ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives. While you can’t always avoid a kidney stone episode, you can be aware of certain risks. Ivanhoe tells us what you need to know about these pesky stones.
They’ve been described as more painful than childbirth! We’re talking about kidney stones.
“I felt like a little girl screaming. That’s how hard it hurt me,” explained Jack Osmanski.
Did you know certain risk factors can boost your chances of developing a dreaded stone? The first: dehydration.
“So, if we don’t drink enough water to dilute that calcium and other deposits that can form in the kidney, that can lead to kidney stones,” stated urologist Ross Simon, MD, MS.
Experts from the University of Southern California say drinking two liters of fluid a day reduced the chances of having a kidney stone recurrence by half. Family history is another risk factor. And if you’ve had a kidney stone in the past, you have a 50 percent risk of developing another one in the next five years! What you eat can also raise your risk!
“Eating too much sodium can actually cause increased secretion of calcium in the urine and that can lead to stone formation,” continued Dr. Simon.
You should also avoid eating a lot of animal proteins like beef, chicken, fish, and pork, as well as nuts, chocolate, spinach, and tea which are known culprits. Certain medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and gout can raise your risk of developing a stone. And hot weather is another contributor. People living in warmer climates are more likely to have a kidney stone. Be sure to drink plenty of water if you’re outdoors or sweating a lot.
Most kidney stones have a yellowish appearance, but they can come in almost any color. The surface of stones can be either smooth or jagged.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
KIDNEY STONES: ARE YOU AT RISK?
BACKGROUND: A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. Urine has various wastes dissolved in it, and when there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. These crystals attract other elements and join to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out with urine. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate. 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.
RISKS AND SYMPTOMS: White men in their 30’s to 40’s are more likely to get kidney stones, however, anyone can develop one. Some risk factors for developing kidney stones include not drinking enough liquids, having a diet that includes the substances that form stones, having a family history of kidney stones, or having a blockage in your urinary tract. You can have a stone in your kidney for years and not know it’s there. But, when it starts to move or becomes large, you may have symptoms. Some symptoms are feeling pain in your lower back or side of your body that can start as a dull ache but then get more severe, having nausea and/or vomiting with the pain, seeing blood in your urine, feeling pain when urinating, being unable to urinate, feeling the need to urinate more often, fever or chills, or having urine that smells bad or looks cloudy. Smaller kidney stones may not even cause pain. They are called “silent stones” that typically pass through the urine.
GAME-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY: Urologists have tested a new laser technology capable of reducing large kidney stones to dust that can be suctioned or flushed from the body. The super-pulsed thulium fiber laser is “a game-changer,” says Ralph V. Clayman, MD, distinguished professor of urology and dean emeritus of the UCI School of Medicine in California. “It targets the water in the stones and can rapidly reduce a stone the size of your thumb into dust particles of 100 microns or less.” The thulium fiber laser can break kidney stones into pieces that are routinely 10 times smaller than those produced with a holmium laser, which is now used by most urologists. The smaller particles produced by the thulium laser are easier to flush or suction from the kidney. “In our studies, the holmium laser was able to clear 50 to 60% of stone fragments. With the thulium, we were able to clear more than 90% of fragments. If we can duplicate these results clinically, it opens the door for us to remove larger and larger stones with the ureteral approach, which is far less painful and costly than surgically removing them from the kidney,” Clayman says.
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Audra Friis, PR
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