Posts for category: Kidney Stones
Find out what could be causing your kidney stones and ways to prevent them.
If you’ve ever had kidney stones before then you certainly know just how painful they can be. Our Milford, MA, urologist Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg sees kidney stones most often in people between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. Kidney stones can impact both men and women, with men having a slighter higher chance of developing kidney stones. By learning the possible causes of kidney stones you may be able to reduce your risk. Here are some ways to lessen your chances of developing painful kidney stones,
Everything from intense outdoor exercise in the heat to relaxing in a sauna may provide your body with a host of great benefits. However, if you are prone to kidney stones then these habits could be a contributing factor. When you sweat you lose water, which means you urinate less. This provides a more hospitable environment for minerals to bond to the kidneys to create stones.
While we’re not saying don't enjoy the occasional sauna session or outdoor run, do make sure that you are getting enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day to replenish the water you lose.
Know When to Eat Oxalate-Rich Foods
Some people might tell you to avoid foods containing oxalates. However, there are many oxalate-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and other healthy foods that can provide your body with a lot of nourishment that you probably shouldn’t just remove from your diet completely. While it’s true that kidney stones form when oxalate binds to calcium, you should eat or drink your oxalate or calcium-rich foods during mealtimes, so that they are less likely to bind together.
Lose Excess Weight
People who are overweight or obese are also more likely to deal with kidney stones. People who are obese are also more likely to have higher calcium, oxalate, and urate levels in their bodies. This risk goes up even further if someone who is obese or overweight also has diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, eating a healthier diet and getting regular exercise to drop the weight could reduce your risk for kidney stones.
Know Your Medications
If you’ve been dealing with the pain of frequent or recurring kidney stones, our Milford, MA, urologist will also take a look at the types of medications you are taking. Both over-the-counter and prescription medications such as antacids, decongestants, steroids, and antibiotics could lead to the formation of kidney stones.
If you are concerned about kidney stones, you can always talk with our urologist about ways to prevent them from happening to you. There are simple dietary changes you can make to reduce your risk. We can also pinpoint other lifestyle and risk factors to find solutions that can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
If you think you might be dealing with kidney stone pain in Milford, MA, our urologist Dr. Steinberg and the team at Urology Specialists of Milford are here to help. Call us today at (508) 473-6333 if you are experiencing symptoms of 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:
- The increased need to urinate
- Severe pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin from the sides and back, below the ribs
- Pain in the abdomen that comes in waves and changes in intensity
- Painful urination
- Discolored urine that is cloudy, pink, reddish, or brown, and has a foul odor
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Only urinating in small amounts
- 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.
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.