Kidney Stone Information
Kidney stones are much more common than most people think. More than 10-percent of men and 5-percent of women will experience a kidney stone sometime during their life. Most kidney stones are calcium based stones. There are however other types of stones which are non-calcium based which include uric acid (the same material that causes gout when deposited in joints) and crystalline.
Pain is the most common symptom with kidney stones. This pain can occur in the lateral lower back or flank area and extend all the way down into the lower abdomen and groin. The pain tends to come in waves (called renal colic) and not be related to movement or eating. When kidney stones are active, there could be blood in the urine. A kidney ultrasound or CT scan is the best way to diagnose kidney stones.
A Urologist is the type of physician that deals with patients with active or symptomatic kidney disease. After treating active stones, many patients need a "metabolic evaluation" to attempt to find out why they are forming kidney stones. Nephrologists are typically consulted to see patients with recurrent kidney stones at some point in an attempt to determine what metabolic abnormality is causing the stones. Once evaluated by Nephrology, a personalized treatment strategy develops.
Treatment for whatever metabolic abnormality is causing kidney stone formation is guided by a Nephrologist while the Urologist deals with the stones that have already formed. The Nephrologists at Nephrology Associates will work in coordination with your Urologist to optimize the treatment of your kidney stones while attempting to prevent future stones. Stone Prevention (chronic treatment of the metabolic abnormality causing the formation of stones) centers around dietary adjustments and possibly medication usage.
General Dietary Changes Can Help Reduce the Risk of Having Kidney Stones
- Drinking Adequate Fluids
- Having a Diet with a Balanced Level of Calcium (staying away from diets with high or low Calcium levels)
- Avoiding High Sodium and or High Protein Diets
- Maintaining Adequate Levels of Phytate (found in wheat, rice, rye, barley, and bean products) in the Diet
Medical conditions that increase the risk of kidney stone formation include gastric bypass surgery, hyperparathyroidism, Crohn's disease, Diabetes mellitus, and Obesity.