When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Bladder Stones
If you have any signs of bladder stones, talk to your provider. Stones continue to grow when they remain in the bladder. Thats why its important to get treated as soon as you notice symptoms.
Without treatment, bladder stones can lead to health problems like frequent urinary tract infections. Repeated UTIs can damage the urinary tract.
A note from Cleveland Clinic If you have signs of bladder stones, be open and honest with your healthcare provider. Effective treatments are available if the stones are too big to pass. Its important to get treated as early as possible and address any health conditions that may be causing bladder stones. Early treatment can relieve symptoms, help you avoid long-term damage and keep bladder stones from developing again.
Urine Ph Does Indeed Fall
We were fortunate to come into possession of a large set of laboratory data collected by a national kidney stone testing laboratory. It has no names, but did have age and sex, and urine stone risk factors. So we could reconstruct what happened to urine pH with age in men and women.
In both, men are triangles, urine pH fell very rapidly beginning below age 30, and at all times women had a higher pH than men. We have already written about this feature of women. Eating exactly the same food as men, women extract more alkali from it, so their urine is more alkaline. That is why they form more calcium phosphate stones, as the picture from Mayo Clinic shows.
But something happens to women as they age, and men, too. Whatever it is that makes their urine rather alkaline at the beginning gives way with age, and not so old an age, either. After all, much of the fall is before 50, the early part of so called middle age.
Does The Patient Need Anesthesia
Yes, even though there is no incision, there will be pain. You and your doctor will discuss whether light sedation and local or general anesthetics will be used. The choice depends on the technique, the type of stone and the patient. SWL can be delivered with just mild sedation, but in general, some type of anesthesiaâeither local, regional or generalâis used to help the patient remain still, reduce any discomfort, and this improves the breaking of the stone.
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Passing Stones And Prevention
Typically, the smaller the kidney stone, the more quickly it passes. Stones smaller than 4 millimeters pass on their own 80 percent to 90 percent of the time. Stones that are between 4 and 6 millimeters take more time, on average 45 days. Only 20 percent of stones larger than 6 millimeters pass without medical intervention, and it can take up to a year for them to pass.
Kidney stones can be prevented by following these guidelines:
Drink plenty of water at least 64 ounces a day. Adding fresh lemon or lime juice to the water can help break up existing kidney stones.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Reduce consumption of sodium, which is high in prepackaged foods, fried foods, deli meats and sports drinks.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and reduce protein intake.
Avoid sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed
The doctor will ask about:
- the symptoms and how long theyâve been going on
- whether you could be dehydrated
- whether thereâs a family history of kidney stones, or urinary or kidney problems
The doctor will do an exam and probably order:
- kidney function tests
- imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, X-rays, or CT scans. These can show a stoneâs exact size and location. This helps doctors decide on the best treatment.
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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.
Formation Of Kidney Stones
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located below the ribs. The main function of these organs is to remove extra water and wastes from the blood, producing urine. Kidneys also help keep a stable balance of salts and other solutes in the blood. While most of the stones are passed out of the body in the urine stream, the stones which are sufficiently larger in size can cause obstruction to the ureter thus causing extreme pain.
Stones or crystals are the result of certain chemicals in the kidneys, forming crystals and bonding together. Although there are many chemical compounds that can form stones in the urinary tract, the most common type of kidney stones in men contains calcium with oxalate or phosphate and uric acid.
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When Life Hands You Kidney Stones
And as the saying goes, make lemonade. Its important to consider dietary remedies alongside prescription medications.
Next time you drive past a lemonade stand, consider your kidneys. Chronic kidney stones are often treated with an alkali citrate, such as potassium citrate to help prevent certain stones, if urine citrate is low and urine pH levels are too low . Citrus juices do contain citrate , but large amounts might be needed. Also, be careful of sugar. Lemon juice concentrate mixed with water can be considered. Alkali citrate can be prescribed and is available over-the-counter. Alkali citrate can be given with a mineral, such as sodium, potassium or magnesium to help prevent stone formation. The aim is to increase urine citrate and increase urine pH . The goal is to keep pH in balance. Speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional about which treatment options are right for you, including over-the-counter products and home remedies. People with kidney disease may need to watch their intake of sodium, potassium or other minerals, depending on the stage of kidney disease or other factors.
