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How Common Are Kidney Stones

Reasons For Recurring Stones

How common are kidney stones and how can they be treated?

Kidney stones are more likely to recur if you dont address your personal risk factors, including weight and diet. Not drinking enough water, diets that are low in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and are high in sodium can all lead to multiple kidney stones if changes are not made. Some medications for treating migraines and depression, calcium based antacids, excessive use of laxatives, and even taking vitamin C can increase chances of kidney stones.

Changing medications, increasing your water intake and modifying your diet are simple ways to lower your chances of getting kidney stones in the future. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can make a major difference. However, its important to rule out more serious conditions as the cause.

If you deal with this painful condition once, we can help you avoid dealing with it again. If youre in pain from kidney stones and need help, contact Drs. Herman, Kester, and Urology Center of Florida today to get relief.

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How To Lower Your Risk Of Kidney Stones

Symptoms of kidney stones include a sharp, stabbing pain in the mid-back that occurs every few minutes, nausea and vomiting, pain in the lower abdomen, blood in the urine or a burning sensation when you urinate, frequent trips to the bathroom, fever and pain in the lower abdomen. If you experience any of these symptoms or severe pain as a result of them, its best to see a doctor as soon as possible. He or she can perform a blood or urine test or an ultrasound or stone protocol CT to confirm the diagnosis and give you medication such as an alpha blocker to help you pass the stone more quickly. However, most kidney stones dont require medical treatment to pass on their own. In some people, passing kidney stones can be incredibly painful, but others just may need to drink more water or take a pain reliever to pass a small stone.

The bottom line is that kidney stones are preventable with lifestyle changes and increasing fluid intake. Yes, weather increases your risk of stone disease, but monitoring your diet is the most effective way to avoid this condition and limit its recurrence.

Things You Probably Dont Know About Blood Tests

To determine the cause of blood in urine, your doctor will usually begin by discussing your medical history with you. They may ask if youve had any recent infections or have a family history of hematuria. You can prepare for your appointment by making a few notes about the color and odor of your urine, as well as how frequently youve been urinating and whether you experience any pain while urinating. You may want to take a photo of your discolored urine on your mobile phone that you can show to your doctor during your appointment.

Your doctor may also perform a number of tests. A urinalysis can detect microscopic hematuria and also test for a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. If a urinalysis does not determine the cause, your doctor may also perform a CT scan, an MRI, or an ultrasound. They may also want to examine the bladder and urethra via cystoscopy, where a tube with a camera attached is inserted into your bladder. Additional tests may include:

  • Antinuclear antibody test

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Who Gets Kidney Stones And Why

The lifetime risk of kidney stones among adults in the US is approximately 9%, and it appears that global warming may be increasing that risk. There are four major types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate/calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite , and cystine.

A risk factor for all stones, regardless of type, is dehydration. Anyone who is prone to kidney stones should pay attention to good hydration. A randomized trial has shown that drinking 2 liters of fluid a day reduces the likelihood of stone recurrence by about half. The American Urological Association guideline for medical management of kidney stones recommends that patients who form kidney stones should aim to drink more than 2.5 liters of fluid per day.

Anyone with symptoms of kidney stones should be referred to a urologist. The initial evaluation will often include blood, urine, and imaging studies. Decisions about testing, and ultimately treatment, should be made jointly by the physician and the patient. Lets look at specific risk factors and treatment for each of the major stone types.

Can A Large Kidney Stone Cause An Injury

5 Most Common Types of Kidney Stones

Your risk of injury from a kidney stone can go up based on the size and location of the stone. A larger stone could get stuck in a ureter, causing pressure to build up. This can lead to renal failure and, in the worst-case scenario, you could lose your kidney. The chance of passing a 1 cm stone is less than 10%, and stones larger than 1 cm typically dont pass.

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Why Southerners Have A Higher Risk Of Kidney Stones

If you live in the South, youre more likely to have a kidney stone than someone who lives in a milder climate.

Kidney stones, which affect nearly 10 percent of Americans, are deposits made of mineral or acid salts that form inside the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. The primary function of the kidneys is to remove waste from the body and balance the water and electrolyte content in the blood, but kidney stones stall this process.

Kidney stones can form for several reasons, including obesity, when theres too much mineral or uric acid buildup in the urine or as a result of a urinary tract infection or a rare genetic disorder.

How Common Are Kidney Stones

Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives.

The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States increased from 3.8% in the late 1970s to 8.8% in the late 2000s. The prevalence of kidney stones was 10% during 20132014. The risk of kidney stones is about 11% in men and 9% in women. Other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity may increase the risk for kidney stones.

