Five Things to Know About Kidney Stones

Five Things to Know About Kidney Stones

kidney-stonesKidney stones hurt. Kidney stones are a bitch. One thing is for sure. If you don’t like pain (and who does) or better yet can’t handle pain very well then you will agree with a US News & World Report list that puts kidney stones at the top of a list of the most painful conditions, even ahead of childbirth and shingles.

The good news is that more than ever we know more about how to prevent and treat kidney stones. Mike Spigler, the American Kidney Fund’s vice president of patient services and kidney disease education, shares key facts about the condition.

The first thing to learn is that kidney stones come in four different types. Different types of stones have different causes. The four types of stones are:

  • Calcium Stones – the most common stone linked with foods like sweet potatoes, peanuts, and chocolate.
  • Uric Acid Stones – often found in people who have gout or kidney problems.
  • Struvite Stones – most often strike women. They are associated with urinary tract infections, which are more common in women.
  • Cystine Stones – rare and stem from a genetic disorder.

Other than the four types of stones, there are five things everyone should know about kidney stones.

1. Kidney Stones Are Common

More than 200,000 in the US have a diagnosed kidney stone every year. You have a one in ten lifetime risk of developing a kidney stone, and your odds are higher if you’re male. Kidney stones most often affect those between 30 and 60 years old.

2. Kidney Stones Can Be Very Painful

The smallest kidney stones are as small as a grain of sand, and usually, move through your urinary tract without you realizing you had one. Larger kidney stones though will cause pain in your lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, and vomiting. Most describe the pain as pretty excruciating.

3. Kidney Stones are Likely to Strike More Than Once

Once you’ve had a kidney stone, you’re much more likely to get another one. If you get multiple stones, it’s important to try to capture one so your doctor can find out what it is and help put together a treatment plan.

4. Kidney Stones Are Preventable

Changing one’s diet can help. Avoiding foods high in purine could make a difference. That includes alcohol, some seafood, and some meats. Add in more foods that are high in citric acid like lemons and limes that may help prevent kidney stones.

Dehydration can increase your likelihood of developing kidney stones as well. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Kidney stones are also more common in people who are overweight. Losing weight can only help.

5. Kidney Stones Can Be Treated

Dr. Z Urology can prescribe pain medication for smaller stones, and they should pass on their own. For larger stones, there are two main treatments.

Shock Wave Therapy uses seismic waves transmitted through your back to break up a kidney stone so the smaller pieces can pass more easily. It’s typically done under general anesthesia.

If that doesn’t work, surgery is an option. With ureteroscopy, a long tool inserted through the urethra to remove or break up the stone. For the most challenging stones, a surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy removes the stone from the kidney.

It is important that if you feel you have kidney stones, please schedule. Pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida.

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Five Signs When You Pee That Signal Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Five Signs When You Pee That Signal Prostate Cancer Symptoms

prostateProstate cancer symptoms usually don’t show until the cancer has grown large enough, but with it being the most common cancer in men in the US, it’s important to recognize the signs when they are developing.

Prostate cancer symptoms usually appear when the cancer has grown as it begins to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis, known as the urethra. The cancer develops slowly, so it may not show signs for many years. But it’s important to recognize symptoms when they do start to show because there’s currently no cure for cancer.

Because prostate cancer presses on the urethra, many of the symptoms of prostate cancer affect how a person pees.

Here are five symptoms that may affect a man when he pees.

  • Difficulty peeing. For example, a weak flow or having to strain to start peeing.
  • Needing to pee more often than usual, especially at night.
  • Feeling like you have not completely emptied your bladder after peeing.
  • An urgent need to pee.
  • Blood in the pee or semen.

If you have any of these symptoms, it might be time to get in contact with Zurology.com to discuss your treatment options.

Prostate Cancer: What are the Signs and Symptoms

It’s also important to recognize that these symptoms can be caused by another condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostate enlargement (BPE).

BPE is the medical term to describe an enlarged prostate, a condition that can affect how you pass urine.

BPE is common in men aged over 50. It’s not cancer and it’s not usually a serious threat to health.