Who Is Likely To Get Bladder Stones
Anyone can get bladder stones, but men over 50 are more likely to develop them. Around half of men over 50 have a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia . BPH causes the prostate to get bigger. An enlarged prostate can make it difficult to drain the bladder. Stones can form when urine sits in the bladder for too long.
People who have nerve damage such as a spinal cord injury affecting the bladder are more likely to get bladder stones. Also, individuals who have had specific types of surgery on their bladder are also at risk of bladder stones. Very rarely, a bladder stone will be the result of a kidney stone that could not pass out of the bladder. This can occur in people who have difficulty draining urine out of their bladder, such as men with BPH.
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Kidney Stones In Children And Teens
Kidney stones have become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years. They can occur in children of any age, even premature infants, but most stones occur in teens.
Kidney stones happen when minerals and other substances normally found in urine join together to form a hard stone in the urinary tract. They can also form if there is not enough of other substances in the urine that help stop stones from forming.
Stones typically form in the kidney and ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. They rarely form in the bladder.
Who Is More Likely To Develop Kidney Stones
Men are more likely to develop kidney stones than women. If you have a family history of kidney stones, you are more likely to develop them. You are also more likely to develop kidney stones again if youve had them once.
You may also be more likely to develop a kidney stone if you dont drink enough liquids.
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Risk Factors For Kidney Stones
âKidney stonesâ is a term that covers different types of small, solid crystals. They can have different causes and different food culprits. Some are related to kidney infections. Others form because you have too much of certain minerals in your system.
Genes can play a role, too. Forty percent of the people who get kidney stones have relatives who have them, too. Their bodies may get rid of too much calcium or too little citrate in their pee, for instance.
Other conditions that make kidney stones more likely include:
- Obesity. When youÃ¢re overweight, you tend to get them more often. The same is true if you have diabetes.
- Gout. This painful condition happens when uric acid builds up in your blood. That makes crystals form in your joints or kidneys.
- Intestinal surgery. If youÃ¢ve had certain types of gastric bypass surgery or other intestinal surgery, your risk may go up.
- Hyperthyroidism. It can raise calcium levels in your blood and trigger kidney stones.
- Certain kidney diseases. One example is polycystic kidney disease, in which clusters of cysts grow in your kidneys. Another is medullary sponge kidney, a birth defect that causes cysts to form in the organÃ¢s tubes.
Middle-aged men are most likely to get kidney stones, though it can happen to people of any age or sex.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Though dehydration may be the result of a medical condition, many people who get kidney stones simply dont drink enough water. This is especially important if you live in a place with a warm climate, like Florida.
Not all contributing factors to kidney stones are controllable. For example, youre more likely to develop kidney stones if you have a family history, and as mentioned, your risk increases with age. However, if you have any of these risk factors, its important to be extra cautious and take whatever steps you can to prevent kidney stones.
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Treatment For Kidney Stones
Based on the size and type of the stone, treatment options may vary. Adequate hydration and exercise can help to dissolve the smaller stones , so that they are passed off naturally. However, the bigger stones that do not pass off naturally may have to be treated. The most common treatment is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy . In this method, the kidney stones are located using X-rays or ultrasound, and shock waves are passed to break the stones into smaller particles once broken down to smaller sizes, the stones can be passed off naturally. Sometimes, a surgical removal of stones may be necessary, a procedure known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
The best way to get rid of renal stones is to adopt a lifestyle that prevents the formation of kidney stones. Drink plenty of water, especially after exercising and rigorous physical activity. Along with this, if you are prone to calcium oxalate stones, avoid consuming food rich in calcium such as, milk and chocolates. If you are prone to uric acid stones, then avoid foods that are high in protein, such as meat.
Habits That Put You At Greater Risk For Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salt that form in your urinary tract. Though kidney stones can affect people of all ages, theyre likeliest to occur at age 30 or older, and your risk increases as you get older. Though age increases your risk of kidney stones, your habits also play a big role, which means that you can take steps to prevent them.
With decades of experience treating urological issues Dr. Craig Herman and the team at Urology Center of Florida can help treat and prevent kidney stones.
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How Are Children Treated For Kidney Stones
Most childrens kidney stones can be treated with the shock wave lithotripsy , a completely non-invasive procedure. Your child is placed under anesthesia and sound waves of specific frequencies are focused on the stones to shatter them into fragments small enough to be easily passed during urination.
