How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones
There are several ways to decrease your risk of kidney stones, including:
- Drink water. Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses every day . Staying hydrated helps you urinate more often, which helps flush away the buildup of the substances that cause kidney stones. If you sweat a lot, be sure to drink even more.
- Limit salt. Eat less sodium. You may want to connect with a dietician for help with planning what foods you eat.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, try to lose some pounds. Talk to your healthcare provider about an ideal weight.
- Take prescriptions. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some medications that help prevent kidney stones. The type of medication may depend on the type of stones you get.
Lemonade Made With Sugar
Lemonade is unfortunately often recommended for kidney stones. This is likely because of the lemon juice itself is a great source of that stone-inhibiting citrate.
However, the amount of lemon juice and citrate you get from lemonade is minimal. You have to drink an entire 1/2 cup of straight to get 20mEq of citrate.
Importantly, lemonade is usually made with sugar, which increases the risk of kidney stones.
Crystal Light Lemonade* has much more citrate in it compared to regular lemonade. It is sweetened with potassium citrate.
Types Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stonesvary in composition depending on the type of minerals in the urine:
- Calcium forms about 80 percent of kidney stones mostly calcium oxalate and, in some cases, calcium phosphate.
- Uric acid crystals tend to form stones in acidic urine. The following contribute to acidic urine: excess weight, chronic diarrhea, type 2 diabetes, gout and diets high in protein and low in fruits and vegetables.
- Struvite forms in alkaline urine, often related to chronic urinary tract infections.
- Cystine is an amino acid that forms stones when in high concentration, due to a rare inherited condition. This is the rarest form of kidney stones.
Stones that form in your kidneys are not the same as bladder stones. Bladder stones develop in different ways. But small kidney stones may travel down the ureters into your bladder and, if not expelled, can grow into bladder stones.
The most common cause of kidney stones is dehydration. Youre not drinking enough water to dilute the concentration of minerals in your urine.
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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.
What Is The Best Thing To Do If You Have A Kidney Stone
Many people who suffer from kidney stones, especially small stones, dont need surgery. Most doctors recommend staying well hydrated by drinking enough water a dayat least 8-10 glasses or 2 L.
Water can help smaller stones to pass easily via urine without medications. It also makes you less likely to develop more kidney stones because water dissolves the minerals that form the crystals.
Though water is best, you can also drink other fluids such as fruit or vegetable juices to maintain adequate hydration.
If your kidney stone does not cause significant pain and is not related to infection or obstruction of the urinary tract, your doctor may prescribe sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate, which are alkalizing agents. For stones larger than 5 mm, a combination of alkalizing agents and tamsulosin may be prescribed to help you pass them faster.
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If You Think You Have A Kidney Stone
If you have been diagnosed with a kidney stone, please call 362-8200 to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment we will do our best to make sure you are seen promptly. You may be directed to the emergency department if you are experiencing intractable nausea, vomiting, pain or fever so that urgent treatment can be given.
We have a very limited number of same-day appointments therefore, it is likely that you will be directed to the emergency department for rapid evaluation. There, they will obtain scans and labs that will help confirm the diagnosis of kidney stones. From that information, we can make an informed decision about your treatment.
If you have recently passed a stone, you should have close follow-up with a urologist. Our team of stone experts can accommodate you at any of our clinic locations.
Kidney Stone Pain And How To Treat It
Pain is the most common symptom of kidney stones, and, unfortunately, it can be excruciating. Many women describe the pain of passing a kidney stone as worse than childbirth, notes Seth K. Bechis, MD, an associate professor of urology at UC San Diego Health.
That said, the pain does vary from person to person, adds Dr. Bechis. If the stone does not cause a blockage as it moves through the urinary tract, a person may not experience any pain. Others may have pain in their back near the kidneys, which sit on either side of the spine below the rib cage, or in their lower abdomen or groin, he says.
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Take Steps To Bypass Kidney Stones
Even though kidney stones can be common and recur once youve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them. Here are some strategies that can help:
1. Drink enough water. A 2015 meta-analysis from the National Kidney Foundation found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. It takes about 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily to produce that amount.
2. Eat more calcium-rich plant foods.Good sources include yogurt, soy products, beans, lentils and seeds. Dietary calcium binds oxalate in the intestines, so less gets absorbed and lower concentrations end up in urine.
3. Enjoy some lemons. Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. “Studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk,” says Dr. Eisner.
4. Watch the sodium. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams .
5. Cut back on animal protein. Eating too much animal protein, such as meat, eggs, and seafood, boosts can increase the risk of forming stones. If youre prone to kidney stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity that is no bigger than a pack of playing cards.
Image: bhofack2/Getty Images
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Do I have a kidney stone or is there another reason for my symptoms?
- What type of kidney stone do I have?
- What size is my kidney stone?
- Where is my kidney stone located?
- How many kidney stones do I have?
- Do I need treatment or will I be able to pass the kidney stone?
- Should I be tested for kidney disease?
- What changes should I make to my diet?
