Kidney Stone Prevention

One of the most common urologic areas that we treat are kidney stones. Patients often come in complaining of the unbearable pain, yet can’t understand why they are constantly suffering from kidney stones. These stones form when urine containers substances such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in excess. As your urine attempts to dilute, these crystal-forming substances begin to stick together, forming the kidney stone. There are 4 different types of kidney stones that a patient may suffer from, calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cysteine stones.

Calcium stones tend to be the most common type of kidney stone that Somerset Urological Associates treats. These stones are formed of calcium oxalate, a naturally occurring substance found in many foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts  and chocolates all have high oxalate levels, so adjusting a diet that may be unbalanced in one of those foods can help with the reoccurrence of these stones. Other medical issues, such as a previous intestinal bypass and several metabolic disorders can attribute to the high concentration of oxalate in the urine. Struvite stones form as a result of infection in the urinary tract. These stones may grow quite fast, and become very large. Uric acid stones may form in patients who do not intake enough fluids, or those who eat a diet that is very high in protein. Cystine stones are brought on by a hereditary disorder that causes kidneys to excrete too much cystrinuria.

One of the best prevention methods for those who suffer from kidney stones is to increase your daily intake of water. Somerset Urological Associates recommends passing 2-3 quarts of urine per day, and during warmer weather or frequent exercise, to increase that amount. Adjusting diet to avoid oxalate-rich foods will aid in allowing your kidneys to pass urine through without a buildup of oxalate. Foods that should be restricted from a diet include beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, chocolate, and soy products. Reducing salt and animal proteins from diets can also help with kidney health. Finally, take caution with daily supplements if they contain calcium, as they have been found to have a link to kidney stones forming. Getting your daily dose of calcium through foods does not have an effect on the kidneys, nor will it increase your risk of developing kidney stones.

If kidney stones continue to be a literally pain in your side, Somerset Urological Associates is here to help you manage the discomfort, and help find a way to get rid of kidney stones for good. Our talented team of urologists has been treating patients with kidney stones for many years, and will be able to quickly diagnose and treat your kidney stones for the quickest relief possible.