Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
Often, they can. People who have had more than one kidney stone are likely to form another. Once the cause is found, the doctor may recommend drinking more liquids, dietary changes and medication.
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This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.
What Dissolves Kidney Stones Fast
Youre suddenly in an excruciating pain. You have a sharp, cramping pain in your back and side that comes in waves. And the overwhelming feeling moves to your lower abdomen or groin, and hurts badly.
Well, you probably have kidney stones. And you need to give it a quick fix. You can do that without medical intervention, especially if you can find something that will dissolve the stones fast.
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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.
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It’s Not One And Done
Passing a kidney stone is often described as one of the most painful experiences a person can have, but unfortunately, it’s not always a one-time event. Studies have shown that having even one stone greatly increases your chances of having another. “Most people will want to do anything they can to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Dr. Jhagroo. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the case that people make the changes they need to after their first stone event.”
Research conducted by Dr. Jhagroo shows that those with kidney stones do not always heed the advice of their nephrologists and urinary specialists. About 15% of kidney stone patients didn’t take prescribed medications and 41% did not follow the nutritional advice that would keep stones from recurring. Without the right medications and diet adjustments, stones can come back, and recurring kidney stones also could be an indicator of other problems, including kidney disease.
Treatment: Shock Wave Therapy
The most common medical procedure for treating kidney stones is known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . This therapy uses high-energy shock waves to break a kidney stone into little pieces. The small pieces can then move through the urinary tract more easily. Side effects can include bleeding, bruising, or pain after the procedure.
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What Does The Treatment Involve
You will be positioned on an operating table. A soft, water-filled cushion may be placed on your abdomen or behind your kidney. The body is positioned so that the stone can be targeted precisely with the shock wave. In an older method, the patient is placed in a tub of lukewarm water. About 1-2 thousand shock waves are needed to crush the stones. The complete treatment takes about 45 to 60 minutes.
Sometimes, doctors insert a tube via the bladder and thread it up to the kidney just prior to SWL. These tubes are used when the ureter is blocked, when there is a risk of infection and in patients with intolerable pain or reduced kidney function.
After the procedure, you will usually stay for about an hour then be allowed to return home if all goes well. You will be asked to drink plenty of liquid, strain your urine through a filter to capture the stone pieces for testing, and you may need to take antibiotics and painkillers. Some studies have reported stones may come out better if certain drugs are used after SWL.
Complications Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can range in size from a grain of sand to that of a pearl or even larger. They can be smooth or jagged, and are usually yellow or brown. A large stone may get stuck in the urinary system. This can block the flow of urine and may cause strong pain.
Kidney stones can cause permanent kidney damage. Stones also increase the risk of urinary and kidney infection, which can result in germs spreading into the bloodstream.
Imaging Tests To Check For Kidney Stones
Two imaging tests to check for kidney stones are a CT scan and an ultrasound. If the first imaging test is not clear, you may need a second test.
In the past, a CT scan was often used as the first imaging test to check for kidney stones. But, because a CT scan exposes people to radiation, the emergency doctor may suggest an ultrasound instead as the first imaging test.
|What is it?
|A CT scan uses x-rays and computers to create three dimensional pictures of your urinary tract .
|An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of your kidneys and bladder. It is like the ultrasound used to look at the baby in the womb of a pregnant woman.
|How is it done?
|You lie still on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped machine. A CT scan does not hurt.
|You lie on your back or side, and a health care professional moves a small device around on your belly. An ultrasound does not hurt.
|Does it expose you to radiation?
|Yes, a CT scan exposes you to radiation. Radiation raises the risk of getting cancer.
|No, an ultrasound does not expose you to radiation.
Not All Stones Are Created Equal
In addition to calcium oxalate stones, another common type of kidney stones is uric acid stones. Red meat, organ meats, and shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound known as purines. “High purine intake leads to a higher production of uric acid and produces a larger acid load for the kidneys to excrete,” said Dr. Jhagroo. Higher uric acid excretion leads to lower overall urine pH, which means the urine is more acidic. The high acid concentration of the urine makes it easier for uric acid stones to form.
To prevent uric acid stones, cut down on high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and shellfish, and follow a healthy diet that contains mostly vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, especially those that contain high fructose corn syrup. Limit alcohol because it can increase uric acid levels in the blood and avoid crash diets for the same reason. Eating less animal-based protein and eating more fruits and vegetables will help decrease urine acidity and this will help reduce the chance for stone formation.
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What Causes Cystine Stones
Cystine stones are caused by a rare disorder called cystinuria. The disorder causes a natural substance called cystine to leak into your urine. When there is too much cystine in the urine, kidney stones can form. These stones can get stuck in the kidneys, bladder, or anywhere in the urinary tract. Most people with cystinuria have recurring stones. It is a lifelong condition that can be controlled, but not cured.
What Can The Patient Expect After Treatment
The recovery time is usually fairly brief. After treatment, the patient can get up to walk almost at once, Many people can fully resume daily activities within one to two days. Special diets are not required, but drinking plenty of water helps the stone fragments pass. For several weeks, you may pass stone fragments.
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How To Diagnose Kidney Stones
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998. This article has been viewed 27,627 times.
