Your kidneys are essential in removing waste and unwanted fluids from the body. The waste products in your body, such as urea and creatinine, usually result from the breakdown of proteins, including meat. The two bean-shaped organs, about the size of your fist, are also vital in producing hormones that regulate various processes, like calcium balance and red blood cell creation. Because of the function of kidneys, they may be susceptible to Mount Vernon kidney stones and other diseases. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the illness affects about 10% of Americans and causes the deaths of nearly 50,000 Americans yearly without timely diagnosis and treatment.
Also known medically as nephrolithiasis or renal calculi, kidney stones are a condition that results from the formation and accumulation of hard mineral deposits in your kidneys. The solid mass or crystals in your kidneys may be the size of a grain of sand, a chickpea, or a golf ball.
If you do not go for early diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones, they may become larger and more severe.
As a result, you are at risk of numerous complications, such as kidney damage, chronic kidney disease, renal infection, renal failure, and inflammation of one or both kidneys.
Treatments for kidney stones
Generally, if you have small kidney stones, your health provider will often recommend drinking a certain amount of fluids and water daily. That can help decrease the urine concentration in your kidneys and prevent the hardening of the minerals that form stones.
You may also have to take pain medications to provide you relief if your kidney stones are causing some discomfort. Moreover, alpha-blockers can relax the urinary tract muscles and promote the passage of stones into the bladder.
If your kidney stones are large and cause severe symptoms, your health specialist may recommend the extensive treatments below.
Shock wave lithotripsy
As a non-invasive treatment, shock wave lithotripsy exposes your kidneys to shock waves from outside your body. As a result, there is a breakdown of the stones in your kidneys and ureter into small pieces, which are then expelled from the body as part of the urine.
The minimally invasive procedure involves accessing and removal of stones in your kidney through small incisions your doctor creates in the abdomen.
Your doctor accesses the kidney stones via the ureter, the tube allowing urine passage from the kidney to the bladder.
Laparoscopic surgery of the ureter can enable you to avoid open surgery, which creates large incisions that significantly increase your risk of complications.
Prevention of kidney stones
You can prevent the formation of kidney stones by stopping the contents of your kidney from becoming too concentrated and hardening.
If your urine is darker, it is highly concentrated, and thus you are prone to kidney stones.
Strive to keep your urine diluted by avoiding putting excess salt in your food, avoiding salty foods, drinking clean water and fluids regularly, eating more vegetables and fruits, and avoiding sweetened, carbonated drinks.
Contact Bellingham Urology Group today to schedule an appointment with a specialist in kidney stones and learn more about your treatment options.