Kidney Stones

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Kidney Stones Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Kidney stones diagram.

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are hard deposits that form in the kidneys. They are made up of various substances, such as calcium, oxalate, uric acid, and cystine. Kidney stones can vary in size, ranging from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. They can form in one or both kidneys and can cause significant pain and discomfort.


Risk Factors

Kidney stones can affect anyone, but certain factors increase the risk of developing them. These risk factors include:

  • Dehydration: Insufficient fluid intake can lead to concentrated urine, which increases the likelihood of stone formation.
  • Diet: A diet high in sodium, oxalate, and protein and low in calcium can contribute to stone formation.
  • Family history: Individuals with a family history of kidney stones are more likely to develop them.
  • Obesity: Obesity can increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Certain medical conditions: Conditions such as urinary tract infections, gout, and certain digestive disorders can increase the risk.

Symptoms

The symptoms of kidney stones can vary depending on their size and location within the urinary tract. Some common symptoms include:

  • Severe pain: The most prominent symptom is intense pain in the back, side, abdomen, or groin. The pain can come in waves and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
  • Hematuria: Blood in the urine, which can give it a pink, red, or brown color.
  • Frequent urination: The need to urinate more frequently or urgently.
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine: Changes in urine appearance or odor.
  • Painful urination: Discomfort or a burning sensation during urination.

Prevention

Preventing kidney stones involves adopting certain lifestyle modifications and dietary changes. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Hydration: It is recommended to drink 80-100 ounces of water throughout the day to maintain a high urine volume and prevent urine concentration.
  • Dietary adjustments: Limit sodium intake, reduce oxalate-rich foods (such as spinach, rhubarb, and chocolate), moderate animal protein intake, and ensure sufficient calcium intake from dietary sources.
  • Avoid dehydration: During hot weather or intense physical activity, increase fluid intake to compensate for fluid loss.
  • Medication: In some cases, medications may be prescribed to prevent specific types of kidney stones from forming.

Treatments

The treatment of kidney stones depends on their size, location, and severity of symptoms. Small stones may pass spontaneously with supportive care, which includes drinking plenty of fluids to promote urine flow and taking pain medications. However, larger stones or those causing severe symptoms may require medical intervention. Common treatment options include:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): High-energy shock waves are used to break the stones into smaller fragments, making them easier to pass through urine.
  • Ureteroscopy: A thin tube with a camera is inserted into the urinary tract to locate and remove or break up the stone using laser energy.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: A surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the back to remove larger stones directly from the kidney.
  • Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed to help dissolve or prevent the formation of specific types of kidney stones.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and personalized preventive measures based on individual circumstances. Call our office to schedule an appointment at (678) 321-7227.

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