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Are There Any Foods Or Drinks That Help Treat Kidney Stones Are There Any Home Remedies

There are three liquids rumored to help with kidney stones:

  • Cranberry juice. Although cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections , it doesnt help with kidney stones.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is acidic and it can sometimes create changes to your urine, which helps with kidney stones. But, this doesnt always help. Talk to your healthcare provider about the use of vinegar.
  • Lemon juice. Lemon juice is rich in citrate, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming. Citrates are found in several citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges and melons.
  • Coffee. Studies show that coffee may decrease your risk of developing kidney stones.

Avoid soda and other drinks with added sugar or fructose corn syrup. They increase your risk.

Prevention Of Kidney Stones

How common are kidney stones? Urology answers

Knowing what kind of kidney stone you are more prone to may help in the prevention. In general the number 1 way to avoid kidney stones is to stay hydrated. So drink plenty of water throughout the day .

Calcium Kidney Stone

  • Calcium-based foods do not cause kidney stones, but calcium supplements can. Make sure you check with your doctor to see if you should stop taking a calcium supplement or continue .
  • In calcium stones, the oxalate that combines with the calcium to form the stone can be acquired through diet and these foods should be avoided: spinach, swiss chard, okra, bran flakes, rhubarb, soy products, french fries, potato chips, sweet potatoes, chocolate, tea, black pepper and nuts.

Uric Acid Kidney Stone

  • Avoid acidic juices and foods that may cause your urine to be more acidic. Also avoid foods that contain high amounts of uric acid such as: alcohol, organ meats , spinach, sardines and some other fish and seafood, bacon, turkey, veal and venison.

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How Can I Slow The Damage To My Kidneys

Damage to your kidneys cannot be reversed, but you can keep it from getting worse. By following your treatment plan and making healthy life changes, you can help keep your kidneys working for as long as possible.

Take these steps to slow the damage to your kidneys:

  • Work with your doctor to manage diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Take all of your prescription medicines as your doctor tells you.
  • Have visits with a kidney doctor to check your blood levels and overall health.
  • Follow a kidney-friendly eating plan. A dietitian can help you make a plan that works for you.
  • Be active for 30 minutes most days of the week.
  • Drink less alcohol. The healthy guidelines for drinking alcohol are:
  • For men: No more than two drinks per day
  • For women: No more than one drink per day
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco.
  • Cloudy Or Smelly Urine

    Healthy urine is clear and doesnt have a strong odor. Cloudy or foul-smelling urine could be a sign of an infection in your kidneys or another part of your urinary tract.

    One 2021 study found that about 16 percent of people with acute kidney stones had a UTI.

    Cloudiness is a sign of pus in the urine, or pyuria. The smell can come from the bacteria that cause UTIs. An odor may also come from urine thats more concentrated than usual.

    A UTI with a kidney stone is considered a surgical emergency with or without a fever.

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    There Are A Number Of Reasons To Treat A Kidney Stone Even If It Is Not Causing Any Painful Symptoms

    Recurring urinary tract infections

    Some kidney stones may be infected, and in many cases, despite proper antibiotic treatment, the infection cannot be cleared from the stone. In such cases, the only way to remove the infection completely is to remove the stone.

    Staghorn stones

    These are extremely large stones that grow to fill the inside of the kidney. There are serious health risks associated with these stones, and left untreated they are associated with an increased risk of kidney failure.

    Occupational requirements

    For example, the Federal Aviation Administration will not allow a pilot to fly until all stones have been cleared from his or her kidney. Other occupations also do not allow for the unplanned passage of a kidney stone.

    Extensive travel

    The patient who, whether for business or otherwise, travels to locales where medical care is not reliable may wish to consider preventive treatment.

    Patient preference

    After thorough consideration of all options available to them, many patients elect to remove their stones at a time when it is convenient for them.

    Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones

    Kidney stones are more common among males than females. Most people who ...

    If you develop kidney stones composed of calcium, you may be tempted to stop eating foods that include calcium. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. If you have calcium oxalate stones, the most common type, its recommended that you have a diet higher in calcium and lower in oxalate.

    Foods that are high in calcium include:

    • Cows milk.

    Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.

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    When Should A Kidney Stone Be Treated

    When a kidney stone causes pain to the extent that the pain cannot be controlled with oral pain medication, the stone should be treated. Similarly, stones that are associated with severe nausea or vomiting should be treated. Some stones are associated with infection or fever such situations can be life threatening and demand prompt attention. Stones that are associated with a solitary kidney, poor overall kidney function or complete blockage of urine flow should also all be treated.

    Sometimes, when a stone is associated with bothersome symptoms, it may be appropriate to wait and see if the stone will pass on its own. If the stone is small, this is a very reasonable course of action. However, stones larger in size than 5 mm are unlikely to pass on their own and should be considered for treatment.

