Men are about twice as likely to have kidney stones as women, although this uncomfortable condition can affect anyone of any age. Burien, Washington’s leading urologists, Jeffrey M. Frankel, MD; David C. Reed, MD; and Jeffrey L. Evans, MD, offer the most effective kidney stone treatments. The team at Dr’s Frankel, Reed, and Evans strives to help you learn to prevent a future occurrence of kidney stones. If you’re dealing with kidney stones, or have a history of them, go online or call the practice to schedule an exam.
It isn’t always easy to pinpoint what causes kidney stones in people. But some of the most common causes include:
You’re also more likely to struggle with kidney stones if you have hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), or renal issues. Your prescription medications or supplements could be the culprit, too, so make sure you discuss all medications with your urologist.
Most smaller kidney stones pass on their own. You just have to stay hydrated to help the stones pass — your doctor may prescribe pain medication if needed. Larger stones that may damage your urinary tract or cause a blockage might need treatment.
Your dedicated urologist may try to break up the stones with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). This involves sending targeted sound waves through your skin to the affected area. While ESWL is noninvasive, you may experience some discomfort as your body flushes out the broken-down stones.
Some people need surgery to remove large stones. Modern kidney stone removal surgery, which is called percutaneous nephrolithotomy, is minimally invasive. Surgery involves making a small incision in your back and using thin da Vinci® Surgical System robotic tools to view and remove the stones. Or if you have a large stone in your ureter, your practitioner might be able to remove it with a ureteroscope, by going up through your urethra.
While you might not be able to prevent every stone, you can reduce your risk. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are essential. Most kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones. You can lessen your risk of developing these stones by minimizing your intake of oxalates, which are found in whole grains, nuts, and dark chocolate. Too much vitamin D is also known for calcium oxalate stone formation.
Struvite stones develop when you have an infection, often a urinary tract infection (UTI). The best way to reduce your risk of a UTI is to drink plenty of water every day, but if you start feeling discomfort or burning while urinating, it’s important to visit your urologist to see if you need UTI treatment.
Some patients have uric acid stones, which develop if you’re regularly dehydrated. Not only can these stones form if you don’t consume enough fluids to help flush out waste, but they can also develop if you sweat too much. If you live in a hot environment, follow a vigorous workout routine, or often use saunas, you need to boost your water intake.
If you have a history of kidney stones, schedule an exam at Dr’s Frankel, Reed, and Evans by booking online or over the phone.