- What type of procedure should I have to get rid of the stones?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney stones can be frustrating at best and agonizingly painful at the worst. To stop your situation from getting worse, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The pain can get severe, and surgery might be necessary. Remember: dont skip your prescriptions, drink lots of water and follow any dietary guidelines. Also, remember that kidney stones are a temporary condition. They wont bother you forever.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2021.
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Symptoms Associated With Kidney Stones
When a kidney stone starts to pass, symptoms typically occur suddenly and without warning. Sharp, stabbing pain usually develops in your side or back, typically right at the bottom part of the ribcage. Sometimes, the pain will travel downward into the genital area. Stones that have nearly passed into the bladder may be associated with an intense urge to urinate.
Stone pain typically comes and goes. After an initial period of severe pain, you may feel better for a few hours before developing another attack. Many patients will require medication to help with stone pain.
Nausea and vomiting are also very common and are often a reason for hospital admission during stone attacks. You might also see blood in your urine. This can be unsettling to many patients, but is generally not life-threatening.
The most concerning symptom during a stone attack is fever, which indicates that you may have an infection in addition to a kidney stone. This is a potentially life-threatening combination and requires immediate evaluation and treatment.
Do I Need To Go To The Er For A Kidney Stone
In some cases, small kidney stones can pass on their own without the need for medical or surgical intervention. However, larger kidney stones often require treatment to make it possible for them to pass through the urinary tract. Additionally, stones with an extremely low probability of passing on their own may require surgical extraction. Because untreated stones can lead to a host of other complications, including infection, severe pain, and prolonged illness, it is important to seek evaluation in order to determine whether your stone may pass on its own or whether you need more immediate intervention.
In cases of severe, prolonged, or worsening symptoms related to a kidney stone, patients should visit their nearest ER in Frisco or Fort Worth. This includes:
- Blood in the urine
Furthermore, your provider can help you better understand what may have caused your kidney stones and offer guidance on how to prevent developing additional stones in the future. This may include recommendations regarding your diet, lifestyle, fluid intake, current medications, and more.
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What Is The Treatment For Kidney Stones
Treatment of a kidney stone depends on the size and location of the stone, the type of stone, and the patients pain levels.
Home treatment may be suggested if the stone is believed to be small enough to pass, the patients pain is tolerable, and they can eat and drink.
Home treatment for kidney stones includes:
Medical treatments for larger stones or severe symptoms include:
- Stronger prescription pain medications
- Intravenous fluids given in the hospital
- Stones larger than 9 or 10 millimeters usually do not pass on their own so a procedure is needed to break up or remove the stone
- Ureteroscopy uses a thin telescope passed through the urethra and bladder into the ureter and kidney to remove the stone or to break it into smaller pieces that can pass more easily
- Shock wave lithotripsy directs high-energy shock waves toward the stone causing the stone to fragment and be more easily passed in the urine
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small telescope is passed through the skin of the back and into the kidney to remove the stone
What Is The Treatment For Cystinuria
Treatment starts with doing things to keep stones from forming. For adults and children, this means drinking more water, reducing salt, and eating less meat. If these steps are not enough, you may also need to take special medicine to help keep stones from forming.
- Drinking more water. Drinking lots of water will lower the ability for the cystine to form stones in the urine. Ask your healthcare provider how much water you should drink each day to help keep stones from forming.
- Changing your diet. Cystine stones are less able to form in urine that is less acidic. Eating more fruits and vegetables can make the urine less acidic. Eating meat produces urine that has more acid, which can increase your risk for cystine stones.
- Reducing salt. Eating less salt can help keep cystine stones from forming. Try not to eat salty foods, including potato chips, French fries, sandwich meats, canned soups, and packaged meals.
- Medicine. Some people may also need to take prescription medicine to help keep stones from forming. Different medicines work in different ways. Some types help to keep your urine less acidic. Other types help keep cystine stones from forming by not allowing crystals to come together. Your healthcare provider can explain these different options and help you find the right medicine for you.
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How Do Doctors Treat Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on:
- The size of the stone
- The type of stone
- If the stone is causing you pain
- If the stone is blocking your urinary tract
If your kidney stone is small, your doctor may have you take pain medicine and drink fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract and out through your urine .
If your kidney stone is large or if it is blocking your urinary tract, a different treatment may be needed. Treatment options include:
Can Children Get Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.
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So Now Is The Time To Pamper Your Kidneys
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should see your health practitioner and have a check-up, including tests to assess your kidney function.
And you should also make sure youre helping your kidneys stay in top shape by doing a thorough cleanse.
Even if you dont have any of these signs, a systemic cleanse is like a spa day for your kidneys. It helps them get in top shape and avoid damage and disease. This is why OsteoCleanse, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator was developed in conjunction with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
OsteoCleanse is not just about alkalizing your body, feeling younger and more energized, and removing osteoporosis drugs from your system. It does all of these things in just seven days, but at the heart of OsteoCleanses effectiveness are its kidney-boosting, liver-cleansing effects so youll strengthen and build your bones faster.
Its always a good idea to heed early warning signs and treat your kidneys to a cleanse before damage occurs, and its particularly important to offset the effects of aging on your renal system.
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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.
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