Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC Blog

Posts for category: Kidney Stones

By UROLOGY SPECIALISTS OF MILFORD, LLC
February 20, 2020
Category: Kidney Stones

How your urologist in Milford, MA, can relive your kidney stone pain

If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you know how excruciating they can be. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg, your urologist at Urology Specialists of Milford in Milford, MA, offers a few kidney stone treatments to help you feel better.

More about Kidney Stones

You may have a kidney stone if you experience:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain when you urinate
  • A feeling of having to urinate often
  • Pain on your side or back
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Fever, nausea, and vomiting

A kidney stone forms when minerals and other materials in your urine bind together to form a small mass. If you are lucky enough to have a small kidney stone, sometimes it will leave your body through your urine without causing any pain or problems.

Unfortunately, some kidney stones are large and very painful. In these cases, it’s best to visit your urologist for treatment. At our Milford office, we may recommend:

  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy, also known as ESWL: This treatment uses shock waves to break the kidney stone into small pieces that can easily pass out of your body. Performed on an outpatient basis and under IV sedation, ESWL is non-invasive, safe, and effectiveyou will need to bring someone with you to drive you home. After the procedure, the small pieces of kidney stone typically pass in your urine within a few weeks.
  • Ureteroscopy and Laser Lithotripsy: this treatment uses a ureteroscope, a thin instrument inserted into the urethra which allows the doctor to see the stones. The scope is inserted in the bladder and up into the urethra. Once the stone is found, it is broken up into smaller pieces which can be passed through the urine. No incisions or surgery are necessary.

Need Relief From Kidney Stone Pain? Give Us a Call

To find out more about ESWL and other treatments for kidney stones, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg of Urology Specialists of Milford, in Milford, MA, today.

Kidney stones form when urine is concentrated, and the minerals crystallize and stick together. Passing the stones can be extremely painful, and the pain is worse the larger they are.

Normally, drinking a lot of water can help flush out the stones before they get to be too large to pass through the ureter. If you have abdominal pain and you’re wondering whether it may be a kidney stone, let’s talk about what the symptoms are and what can be done about them:

Symptoms of a Kidney Stone

If you have a kidney stone, you will experience one or more of the following:

  1. The increased need to urinate
  2. Severe pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin from the sides and back, below the ribs
  3. Pain in the abdomen that comes in waves and changes in intensity
  4. Painful urination
  5. Discolored urine that is cloudy, pink, reddish, or brown, and has a foul odor
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. Fever and chills
  8. Only urinating in small amounts
  9. Pain that feels like it’s moving around

See a doctor right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms listed above. Do not attempt to self-treat it, because the stone could become larger and more difficult to pass through your system.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

There are actually several different types of kidney stones that form due to a number of different reasons, including the following:

  • Calcium stones form when you have too much calcium, phosphate, vitamin D, and other substances in your system, and too little liquid to flush them out.
  • Struvite stones form in response to a urinary tract infection or other types of infection.
  • Cystine stones are caused by a disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of a certain type of amino acid (cystinuria).
  • Uric acid stones form if you don’t drink enough fluids or you eat a diet that is very high in protein.

To prevent these stones from recurring, drink lots of water to ensure a high-enough urine output to flush any potential small stones. Certain foods may be contributing to the formation of stones, such as salts, animal proteins, and oxalate-rich foods like chocolate, soy, nuts, tea, and certain vegetables.

If you have had a kidney stone, stay away from calcium supplements. Calcium is OK in your food, but you do not need it in concentrated supplemental form.

How Are Kidney Stones Treated?

Kidney stones that cause problems may require medical intervention. Depending on the size and location of the stones, the doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). This procedure uses sound waves that are targeted at the stones to break them up into smaller pieces, so they can be passed in less than an hour.

If the stone is small but is stuck either in the ureter or the kidney, the doctor may go in through the urethra and bladder. Once the stone is located, the doctor will use a thin lighted ureteroscope with a camera and special tools to either break it apart or to extract it.

Urologists in Massachusetts

If you think you might have a kidney stone and are in the Milford area, contact us right away at Urology Specialists of Milford.

