Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment Houston

Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment Houston

At ChristiMD Medical Group, we offer diagnosis and treatment for kidney stones in the Houston and Katy, Texas area. Treating and controlling your pain is our top priority. If you are experiencing the symptoms listed contact our office for an immediate appointment to diagnose and treat your condition.

Now serving both men and women, we are providing all Houston, Texas patients the opportunity of individualized care for kidney stones, sexual dysfunction, urogynecologic surgery, advanced mesh removal and urinary incontinence, in a warm and caring environment.

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What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones consist of minerals and salts that combine to form deposits inside your kidneys. While there are many causes, dehydration increases your risk of kidney stone formation. Their effects may be felt anywhere in the kidneys or bladder depending on where the stone may be lodged.

Pain associated with the stones may come and go as the stones move in your kidneys or ureter. It is most often experienced in the side or back behind the rib cage. You may also have trouble urinating or see blood in your urine. Seek immediate attention if this pain is severe or you experience nausea or vomiting associated with fever.

Drinking enough water for stones to pass and taking pain medication can sometimes be enough to flush out the stone. However, if they become trapped in your urinary tract, complications can result. This may indicate the need for medical or surgical intervention.

To reduce your risk of continued kidney stone development, preventive treatment protocols and special diets may work to decrease your chances of reoccurrence. You can discuss this with Dr. Christi at your next appointment.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Severe pain in the side or back making it difficult to sit even with position change
  • Nausea and vomiting accompanying pain
  • Pain with fever and chills
  • Blood in your urine or pink or foul smelling urine
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Pain with urination
  • Fluctuating pain

How We Diagnose

A kidney X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan can be used to find a kidney stone depending on the location of pain and stone. The stone will appear as a shadow which is the same color as the bones, and the way it looks on the imaging studies will determine which treatment is best to remove your stone.

Additional testing may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Abdominal X-Ray (Intravenous Pyelography)
  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • Urine test


There are 3 main options for stone removal in general. Which treatment is best for you is dependent upon stone size, location and other factors.  A thorough evaluation will be done to identify this.

Laser stone removal involves the use of a tiny scope inserted up into the kidney to break up the stone with a small laser fiber. The large pieces are removed with a basket, and the dust washes out by itself.

  • Extracorporeal shock waves use a lithotripter machine to break up the stones. These waves are aimed at the stone and pass through the skin delivering the majority of the shock wave to the stone. This technique requires no cutting or scoping, and is very easy on patients.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotripsy is prescribed when a patient has a very large stone usually 2 cm or more. A scope is inserted through a small incision in the lower back allowing access to the kidney. A laser is then used to destroy or break up the stone and retrieve it. This procedure usually requires an overnight stay.

Schedule your appointment at 281-645-9677 to determine your kidney stone condition and treatment. 

Types of Kidney Stones

Calcium stones-make up the majority of stones and are composed of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. Calcium oxalate is found in foods such as nuts, chocolate and some fruits and vegetables. Risks increase with gastric bypass and high doses of vitamin D.

Struvite stones-usually form as a response to urinary tract infection-can be large and grow quickly

Uric acid stones-dehydration and limited fluid intake can precipitate these stone formations as well as some genetic factors including diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Cystine stones-hereditary in nature developing from over production of certain amino acids called cystinuria by the kidneys

How To Decrease Your Risk

Factors that increase your risk of developing kidney stones include:


Having one or more family members who has developed kidney stones makes you more likely to develop them too. Individuals who experience one kidney stone are also at greater risk.


Eating high salt (sodium), protein or sugar diets may increase your risk for kidney stones. Since salt can lead to more calcium in your kidneys, you may want to lower your intake.

Fluid Intake

Dehydration is one of the main causes of kidney stone development. Losing large amounts of fluid through exercise or in warmer climates can also lead to increased risk. Raise your water intake to lower your odds.


Being overweight and having a high body mass (BMI) has been associated with increased risk of kidney stones

Diseases and Surgeries

People who suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and chronic diarrhea can all be prone to experiencing kidney stones. Gastric bypass surgery may also lead to this condition.

Whether you are in need of immediate treatment or have already passed your stones, Dr. Christi can help diagnose the causes and develop a sound future treatment path.

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