If you think you might have kidney stones, you’ll need to talk to your doctor for a formal diagnosis. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that doctors usually use a combination of health questions, a physical exam, and lab or imaging tests to diagnose kidney stones.XTrustworthy SourceNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesHealth information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source If you do in fact have an obstruction caused by a kidney stone, you will need to receive treatment for this, most likely in the hospital setting.
Why Do Doctors Examine The Contents Of The Stone
There are four types of stones. Studying the stone can help understand why you have it and how to reduce the risk of further stones. The most common type of stone contains calcium. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet. The kidney usually removes extra calcium that the body doesn’t need. Often people with stones keep too much calcium. This calcium combines with waste products like oxalate to form a stone. The most common combination is called calcium oxalate.
Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.
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The Causes Of Kidney Stones
Like many other ailments, a poor diet is the leading cause of kidney stone formation. While genetics and environmental factors can play a role, your diet is the easiest thing you can change.
Specifically, sodas and sugary drinks are major culprits behind the causes of kidney stones. This reason being sodas are filled with unhealthy chemicals, including high levels of processed bleached sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients are harmful to your body and especially harsh for your urinary system.
These drinks cause kidney stones thanks to the high fructose corn syrup which metabolizes into oxalate and increases excretion of uric acid and calcium. This combination encourages kidney stone formation at a higher rate than normal. Plus, the phosphoric acid in soda can create an acidic environment in your kidney tract, leading to more kidney stones. Diets high in sodium are also associated with this condition. The amount of calcium in your urine contributes to kidney stones and should therefore be reduced in your diet.
Instead, eat a diet for optimal urological health that is full of fresh vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed foods and sugar to avoid kidney stones and maintain a healthy urinary system. Dont forget to keep hydrated!
Causes Of Kidney Stones
A kidney stone can form when substances such as calcium, oxalate, cystine or uric acid are at high levels in the urine, although stones can form even if these chemicals are at normal levels.
Medications used for treating some medical conditions such as kidney disease, cancer or HIV can also increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
A small number of people get kidney stones because of certain medical conditions that lead to high levels of calcium, oxalate, cystine or uric acid in the body.
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Kidney Stone Causes And Risk Factors
Both men and women can get kidney stones, but menâs chances of getting them are about double that of womenâs.
Itâs often hard to figure out what caused a kidney stone. But they happen when your urine has high levels of certain minerals. These include:
If you donât have enough urine in your body to water down the high concentration of minerals, stones can form. Think about stirring up your favorite drink from a powder mix. If you donât add enough liquid — say, water or juice — the powder will clump up and turn into hard, dry chunks.
Things that can raise your risk for kidney stones include:
- Some medications like triamterene , a diuretic that treats high blood pressure antiseizure drugs corticosteroids and protease inhibitors like indinavir sulfate for HIV.
Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
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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.
How To Strain Urine For Kidney Stones
When passing a kidney stone, straining your urine allows your physician to send the stone for testing. This analysis reveals the composition of the kidney stone and enables your doctor to institute a plan to possibly prevent the formation of future stones 1. While straining the urine can be inconvenient, it is important to complete this task for diagnosis when passing a kidney stone.
Drink plenty of fluids, which can aid in the stone’s passage from the kidneys to the urethra. It is important to remain hydrated and continue drinking fluids. The more fluids you ingest, the more likely the stone will pass quickly out of your system.
Place a urinal in the toilet. This typically fits under the top lid of the toilet. If a urinal is not available, urinate into a clean container that allows the liquid to be easily poured through the strainer.Urinate as needed into the urinal or container in accordance with your doctor’s instructions. This is typically from the first onset of kidney stone pain until passage of the stone is complete. Depending on the size and shape of the stone, this may take a few hours or as long as a few days.
Deliver the stone to the lab or doctors office for pathological testing. Results from the tests should be available in a few days and will provide the doctor with insight into the causes of the kidney stone. This new information may lead to dietary changes to help combat future stone formation.
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How To Detect Kidney Stones
Why is it necessary to detect kidney stones?
Kidney stones or urolithiasis are the most common pathology in the urinary system, accounting for 40-60% of pathologies of the urinary tract.
It is among the most common diseases in the world and affects both men and women.
In particular, if not diagnosed early and timely treatment will lead to extremely serious consequences.
Great impact on the work and quality of life of the patient.
So, to detect kidney stones, in addition to what your doctor diagnoses, you should also know the following factors.
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Both Ct And Ultrasound Find Most Kidney Stones
Whether you have an ultrasound or a CT scan first:
- Does not affect the amount of pain you have or how quickly your pain will go away.
- Does not change the risk of having serious side effects or complications from kidney stones.
- Does not change the risk of having to go back to the emergency department or stay in the hospital.
Having an ultrasound first may help you avoid being exposed to radiation from a CT scan.
- If you have an ultrasound first, you may need a second imaging test, which may be a CT scan. But, most people who have an ultrasound first do not need a CT scan.
Note: If you and the emergency doctor decide on a CT scan, ask if it is possible to get a low-dose CT scan. Low-dose CT works as well as normal-dose CT to check for kidney stones and exposes you to less radiation.
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