Call us at (508) 473-6333 or request an appointment online now, and let us give you an evaluation and proper treatment so you can start feeling better again.

Kidney stones are hard crystalized deposits that form as the kidneys produce urine. Kidney stones cause a lot of different types of symptoms, including severe pain that can radiate to other parts of the body like the lower abdomen, groin, lower back, and ribs. Kidney stones can also cause urine to become discolored (red or brown), cloudy, and foul-smelling.

Once kidney stones form, there are a few ways to get rid of them. Drinking a lot of water may help, as well as the use of medications like alpha blockers for larger stones. Ultrasound is sometimes used to break up kidney stones so that they pass through the urinary tract more easily. Depending on the stone size and location, your urologist may recommend surgery to remove the kidney stone.  

A popular and effective way to prevent kidney stones from developing is called the kidney stone diet, which consists of eating foods that help prevent the formation of kidney stones and avoiding foods that increase the chance of them forming. Let’s take a look at what foods to eat and what foods to avoid when on a kidney stone diet.

What to Eat 

Vegetables – Vegetables are a great way to decrease your risk of developing kidney stones. However, some vegetables are better than others. Vegetables that contain oxalates are not good for your kidney stone diet. Stick to vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, kale, cabbage, and lettuce. These vegetables do not contain oxalates and can help you decrease the risk of kidney stones.

Citrus Fruits – Citrate, found in citrus fruits, helps block the formation of kidney stones and can help keep you safe from them. Examples of citrus fruits that you should include in your kidney stone diet are oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. 

Dairy Products – Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium, which is essential to balancing the oxalates in your diet. Increasing your dairy intake can help reduce the formation of kidney stones.

Salmon – Foods like salmon that are rich in vitamin D are also great for a kidney stone diet. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium better.   

What to Avoid

Foods High in Salt – Salt is detrimental to a kidney stone diet. High sodium can increase the buildup of calcium in the urine, which can lead to kidney stones. A low-sodium diet is essential to avoiding kidney stone formation.

Animal Protein – Eating red meat increases the levels of uric acid in the body, which can increase the chances of kidney stone formation. Additionally, animal proteins also reduce citrate in the body that blocks the formation of kidney stones. To follow the kidney stone diet, consume less animal protein and more plant-based foods. However, be careful in choosing which vegetables to eat because some vegetables contain oxalates such as spinach, chard, and beets.

Sodas – Soft drinks like Coca-Cola, and Pepsi-Cola are high in artificial sugar (fructose, sucrose) and a chemical called phosphate, which promote kidney stones. Make sure to cut them out of your diet.

If you are experiencing kidney stones or another urological health problem, it’s important to consult with a reliable and experienced team of medical professionals. The Urology Specialists of Milford can expertly treat your kidney stones, as well as a host of other urological conditions. Call (508) 473-6333 to make an appointment today.

Kidney stones can develop in your body and you may not even know it – until a stone moves through your kidney or passes into the ureter (the passageway connecting the kidney and bladder) and causes terrible abdominal pain.

Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of concentrated salts, minerals, and other substances in your urine. These minerals can start to crystallize and stick together in large masses; a hardened mass is called a kidney stone. 

A stone can remain in your kidney for some time, and you may not even realize it until it starts to travel out from your kidney and to your ureter or bladder. Your body wants to expel it with your urine, and this can cause excruciating pain. 

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Sometimes the stones are small enough to cause no symptoms at all – they just pass through with the urine like usual. Other times, you may start to feel pain as a kidney stone travels through the narrow ureter. 

The movement of a stone can also affect your urination patterns, causing the sense of needing to urinate frequently. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience are:

  • Pain in your sides, lower back, or under the ribs
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
  • Difficulty or pain during urination
  • Brown, pink, or red urine
  • Cloudy, fishy, or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Frequent urination in small amounts
  • Fever and chills (signs of infection)

 What Type of Doctor Should I See About a Kidney Stone?

