Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC Blog

Posts for tag: Kidney Stones

November 19, 2020
Tags: Kidney Stones  

How your urologist in Milford, MA, can help if you have kidney stones

Kidney stones can be excruciating. They can make it difficult to think about anything else. Fortunately, your urologist can help you get relief from kidney stone pain. Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg at Urology Specialists of Milford, in Milford, MA, offers comprehensive medical care for urological conditions, including treatment for kidney stones.

There are a few factors that can put you at greater risk of developing kidney stones. For example, men are much more likely to get kidney stones than women. Other risk factors include:

  • A history of previous kidney stones
  • A family history of kidney stones
  • Not staying hydrated by drinking enough water
  • Eating a high protein, high sodium, or high sugar diet
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having had intestinal or gastric bypass surgery
  • Having cystic or polycystic kidney disease
  • Taking diuretics or calcium-based antacid medications
  • Having a condition causing swelling or irritation of your joints or bowel
  • Having a condition which causes high levels of cystine, uric acid, calcium, or oxalate in your urine

Kidney stones are small masses caused by minerals and other substances combining in your urine. Sometimes these small masses will pass out of your body through your urine stream without causing any signs or symptoms. Other times, a kidney stone may be large enough to stay in your body, causing noticeable signs and symptoms like these:

  • Blood in your urine or pain when you urinate
  • A feeling of needing to urinate frequently
  • Back, side, or abdominal pain
  • Vomiting, nausea, and a fever

If you have large, painful kidney stones, Dr. Steinberg can help. A very successful kidney stone treatment he may recommend is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy, also known as ESWL. The treatment works by using shock waves which break the kidney stone into smaller pieces, which then pass through your urine stream.

ESWL is non-invasive and has been proven safe and effective for the treatment of kidney stones. It is provided on an outpatient basis while you are sedated. The kidney stone pieces typically pass out of your body in a few weeks.

If you think you might have kidney stones, don’t wait! Talk with your urologist. Call Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg of Urology Specialists of Milford, in Milford, MA, at (508) 473-6333. Call now!

July 23, 2020
Tags: Kidney Stones  

Kidney stones are a common urinary tract problem. Characterized by intense flank pain, these salt and mineral combos block ureters, cause infection and really make you sick. At Urology Specialists of Milford, Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg sees many Milford, MA, area patients suffering with renal calculi. He helps them, and he can help you, too.

How kidney stones form

These little rocks occupy the interior of the kidney or the ureter, the narrow-diameter tube between the kidney and bladder. Either situation is extremely uncomfortable with pain in the flank and/or groin. These calcium oxalate stones (the most frequent chemical composition) also cause:

  • Pain on urination
  • Bloody urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Urinary urgency

If the stones are small enough, the person may pass them with sufficient water intake. Larger stones may lodge in the kidney or ureter, causing the characteristically excruciating pain.

Risk factors

The National Kidney Foundation says that half a million Americans struggle with kidney stones each year. Risk factors may include:

  • Obesity
  • Diets rich in calcium and oxalates (found in nuts, chocolate, pickles and high fructose corn syrup)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Crohn's Disease
  • Dehydration
  • A first degree relative (parent, sibling) with a history of kidney stones

Treating kidney stones

When you visit Urology Specialists of Milford, your urologist will review your symptoms, ask for a urine sample (including a 24-hour urine), order blood work and X-rays, a CT scan or a specialized Intravenous Pyelogram with contrast. With the information garnered, he can set you on a path to wellness with dietary changes, weight management, pain relief and stone removal.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or lithotripsy, is a common and highly effective treatment. While under sedation, the patient receives sound waves that break up the stone into tiny pieces that easily pass through the urethra.

Another treatment is ureteroscopy. Dr. Steinberg uses a thin, lighted scope inserted through the ureter. It has a tiny metal snare that grabs and extracts the stone. Sometimes, a temporary stent keeps the ureter open for a period of time post-operatively.

Preventing kidney stones

Prevention truly is the best medicine. To stop kidney stone formation, stay well-hydrated, lose weight, be physically active and limit salt, calcium- and oxalate-rich foods and animal protein. Ask Dr. Steinberg for recommendations pertinent to your particular type of kidney stones.

Find out more

Optimize your urinary health by seeing Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg of Urology Specialists of Milford at the first sign of a kidney stone. This urologist offers a full range of genito-urinary services. Call us at (508) 473-6333.

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.