Bladder stones are small mineral masses located within the bladder where urine is stored prior to excretion. Minerals are crystalized by concentrated urine to form these small stones. Any stagnant urine that remains in the bladder also has the potential to crystalize minerals and create the resulting stone buildup.
Bladder stones typically result from dehydration or trying to hold in urine for long periods of time despite the urge to urinate. In men and enlarged prostate is often the cause of continuously recurring bladder stones. In some cases, urinary tract infections and other bladder problems can have a secondary effect that causes bladder stones.
Pain in the abdomen and while urinating, hematuria, or blood in the urine, and frequent urination are the most common symptoms that indicate the potential of bladder stones.
Upon physical and medical examination by a urologist, different tests will be used to aid in the diagnosis of bladder stones. Some of the possible tests include urinalysis, x-ray, CT scan, intravenous pyelograms, and ultrasound.
Depending on the underlying cause of the bladder stones, treatment will vary. If the cause is an enlarged prostate, the prostate should be treated for BPH to reduce the secondary affects resulting in the bladder stones. This usually gets created by the prostate obstructing the urinary pathway, causing urine to flow in an unnatural way. If the stones are a result of a UTI, oral antibiotics will typically clear up all issues. Other general health practices can help avoid bladder stones, such as drinking enough water each day to stay properly hydrated, and regularly using the bathroom.