You Also Mentioned The Importance Of Hydration What Should Teenagers Be Drinking
Dr. Alon: Teenagers need to make sure theyre getting plenty of fluids. They can drink water, flavored water, tea and juice .
A misconception is that drinking too much milk can cause kidney stones. A recent study shows that nutritional calcium intake does not have an effect on kidney stones unless consumed in extreme amounts.
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When Can Swl Be Used
SWL works better with some stones than others. Very large stones cannot be treated this way. The size and shape of stone, where it is lodged in your urinary tract, your health, and your kidneysâ health will be part of the decision to use it. Stones that are smaller than 2 cm in diameter are the best size for SWL. The treatment might not be effective in very large ones.
SWL is more appropriate for some people than others. Because x-rays and shock waves are needed in SWL, pregnant women with stones are not treated this way. People with bleeding disorders, infections, severe skeletal abnormalities, or who are morbidly obese also not usually good candidates for SWL. lf your kidneys have other abnormalities, your doctor may decide you should have a different treatment. lf you have a cardiac pacemaker, a cardiologist will decide if you can have SWL.
Ph Falls Even Though Alkali Absorption Rises
The reason for the higher urine pH in women is their greater ability to absorb alkali from their diet. So, was it possible that with age people lost some of that ability? Their bodies would have less alkali from food, and their kidneys would have to work harder excreting acid, and make the urine more acid in the process.
What we found was the exact opposite. The absorption of alkali, which is called GI anion for historical reasons, rises with age. It does so in women and in men. When women are younger, they absorb more than men. See how the circles, women, are higher than the triangles. But around 50 or so women and men converge because women are rising slowly, men rapidly.
But all the while, urine pH is falling. That is backward. When we showed you how women act, you could see that with each meal their GI anion rose and their urine pH rose with it. Here, the urine pH is falling despite more alkali.
You might ask what would happen if we used our multi-variable mathematics to remove the effects of the increased GI Anion. How much does it help keep the urine pH from falling even more?
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Your Genetic Hypercalciuria Was Unnoticed
If you had genetic hypercalciuria, you would not have known about it. So new stones mean that you need to check for that problem, and also for bone disease.
In studies that specifically focus on stone formers, a link to bone fracture appears far more obvious than in studies that focus on bone mineral loss as a primary aim.
Urine calcium is known to rise with insulin resistance and diabetes. Although we are not convinced about new calcium stone onset, it is enough to mention here that new calcium stones should always lead to at least a brief look at fasting blood glucose.
Causes Of Kidney Stones In Men
There are many causes of kidney stones most common among these is a urinary tract infection. Certain medication is also known to cause renal stones in men. Some aspects of a persons lifestyle habits, such as drinking less water, lack of physical activity over long periods, and consuming excess of calcium oxalate can all contribute to this renal problem. Finally, genetics also predispose certain individuals to kidney stones, especially if there is a family history.
The reason why men have more kidney stones than women is because of larger muscle mass as compared to women. Daily breakdown of the tissue results in increased metabolic waste and a predisposition to stone formation. The other leading cause is a complicated urinary tract, as compared to those of females. The prostate gland in men enlarges with age, leading o a condition known as benign prostate hypertrophy it can result in difficulty in emptying the bladder. With the obstruction of the bladder outflow, chemicals and toxins supposed to be thrown out of the body instead go on accumulating in the bladder, forming crystals and stones. The structure of penile urethra caused due to gonorrhea infection, catheterization, penile trauma may also further minimize bladder outflow and contribute to the formation of crystals.
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When Do They Occur
This nifty figure from a paper by the Mayo Clinic group shows how age changes stone type. Men are on top. Calcium oxalate stones are always the most common, in both sexes, but under age 30 or so calcium phosphate stones are reasonably common, especially in women.
Uric acid stones, the open diamond, creep up on both sexes, after age 40 in men, and 50 in women, and by the sixties are more common than calcium phosphate stones in either sex.
Uric acid stones occur because the urine pH falls, we know that with perfect certainty. The low pH protonates the uric acid molecule, so it loses its only charged site. Water no longer has a good way to connect with it, so it just leaves the solution as crystals.