In the USA, about 1 individual in ten will develop a kidney stone in their lifespan. In 2010, kidney stones were liable for more than 600,000 emergency room visits. The doctors with Metropolitan Urological Specialists in Washington, Florissant, and St. Louis, Missouri have some important information to keep you in the loop on your potential risks.
A kidney stone is just a mineral deposit that forms in the urinary tract. Kidney stones form when crystals, which are present in the urine, begin to stick together and steadily develop into a rock-like mass. At the start, kidney stones are really small in size, but after a while, as more crystals join, they can grow really large.
Why do kidney stones form?
The deposits that form kidney stones are produced from elements usually present in the urine. These compounds include calcium, oxalate, phosphate, uric acid, and other chemicals. Your kidneys usually expel these chemical compounds into the urine. However, when their concentration in the urine is very high, these chemicals don’t stay dissolved and instead start to crystallize and precipitate outside of the urine. There are additional compounds in the urine called inhibitors that help to prevent the crystals from adhering together. When the concentration of crystals is too high or the relative level of inhibitors is too low, a kidney stone will develop. Numerous factors can contribute to your chance of having a kidney stone, like your family history, eating regimen, and liquid intake, where you reside, as well as where in St. Louis, Missouri you work.
What are the different kinds of kidney stones?
There are numerous different kinds of kidney stones, each having a separate chemical structure.
Almost all kidney stones have calcium. Calcium stones are comprised of calcium that is chemically bound to either oxalate (calcium oxalate stones) or phosphate (calcium phosphate stones). Among these, calcium oxalate is a good deal more common. Pure calcium phosphate stones are the rarest and usually show an underlying ailment or metabolic condition. The most commonly known stone composition is in fact a blend of mostly calcium oxalate with a small amount of calcium phosphate.
Around fifteen percent of kidney stones have no calcium. These include uric acid stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones.
How common are kidney stones?
In the Washington, MO area, about one individual in 10 will build up a kidney stone within their life. In 2010, kidney stones were to blame for over 600,000 emergency room trips. We know that men are more likely to have kidney stones than women. Those with caucasian origin are five times more likely to have kidney stones than African-Americans. Stone relative incidence peaks between 40 and 50 years old and generally seems to decline.
What are my probability of recurrence?
Kidney stones usually tend to recur. If a man has experienced one kidney stone, and does nothing to minimize his danger of recurrence, research has revealed he has about a 60 percent to seventy percent chance of having another. If a man has had two kidney stones, the likelihood of recurrence go up to more than ninety percent. The odds of recurrence are a little bit lower for women.
Can Kidney Stones Be Avoided?
Having your kidney stone analyzed
The initial step in prevention is to understand which chemical type of kidney stone you are making. Therefore it's extremely important to send your stone or stone fragment to a medical lab in St. Louis, Washington, Creve Couer, Chesterfield, or Crestwood, MO for testing. In case you are looking to pass a kidney stone, you should utilize a strainer cup to catch any stone or gravel which appears and take it to your urologist’s office. If you have had your stone removed through an extraction procedure, your urologist will dispatch it to the laboratory for review. Finally, patients who undergo shockwave lithotripsy, a process that breaks the stone up with sound waves, should cautiously strain their urine in the days (and possibly weeks) following the procedure and bring any pieces or gravel that appear to their urologist.
According to the chemical structure of your stone and the quantity of stones you’ve had in earlier times, your doctor might suggest that you go through particular medical tests. These types of exams are made to measure the level of certain chemical compounds in your blood and urine and locate the particular imbalance or excess that could be making stones to form. The final results of these tests may indicate the necessity for daily use of a nutritional supplement or prescription medication to develop healthy urine chemistry and lessen the risk of stone recurrence.
Diet and lifestyle changes
Dilution is the finest solution
The most effective step to stop recurrence is to maximize your liquid intake. By consuming eight or ten glasses of fluid per day, you are going to dilute your urine, making it less concentrated. This will help to keep crystals from growing and reduce the possibility of stone development. In one study participants ingesting more than 8 glasses of water each day were less likely to have a kidney stone recurrence.
At least half of your fluid ingestion ought to be water. Even though a single serving of coffee or tea per day is shown to slightly decrease the likelihood of stone formation, extreme consumption of caffeinated drinks including coffee, tea, or soda is shown to increase risk. To determine your fluid status, be aware of your urine. Darker urine usually means that you aren't getting needed fluid. The goal is to drink enough so that your urine is pale in color.
Lower your protein consumption
Diet programs high in animal protein (like meat, eggs, cheese, and so on) can increase levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, all of which can increase the chance of calcium stone formation. Diets lower in animal protein and salt have been demonstrated to lower calcium and oxalate within the urine. Low-carb diets, oftentimes loaded with protein and fat, aren't recommended for individuals with a history of calcium kidney stones. To help reduce your chance of calcium stone formation, eat less meat, and substitute a vegetarian meal several times each week.
Reduce your salt intake
Numerous studies have persistently revealed that increased sodium (salt) consumption causes increased calcium within the urine.
Reducing salt in the diet reduces urinary calcium levels. Many experts believe decreasing sodium to 2,000 milligrams per day while maximizing liquid consumption is one of the most effective ways of lowering calcium stone recurrence. High quantities of sodium, however, tend to be found in many prepared foods, and not just in the salt shaker. Try reducing your intake of canned or processed foods, search for reduced-sodium products, and steer clear of adding extra salt to food.
Eat calcium-rich foods
The calcium we get from eating calcium-rich foods, like low-fat milk and yogurt, is not necessarily a difficulty for calcium kidney stone formers. Moderate intake of calcium-containing foods in fact protects against stone development by binding dietary oxalate and reducing oxalate levels within the urine. So don't eliminate calcium-rich foods from your diet.
Taking high amounts of certain calcium supplements could boost your chance of stone formation. If your healthcare provider has recommended you take a calcium supplement for bone health, pick one with calcium citrate. Because citrate helps prevent stone formation, this kind of calcium is the preferred option for people vulnerable to kidney stone formation.
Watch your oxalate intake
The volume of oxalate in the diet affects the quantity of oxalate in the urine, which is definitely an important aspect in kidney stone formation. Your urologist might advise you lessen your consumption of oxalate-rich foods. Foods particularly high in oxalates include chocolate or cocoa, spinach (and other dark, leafy greens), beets, strawberries, wheat germ, peanuts, pecans, and soy.
Avoid high-dose vitamin C supplements
Stay away from high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements unless otherwise prescribed by your healthcare provider. Oftentimes, the level of vitamin C within a multivitamin is safe, but higher amounts (more than 500 mg) from supplements could raise the likelihood of kidney stones by elevating urinary oxalate levels.
Increase your consumption of stone inhibitors
Some substances in the urine are said to lessen calcium-based kidney stone development. A couple of the most important are citrate and magnesium.
Lemon juice has been seen to enhance the amount of citrate in the urine. Real lemonade (not from a powder mix) is a superb method to increase both your citrate and fluid consumption.
Nutritional supplements containing magnesium, potassium, and citrate can also help to improve the concentration of stone inhibitors in the urine.
Vitamin B supplements
Vitamin B6 works well in lowering oxalate production, and therefore vitamin B6 supplements are believed to decrease the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
One study showed that a combination of magnesium oxide and vitamin B6 boosted urinary magnesium and citrate and decreased urinary oxalate in calcium oxalate stone formers.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the experts at Metropolitan Urological Specialists. They have offices in St. Louis, Washington, and Florissant, MO.
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