The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States has been on the rise since the 1970s, and today almost 19% of men and 9% of women are expected to suffer from at least one kidney stone in their lives. Thankfully, these painful obstructions are treatable and preventable with the right approach. At South Jersey Urology Consultants in Vineland, New Jersey, Dr. Christopher Lee can treat your kidney stones and provide a dietary game plan to ensure they don’t come back. To learn more, call to schedule your consultation or book online.
Kidney stones are small deposits of hardened salt and minerals that form within your kidneys. These stones pass from your kidneys and travel along your urinary tract, which can produce severe pain and other urinary problems.
Kidney stones come in four varieties based on their composite mineral: calcium, uric acid, struvite, and cystine.
There’s no single cause for kidney stones but in many cases, your diet has a direct effect on their formation. Regular dehydration and eating a diet high in salt, sugar, and protein can increase your risk, as can certain diseases that affect your digestive system, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Genetics can also play a role in kidney stone development, as they tend to run in families. Finally, certain medical treatments and medications can also increase your risk.
Kidney stone treatment generally falls into two categories: breaking up large kidney stones or otherwise helping remove them from the ureter, and prevention following removal.
If Dr. Lee determines that your kidney stone is too large to pass on your own, he might offer a few treatment options for removal. In most cases, he aims to break down the stone so you can pass it naturally during urination.
Shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to break up the stone, or ureteroscopy, which uses a small scope to find and break up the stone, is the most common method.
For especially large stones that Dr. Lee can’t break up, the only option might be percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a more intensive procedure that removes your kidney stones whole.
Once you’re free of your kidney stones, prevention is the next goal. Dietary adjustments go a long way toward preventing recurrence, and the most common changes include drinking more water throughout the day, eating fewer foods high in calcium oxalate, or reducing the salt and animal protein in your diet.
Dr. Lee might also recommend certain medications to help prevent the buildup of the minerals and salts that cause certain kinds of stones.
If you’ve struggled with recurring kidney stones and you’re ready to get rid of them for good, the experts at South Jersey Urology Consultants in Vineland, New Jersey, can provide the treatment plan you need for success. Call to schedule your consultation or book online.