Urinary stones: Introduction
Bladder stones are small bits of hard material that form in the bladder. The bladder is an organ that stores urine made by the kidneys until it is eliminated from the body through the urethra. In contrast to kidney stones, which are formed by the kidneys, bladder stones develop in the bladder itself and are generally larger and harder to pass through the urethra to the outside of the body than kidney stones.
Bladder stones can form in the bladder when the bladder is not emptying properly and urine remains for unusually long periods of time in the bladder. This is called urine stasis. Urine stasis occurs commonly in middle-aged and older men due to an enlarged prostate, which obstructs the flow of urine from the bladder through urethra. Urine stasis can also result from neurogenic bladder, a condition in which the bladder doesn't empty due to an injured nervous system. Bladder stones can also result from urinary tract infection.
Symptoms of a bladder stone include a frequent urge to urinate (urgency), painful urination, hematuria, (blood in the urine), and dysuria (difficulty urinating). In some cases, bladder stones can cause potentially serious complications. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of bladder stones.
Making a diagnosis of a bladder stone begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Diagnostic testing includes blood tests and performing an urinalysis test, which checks for the presence of blood in the urine and other elements that may point to a bladder stone and/or urinary tract infection. Imaging tests, such as X-ray, ultrasound, or CT, are performed to determine the cause of symptoms and locate any possible bladder stones.
In men, an examination of the prostate gland is performed to assess for an enlarged prostate, a common cause of bladder stones. This is called a digital rectal exam performed by the physician or nurse practitioner. A digital rectal exam involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to palpate the prostate, feeling for any enlargement or abnormalities that may indicate an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, such as lumps or a hard area.
A diagnosis of a bladder stone can be delayed or missed because there may be no symptoms. In addition, some symptoms of a bladder stone are similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as urinary tract infection. For more information about disease and conditions that can mimic bladder stones, refer to misdiagnosis of bladder stones.
In some cases, bladder stones may be prevented by ensuring good hydration and by seeking regular medical care to diagnose and treat an enlarged prostate as soon as possible. Once a bladder stone has developed, treatment may include pain medication, and certain procedures or surgery that remove or crush large stones so that they pass more easily out of the body. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of bladder stones. ...more »
Hard mineral masses lodged anywhere in the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of organs which filter blood to remove liquid waste (urine) which is then excreted from the body i.e. kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. The stones usually form in the kidneys first and then travel to other parts of the urinary tract where they may become stuck in smaller tubes e.g. bladder stones, ureteric stones and kidney stones. The condition is often extremely painful. ...more »
Urinary stones: Symptoms
Small bladder stones may produce no symptoms. However, it is not unusual for a bladder stone to be too large and to pass out of the bladder easily.
Symptoms of a bladder stone can include a frequent urge to urinate (urgency), painful urination, hematuria, (blood in the urine), and dysuria (difficulty urinating). In addition, a person with a bladder stone may notice an intermittent ...more symptoms »
Urinary stones: Treatments
The first step in treating bladder stones is prevention. Prevention measures include avoiding dehydration, drinking plenty of fluids and urinating as soon as possible when the urge is felt. Medications may be prescribed to prevent the formation of certain types of bladder stones. It is also important to seek regular medical care to diagnose and treat an enlarged prostate as soon as ...more treatments »
Urinary stones: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of bladder stones may be missed or delayed because there may be no symptoms in some cases. A diagnosis of bladder stones can also be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. These include urinary tract infection, kidney stone, pyelonephritis, appendicitis, sexually transmitted diseases, ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Urinary stones
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Types of Urinary stones
- Bladder stones
- Ureteric stones - forming in the ureter; see also kidney stones
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- Calcium stones - about 80%
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Misdiagnosis and Urinary stones
Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical
condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be
misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive...read more »
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