones may also result from long periods of bed rest or certain chronic infections. Kidney stones tend to recur, so if you’ve had one, you should talk to your doctor about what you should do to prevent future stones. Sometimes adjusting your diet and drinking more liquids can help lower your risk. When large kidney stones develop, there are ways to break up these stones so they cause less pain when passing out of your body. That’s a good reason for seeing a doctor if you suspect you have a kidney stone.

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