    Calcium Phosphate Stone Formers

    From Systemic diseases

    Primary hyperparathyroidism and renal tubular acidosis raise average urine alkalinity and foster calcium phosphate kidney stones. Many uncommon genetic diseases do the same.


    Idiopathic calcium phosphate stone formers share a common set of traits. Perhaps because urine contains far more phosphate than oxalate, they form more frequent and larger stones than idiopathic calcium oxalate stone formers. Often the stones originate as crystal plugs at the terminal ends of the kidney tubules. More crystals deposit over the end of the plug open to the urine, to make the final stone. Crystal plugs damage the cells that line the tubules and cause local scarring.

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    What About Stones In The Ureter

    Most small ureteral stones will pass on their own. lf they don’t pass, then another intervention is usually done. Ureteral stones that occur near the kidney are usually treated by SWL with or without moving the stone to a better spot. Ureteral stones that occur lower may also be treated with SWL, but they usually require ureteroscopy especially if they are large .

    How We Care For Kidney Stones At Boston Childrens Hospital

    7 most common KIDNEY STONE symptoms | Doctor explains

    At Boston Childrens Hospital, we treat children with kidney stones in our dedicated Kidney Stone Program. We see children who have had kidney stones and those who are at risk for developing them. Your child will see both a pediatric urologist and a pediatric nephrologist at the same appointment. This multidisciplinary team approach allows us to optimize your childs care and work together to develop a treatment plan.

    We treat stones in several ways, depending on their size, location, number, and composition. In nearly all children, we can use noninvasive or minimally invasive surgical techniques. In rare instances, we use robotic surgery techniques to remove the stones.

    The best treatment is prevention. Your child will receive a metabolic evaluation to determine if they have risk factors for future kidney stones. We then prescribe individualized treatment plans to prevent new stones from forming, and we monitor your child with urine and blood tests and sometimes ultrasound exams.

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    Treatment For Kidney Stones

    Most kidney stones can be treated without surgery. Ninety per cent of stones pass by themselves within three to six weeks. In this situation, the only treatment required is pain relief. However, pain can be so severe that hospital admission and very strong pain-relieving medication may be needed. Always seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering strong pain.

    Small stones in the kidney do not usually cause problems, so there is often no need to remove them. A doctor specialising in the treatment of kidney stones is the best person to advise you on treatment.

    If a stone doesnt pass and blocks urine flow or causes bleeding or an infection, then it may need to be removed. New surgical techniques have reduced hospital stay time to as little as 48 hours. Treatments include:

    The Struvite Kidney Stone

    Why they start

    Because urine is filled with urea, soil bacteria that get into the urinary tract can break it down to ammonia and create struvite from the magnesium and phosphate urine always contains.

    You might wonder how soil bacteria get into the urinary system.

    Because we eat them, with foods that are not cooked, and they become part of the intestinal bacterial population from an early age. In us and around us, they find a way into the urinary system, especially in women whose shorter urethra makes entry easier. No matter how skillfully used, any instrument put into the bladder can carry our personal soil bacteria with it.

    What they do

    Because they live among molds and fungi, soil bacteria easily mount resistances to antibiotics, so antibiotics given for a urinary tract infection will tend to kill sensitive bacteria and select out those that can resist them.

    Soil bacteria can produce struvite stones de novo, or infect calcium stones to produce a mixed stone. Either way, struvite stones are infected by their very nature. They can become huge. Their bacteria can injure the kidneys, even enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis.

    Treatment is a mix of thoughtful surgery and selection of antibiotics after such surgery to kill bacteria that remain. If the stones are a mixture of struvite and calcium crystals, new calcium stones need to be prevented.

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    What The Doctor Does

    Doctors first ask questions about the persons symptoms and medical history and then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the blood in the urine and the tests that may need to be done can make urine appear pink, red, or brown, depending on the amount of blood, how long it has been in the urine, and how acidic the urine is. An amount of blood read more ).

    Doctors ask how long blood has been present and whether there have been any previous bleeding episodes. They ask about fever, weight loss, or symptoms of urinary blockage, such as difficulty starting urination or inability to completely empty the bladder. Pain or discomfort is an important finding. Burning during urination or dull pain in the lower abdomen just above the pubic bone suggests a bladder infection. In men, mild to moderate pain in the lower back or pelvis is often the result of a prostate infection Prostatitis Prostatitis is pain and swelling, inflammation, or both of the prostate gland. The cause is sometimes a bacterial infection. Pain can occur in the area between the scrotum and anus or in the read more . Extremely severe pain is usually due to a stone or a blood clot blocking the flow of urine.

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