Kidney Stones Urologist - Dr. Angelo Gousse, MD
Kidney stones are hard mineral and salt deposits in the urine. It won’t take you long to realize when you have kidney stones in your urine because they will cause significant pain as the urine travels through the urinary tract. Although kidney stones usually don’t result in serious illness or injury, they can still cause you quite a bit of pain and discomfort. That is why they should be addressed immediately.
As the name indicates, kidney stones come from the kidneys. Remember that kidneys are bodily organs responsible for removing excess fluid, waste, acids, and minerals from the body. But if the kidneys start developing stones inside of them, they will soon flow to the bladder through bodily tubes called ureters. That is where the real problems begin.
Excess kidney stones can block the ureters and cause urine to remain in the kidneys for extended periods. You’ll know when this happens because you’ll feel nausea and pain whenever you have to urinate. Sometimes, you’ll experience low urine value, which only adds more pain and discomfort.
There is not just one type of kidney stone either. Kidney stones could be any type of stone that accumulates in the kidneys, most commonly calcium deposits. A qualified urologist must identify the type of kidney stones forming in your kidneys because it will help them determine the best treatment possible. If you live in the South Florida area, you can book an appointment with Dr. Gousse of Gousse Urology for a urologic examination.
What causes kidney stones to develop in the kidneys in the first place? Since there is more than one cause of kidney stone formation, the answer is different per person.
For example, the kidneys become negatively affected when someone experiences long-term dehydration. If there isn’t a steady flow of fluids going through the kidneys, waste materials are more difficult to remove from the blood. That could lead to kidney damage and many painful and undesirable symptoms.
The simple solution to this problem is to drink plenty of water, especially after intense workouts and exercises. You should also drink water in humid, hot, or warm weather conditions because your body releases fluids with sweat. Those fluids must get replaced with more water consumption. And please, don’t drink high caloric beverages as a replacement for natural spring water. Instead, stick to purified water with no added ingredients.
A bad diet is another cause of kidney stone development. Some people theorize that too much calcium consumption adds more calcium deposits to the kidneys after the digestive system absorbs them from food. However, studies have shown that you rarely develop kidney stones from excessive calcium-dense food consumption. It has more to do with genetics and how the body processes calcium.
One thing that could make a difference is reducing sodium and salt consumption. There are several reasons why avoiding sodium and salt is beneficial to health, but reducing kidney stones is one of those reasons. If these tips don’t work, then make an appointment to see a qualified urologist because they can identify the cause of the problem. Some of the other less common reasons include specific medications or health conditions.
Diet, exercise, and hydration are the natural treatments you should try before anything else. But if you continue to experience urinary pain or abnormal urination, you’ll likely need more advanced treatments that only a urologist can provide.
Your urologist might tell you to wait 4 to 6 weeks if you have small kidney stones because they will eventually pass through your system. Of course, if the pain and discomfort are too severe, you probably won’t be able to wait that long. Also, you cannot wait if you have larger kidney stones because they cannot get excreted so easily.
Medications are available that can reduce stress on the ureter and make it easier to pass stones through it. One popular medication is tamsulosin, which goes under the name Flomax. Your urologist may prescribe this medication as a first step to getting the kidney stones passed through the ureter. Additional pain-relieving medication might get prescribed if you feel any severe pain or nausea symptoms.
If medication is the answer, you should see the problem resolved within a few months. Otherwise, your urologist will recommend surgery as the next big step. Surgery is typically a last resort if the stones prevent the kidneys from functioning normally. This situation is often seen when larger kidney stones are involved.
Additional treatment options available are ureteroscopy, shock wave lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, and robotic surgery. Don’t worry, though, because you don’t have to know about any of these treatments. Your urologist will determine which treatment you need based on their long-term evaluation of your kidney stone problem.
After that, your urologist will explain the treatment in more detail so that you can understand why it’s necessary to deal with your particular condition.