If you pass a kidney stone, it’s likely that there are more inside your body. You’ll want to ensure that if you do pass any more stones, that any future ones are passed as painlessly as possible – and also to prevent your body from forming more.

If you are having unexplained abdominal pains, you should visit with a doctor immediately and ask for an analysis. If you do have kidney stones, they will likely recommend that you increase your water intake and to wait for the stones to pass with your urine. If a stone has become lodged, seek medical attention immediately as this may require surgery. 

Diets high in protein and salt can cause more crystal-forming substances to remain in the kidneys. Be sure to stay properly hydrated and maintain a nutritious diet.

A balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. If you are not drinking enough water each day, your urine can become more heavily concentrated, creating a perfect environment for stones to develop.

Urologist in Massachusetts

If you’re experiencing lower abdominal pain or difficulty urinating, or if you know from experience that you have kidney stones, visit us at Urology Specialists of Milford. The goal of our practice is to provide the best urologic care and treatment to patients with a variety of urological problems. 

Ivy League-trained urologist and surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg uses the latest treatment options available. To learn more about kidney stones and kidney health, call the Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you and helping you achieve and maintain optimum health.

According to the National Kidney Foundation®, more than half a million people visit emergency rooms every year for kidney stone issues. About one in 10 people will experience this uncomfortable condition at some point during their lives.

The urinary system is an advanced network made up of our kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. These components work together to remove wastes such as calcium, phosphates, oxalate, urate, cystine, and xanthine from the body. Considered the system’s master “chemist,” the kidney flushes the unneeded components out of the body for elimination in the urine.

How Do Kidney Stones Develop?

The systems in our body require balance to run smoothly, and our urinary system is no exception. The dangerous combination of too little liquid with too many solids can cause the urine to become concentrated, and the minerals and salts in it can clump together to form kidney stones.

This condition commonly occurs in people with a family history of the problem, those who are dehydrated, people who are obese, those with certain digestive diseases, and people who eat a diet high in protein, sodium, or sugar. The stones can be painful to pass – but they won’t cause any permanent harm if they’re detected early.

Do I Have a Kidney Stone?

For proper diagnosis, an ultrasound test will offer a clear window into the affected area – pinpointing any stones, as well as other possible signs of blockage. 

X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans may also be used to determine the size, location, and number of stones. Additionally, your doctor may order blood and urine collections.

How Are Kidney Stones Treated?

Your course of treatment will depend on the size and symptoms of your stone(s). Small stones can be remedied or excreted by increasing your water intake to flush them out, and taking pain relievers and alpha blockers to quell any discomfort and relax the ureter muscles. 

Bigger kidney stones, on the other hand, may require more strategic measures. In these cases, Dr. Steinberg often utilizes Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy® (ESWL), which is the most widely used treatment for kidney stones in the United States. A nonsurgical technique, ESWL harnesses shockwaves outside the body to break up stones into small fragments, which will be more easily eradicated through urination.

Another procedure Dr. Steinberg performs regularly in his practice is ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy. With the use of anesthesia, a small, flexible telescope is inserted into the patient, and a tiny laser is used to break up and draw out the kidney stone in tiny fragments. While ureteroscopy is technically considered surgery, it is fairly noninvasive since it requires no incisions. 

People with irregularly shaped kidneys, or difficult-to-reach stones, may require percutaneous kidney stone surgery. In this procedure, tiny telescopes and a small incision in the patient’s back are used to detect and remove the problematic stones.

Who Can Help with My Kidney Stones?

The Kidney Stone Center at Urology Specialists of Milford offers comprehensive care, including diagnosis, treatment, and preventive methods for those affected by this painful issue. Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg will utilize a variety of diagnostics right in the comfort of his office. Dr. Steinberg even offers the use of a convenient Litholink™ at-home urine collection kit to save you time and trouble.

No matter how dire your situation is, Dr. Steinberg will treat you with the utmost respect and care. Many kidney stone treatments offered today are quick and seamless, so there’s no need to suffer.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Urology Specialists of Milford, call our office today at (508) 473-6333 or request an appointment here. We look forward to serving you and helping you feel as good as new again.