Living With Kidney Stones

living with kidney stones, kidneys, nephrology, Floyd Seskin, M.D.

What causes kidney stones?

Kidney stones are hard deposits that form inside your kidneys and can affect any part of your urinary tract. Passing kidney stones can be incredibly painful. Kidney stones that become lodged in part of your urinary tract can also cause infections. 

Certain risk factors may make the development of kidney stones more likely. Some of these factors include being obese, high salt intake, dehydration, certain digestive diseases, family history, and personal history. However, anyone can develop kidney stones. 

Recognizing kidney stones

If you have kidney stones, it is important to identify them as soon as possible so you can explore treatment options and avoid complications. In many cases, kidney stones will not cause symptoms until they begin to move through the urinary tract. Some of the most common symptoms of kidney stones include nausea, vomiting, cloudy urine, waves of pain, pain when urinating, urinating frequently, fever, and chills. 

If you think you may have kidney stones, you should contact a doctor. If your symptoms are severe, you may need to go to the emergency room. 

Treating kidney stones

Urine testing and/or imaging can be helpful in diagnosing kidney stones. Once the doctor determines that stones are present, several different treatment approaches may be recommended. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to relax the muscles in the urinary tract, allowing the stone to pass faster and more easily. You may also be prescribed pain relievers and told to drink plenty of water. 

If your kidney stones are larger, your doctor may use sound waves or a scope to break them up. He or she may also recommend surgery to remove the stones if it doesn't seem like they will pass on their own. 

Preventing kidney stones

If you have been diagnosed with kidney stones once, you are more likely to have them again. To reduce your risk of developing kidney stones in the future, you may need to make certain lifestyle changes. Reducing the amount of animal protein and salt in your diet can lower your risk of kidney stones. You will also need to drink plenty of water. If your kidney stones were composed of calcium oxalate, you may need to avoid foods that contain high levels of oxalates. 

If you think you may have kidney stones, please contact Floyd Seskin, M.D. today to schedule an appointment. 

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