Is There a Test for Prostate Cancer?

If you have symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, or you’ve asked your doctor for one, you may have a PSA test. PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen. It is a protein produced by both normal and cancerous prostate cells.

It’s normal for all men to have some PSA in their blood. However, a high level of PSA can be a sign of cancer. But your PSA level can also be raised in prostate conditions that are not cancer (benign) or if you have an infection. A diagnosis of cancer is not usually made on a PSA level alone.

Your doctor should explain to you the risks and benefits of having the PSA test.

It is important that if you feel you have any of the symptoms written about, please schedule. You need a quality urologist. So pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

What Exactly Causes Kidney Stones

What Exactly Causes Kidney Stones

kidneysEveryone can agree that kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions you can experience. Experts and patients agree. Typically formed from calcium, kidney stones are hard pellets formed by excess minerals and salts inside the kidney. If they somehow travel out of the kidney and into the ureter, they can block the flow of urine, which can cause the kidney to swell. This creates pain in the mid-back, abdomen and sides. For men, it can even cause severe pain at the penis.

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are located on each side of your spine, right below the rib cage. Healthy kidneys filter about a half-cup of blood every minute. It filters waste and excess water to make urine. Urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes called the ureters.

Types of Kidney Stones

There are several different kinds of kidney stones, and some are more common than others. Calcium stones and uric acid stones are among the most common. Other types of kidney stones include struvite stones. These are typically caused by a bacterial infection, and cystine stones, which are associated with genetic conditions.

Because there is no single cause of kidney stones, there is no single strategy to prevent them. Physicians typically advise patients to focus on diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk. The goal is to make one’s urine less favorable for stone formation.

Not drinking enough fluids to dilute calcium and other substances in the urine is the most common risk factor for developing kidney stones. But there are others.

Eight risk factors for kidney stones:

  • Inadequate fluid intake
  • High sodium consumption
  • Animal protein consumption
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Family history
  • Calcium supplements

 

1. Inadequate water intake. Low water intake is a common risk factor for developing kidney stones. If the urine is too concentrated (dark yellow in color), the concentrations of calcium and other stone-causing elements increases.

The amount of water one should drink daily varies depending on age, level of activity and climate. Most people are fine if they consume four to eight glasses of water a day. In addition to plain water, beverages like milk, juice and herbal teas and fruits like watermelon and vegetables like cucumbers are good sources of fluids.

 

2High sodium consumption. Diets high in salt (sodium) increase the risk of forming many types of kidney stones. Many people think of salt and sodium as the same thing, but they aren’t. Salt is a mineral, comprised of sodium and chloride. The sodium found in salt is bad for your health.

Higher sodium intake causes the kidneys to put out more calcium into the urine, increasing the calcium concentration. Limiting your sodium intake has been shown to reduce the risk of forming new kidney stones.

 

3. Animal protein consumption. Animal proteins, particularly red meat, produce high amounts of acid in the kidney. This can cause an increase in calcium in the urine, which can lead to stones. Animal protein consumption is also associated with acidic urine, which can contribute to the forming of uric acid kidney stones.

4. Family history. Releasing large volumes of calcium in the urine runs in families. The vast majority of kidney stones are formed by excessive amounts of calcium in the urine. Having a relative who has had kidney stones caused by excessive calcium in the urine is a risk factor. The closer the familial relationship, the higher the risk.

 

5. Obesity and diabetes. Some research suggests that obesity and Type 2 diabetes can be risk factors for developing kidney stones. Having one or both of these conditions could change your urine composition, which could increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

 

6. Calcium supplements. If you’re consuming a normal or even mildly high amount of calcium through your diet, chances are there’s no need to worry about kidney stones. But boosting your intake of calcium with calcium supplements may increase the risk of developing kidney stones. If you take calcium supplements and are worried about kidney stones, talk to your doctor or your pharmacist.

Whatever your risk factors, it’s a good idea to do what you can to reduce your chances of developing kidney stones. One of the best things you can do is to drink plenty of water.