Kidney Stone Prevention
One of the most common urologic conditions we treat at Somerset Urological Associates is kidney stones. Patients often come in complaining of unbearable pain, yet do not understand its source. Kidney stones form when urine contains substances such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in excess. As your urine attempts to dilute, these substances begin to stick together, forming a crystalized kidney stone.
Types of Kidney Stones
There are 4 different types of kidney stones that a patient may suffer from: calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cystine stones.
Calcium stones tend to be the most common type of kidney stone that SUA treats. These stones are formed of calcium oxalate, a naturally occurring substance found in many foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and chocolate. Adjusting your diet to avoid eating any of these foods in excess can help decrease your chances of developing recurring kidney stones. Medical issues, such as a previous intestinal bypass and several metabolic disorders can also contribute to high concentrations of oxalate in the urine.
Struvite stones form as a result of an infection in the urinary tract. These stones may grow quite fast and become very large. It is important to treat struvite stones before they become too large, as they have the potential to damage your kidney and lead to life-threatening infections.
Uric Acid Stones
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. This type of kidney stone is more commonly reported in urban societies than rural societies, and people of any age can be affected by uric acid stones, including infants.
Cystine stones are brought on by a hereditary disorder that causes kidneys to excrete too much cystinuria (an amino acid) into the urine. Although cystine is not the only overly-excreted amino acid in cystinuria, it is the least soluble of all naturally occurring amino acids, causing the formation of stones.
Preventing Kidney Stones
One of the best methods for preventing kidney stones is to increase your daily intake of water. The doctors of Somerset Urological Associates recommend passing 2 to 3 quarts of urine per day, and even more during exercise or warmer weather.
Adjusting your diet to avoid oxalate-rich foods will aid in allowing your kidneys to pass urine without a buildup of oxalate. Foods that should be restricted within a diet include beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, chocolate, and soy products. Reducing salt and animal proteins can also help with your kidney health.
Finally, take caution with daily supplements containing calcium - some supplements have been found to play a role in kidney stone formation. Consuming your daily dose of calcium through food does not have this effect on the kidneys, nor will it increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
Kidney Stone Relief in NJ
If kidney stones continue to be a literal pain in your side, SUA is here. Let our talented team of urologists help you manage the discomfort and find a way to get rid of kidney stones for good. SUA has been treating patients with kidney stones for many years and will be able to quickly diagnose and treat your kidney stones for the fastest relief possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today!