About this disease
What it concerns
When kidney stones migrate into the ureter, they cause what is known as renal colic: severe and painful cramps on the flanks, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Men are affected about twice as often as women. The cause is an oversaturation of the urine with stone-forming substances. Kidney stones are considered a disease of affluence: protein-rich diets, overeating, obesity and lack of exercise promote kidney stone formation. Up to 0.5% of all pregnant women also develop kidney stones, mostly in the second or third trimester.
Depending on their composition, three types of kidney stones can be distinguished. Calcium-containing stones account for 70-80% of all kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common, followed by calcium phosphate stones. Uric acid stones or urate stones make up about 15% of cases, magnesium ammonium phosphate stones about 10%, and cystine and xanthine stones only about 2%.
Symptoms and consequences
Indications of renal colic are sudden, severe, stabbing, cramping, wave-like pains that, depending on the location of the kidney stone, may radiate to the back, the lateral lower abdomen, the groin or the genital region with the labia or testicles. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, blood in the urine as a result of the mucosal injury in the urinary tract, pain when urinating, and a tendency to collapse.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
The diagnosis of kidney stones is made on the basis of the typical complaints and with a urine examination. Depending on the need, additional clarifications such as ultrasound examination, computer tomography or bladder and ureteroscopy are performed.
There are different treatment options. The general rule is to drink plenty of fluids to flush out the stones. Uric acid stones can be dissolved with stone-dissolving drugs. For calcium oxalate stones, surgical removal can be considered, usually via bladder and ureteroscopy. External disintegration using sound waves is an alternative to surgery.