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Kidney Stones Treatment

Kidney Stones Treatment
Kidney Stones
Causes and Risk Factors

Kidney stones treatment
Treatment for kidney stones varies, depending on the type of stone and the cause. You may simply be able to move a stone through the urinary tract simply by drinking plenty of water and by staying physically active. Stones that can't be treated via conservative measures may need professional treatment. Goals of treatment include:

  1. Relieving symptoms such as pain during passing
  2. Removing the kidney stone
  3. Preventing future kidney stones from occurring

Drinking more water may help prevent or treat existing kidney stones. Water helps to flush away the substances that form stones in the kidneys. A glass of lemonade every day can also help increase the levels of citrate in the urine, which prevent stones formation. Aim to drink enough fluids that your urine is nearly clear or has only a light yellow tinge.

Studies show that an overall diet low in salt and very low in animal protein can greatly reduce your chance of developing kidney stones. As a general rule, however, restricting intake of calcium doesn't seem to lower risk of developing a kidney stone. Some research suggests that magnesium citrate or vitamin B-6 supplements may help prevent kidney stones. But evidence is weak and at this time not sufficient enough to recommend magnesium citrate or vitamin B-6 for the prevention of kidney stones.

Depending on the type of stone you're at risk for, your doctor may also advise you to avoid certain foods or drinks. For example, people prone to forming calcium oxalate stones should restrict foods rich in oxalates. Avoid spinach, lettuce, peanuts and chocolate, for example. People prone to uric acid stones should cut back on meat, especially animal organs such as liver or stomach. Limit intake of beef, pork and poultry to less than 4 to 6 ounces a day. You can also eat moderate amounts of dairy products (1-3 servings each day). Limit the amount of pasta you eat. And finally avoid foods and beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup.

If other measures do not prove effective and/or blood and urine tests reveal a correctable chemical imbalance or that the stones you have are getting bigger, your doctor may prescribe certain medications. Medications can control the level of acidity or alkalinity in the urine and may be helpful for treating certain kinds of stones. The type of medication your doctor prescribes will depend on the kind of kidney stones you have. Types of medications include

  • Alkaline promoting agents or medications
  • Antibiotics (to keep the urine free of bacteria)
  • Cystine binding medications
  • Phosphate-containing medications
  • Potassium bicarbonate
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Uric acid level reduction medications

Shock wave therapy
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a commonly used procedure for treating kidney stones. During this procedure, doctors use a machine that sends shock waves to the stone and breaks it into smaller pieces. The small pieces will then pass through your urinary system with your urine. After treatment, it may take months for all the stone fragments to pass.

Complications that can occur during ESWL treatment include blood in the urine, bruising on the back or abdomen, bleeding around the kidney and other adjacent organs, and discomfort as kidney stone fragments pass through the ureter. If a stone doesn't shatter completely, you may need a second round of ESWL or you may opt for stone removal. This type of treatment is available at many hospitals, outpatient centers and sometimes even in mobile units.


Tunnel surgery - During "tunnel surgery," a surgeon makes a small cut in the back and creates a narrow tunnel into the kidney to locate and removes a kidney stone using a special instrument.

Ureteroscopic stone removal - If the kidney stone is located in the ureter, doctors use a ureteroscope inserted into the urethra-the short tube that carries urine out of the bladder when you urinate-through the bladder, then into the ureter. They then catch the kidney stone with a small cage in the uteroscope and pull it out. Or the doctor may shatter the stone with a device inserted through the ureteroscope that uses laser or ultrasound energy.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy - If shock wave therapy isn't effective, or the kidney stone is very large, a surgeon may remove a kidney stone through a small incision in your back using an instrument called a nephroscope.

Parathyroid surgery - Some calcium stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands. Most often, this is caused by a small benign tumor in one of the four parathyroid glands. A doctor can surgically remove the tumor.

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Tags: kidney stones treatment, kidney stones, kidney, stones, after treatment, complications, medications, alkalinity, medication, ultrasound, potassium, procedure, treatment, beverages, adjacent, symptoms, drinking, alkaline, bacteria, amounts
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