Urological Conditions

Kidney Stone History and Recurrent UTIs: What's the Link?

Oct 22, 2023
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Kidney Stone History and Recurrent UTIs: What's the Link?

Kidney stones and urinary tract infections cause their fair share of pain and other unpleasant symptoms, but together? To have a history of kidney stones and recurrent UTIs is nothing short of misery. If you've been dealing with kidney stones and recurrent UTIs, our team of urology specialists at Gulf Coast Urology understands that you might be seeking answers.

Below, our team explores the connection between kidney stone history and recurrent UTIs, explains how these seemingly unrelated issues can be interlinked, and, most importantly, shares how we can help here in Houston and Nassau Bay, Texas.

Understanding kidney stones

Kidney stones are solid deposits 一 about 80% of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate (CaOx) and calcium phosphate (CaP) 一 that form in your kidneys. These crystalline structures can vary in size from small grains to larger, more painful stones. The development of kidney stones often stems from a combination of factors, including genetics, diet, and fluid intake. They can be extremely uncomfortable and may cause sharp, excruciating pain when they move through your urinary tract.

Once you've experienced a kidney stone, there's a possibility of developing more in the future, especially if you have underlying risk factors such as obesity and hyperlipidemia. This recurrence can be perplexing and worrisome, leading to questions about your overall urological health. While managing kidney stone formation is essential, another issue often accompanies recurrent kidney stones: urinary tract infections.

The connection between kidney stones and recurrent UTIs

Kidney stones and recurrent UTIs are more intertwined than you might think. Here's how:

1. Urine stagnation

Kidney stones can obstruct the normal flow of urine. When urine stagnates in your urinary tract, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. This stagnant urine can lead to infections and contribute to the recurrence of UTIs.

2. Bacterial buildup

Kidney stones can also create nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide and multiply. As the bacteria grow, they can travel to other parts of your urinary tract, including your bladder and urethra.

3. Immune response

Kidney stones can also trigger an immune response in your body. Researchers note that inflammation can both exacerbate kidney stones and help contribute to their development. If inflammation and irritation from kidney stones weaken your body's natural defenses against infections, you may become more susceptible to recurrent UTIs.

Get help for kidney stones and UTIs

Having a history of kidney stones and recurrent UTIs can feel overwhelming, but you’re not on this journey alone. At Gulf Coast Urology, our team of experienced urologists can provide compassionate care and comprehensive treatment plans to help you effectively manage and prevent kidney stones and UTIs. The key is to address both conditions simultaneously. If not, you run the risk of treating the UTI only for the next kidney stone to trigger a new UTI.

Depending on the size of your kidney stone and the severity of your symptoms, you may benefit from medication, lifestyle modifications, increasing fluid intake, shock wave therapy to break up the stones into smaller pieces, percutaneous nephrolithotomy to surgically remove the stone, or ureteroscopy in which lasers break up the stones. In addition to addressing your kidney stones, our team may simultaneously prescribe antibiotics to clear any residual infections you have.

Don't hesitate to contact us with concerns about your urological health. We're here to support you on your journey towards better urological well-being. Call or click here to get started.

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Book your personalized care

To access the best, most comprehensive urological care, partner with the team at Gulf Coast Urology. Request your appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.

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