You begin to feel a sharp pain in your side and lower back, in addition to having trouble urinating; what does this mean? Most likely, you are experiencing a kidney stone, which is quite common.

In fact, researchers estimate that about one in 10 people will get a kidney stone during their lifetime.

Want to learn more about kidney stones? Our AFC Urgent Care Hickory team shares some helpful info below, so keep reading!

What Causes a Kidney Stone?

A kidney stone is caused by substances in urine, such as oxalate, uric acid, calcium and phosphate. Normally, these substances are filtered out when the body is hydrated adequately, but when there are too many substances in too little urine, they can combine and form a kidney stone.

Not all kidney stones are the same, as we’ve described below.

Types of Kidney Stones

  • Calcium oxalate. This is the most common type of kidney stone, which is created when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine. The most common causes of this type of stone are too little calcium in your diet and not enough water.
  • Uric acid. This is another common type of kidney stone. Foods that are high in purines, like shellfish and red meats, can lead to a higher production of monosodium urate, which, can form kidney stones.
  • Struvite. These stones are less common and are caused by infections in the upper urinary tract.
  • Cystine. These stones are rare and tend to run in families.

Are Some People More Susceptible to Kidney Stones Than Others?

Yes, they are. The most common risk factor for kidney stones is family history. If kidney stones run in the family, you are more likely to deal with them.

Additionally, though, people who don’t drink enough fluids and maintain a diet that is high in substances that cause kidney stones (like phosphate, for example, which is in red meat) are mores susceptible to getting kidney stones. If you experience the symptoms we’ve listed below, you likely are dealing with a kidney stone.

Common Kidney Stone Symptoms

  • Severe pain on either side of your lower back
  • More vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy

Do you think you have a kidney stone? If so, we can provide the care you need to feel better! Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Hickory center today.