Most people are familiar with the pain and discomfort that accompanies a stone in the urinary tract, but did you know that there is also the potential for weight loss? This is because the pain that comes with a stone is often associated with the passage of food during urgent moments – particularly when eating acidic foods. While there is no doubt that stones cause pain, there is also the possibility that they could be keeping you healthy by helping to shed those extra pounds that you simply don’t want to lose.
What Are The Most Popular Types Of Stones?
Like many other parts of the body, the urinary tract is exposed to the elements and therefore prone to developing stones. It is estimated that about 80% of all stones are made of calcium, which is extremely common. Other types of stones include oxalates, phosphate, and citrates, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. The most common type of urine stone is known as calcium oxalate, which makes up about 70% of all urinary stones.
Does Stone Formation Have A Genetic Predisposition?
Recent family histories and twin studies have suggested that there is a genetic predisposition to stone formation. Specifically, there appears to be a correlation between first-degree relatives of patients with urine stones and those who have requested a genetic consultation. The study found that if a parent, sibling, or child has formed a stone in the urinary tract, there is a 64% chance that the patient will do the same. This is probably because there are specific genes that contribute to the formation of urinary tract stones.
When Should You Seek Medical Treatment For Stones?
Stones are most likely to form in the urinary tract if you have consumed a high-calcium diet for a long time, if you have a history of stones in your family, or if you are a man and have sustained frequent bladder irritation. In these cases, it is advised that you speak with your healthcare provider about how to prevent and/or dissolve the stones. The most effective way to do this is through a process known as medical expulsion therapy, or MET. With this treatment option, the healthcare provider will systematically remove the stone(s) from the urinary tract using minimally invasive techniques.
Although there is no set time limit for how long you should wait to seek medical treatment for stones, the sooner you do so, the better. This is because the longer that you wait, the more likely it is that the stone(s) will become embedded in the urinary tract and therefore much more difficult to treat. If you are already 40 years old and have not yet formed any stones, it is highly recommended that you do so before you turn 50 to ensure that you can still treat the condition effectively when you grow old.
What Are The Most Effective Ways To Treat Stones?
There are several ways in which you can treat stones, including medication and surgery. Before you start any treatment plan, it is essential that you consult with your healthcare provider so that he can properly diagnose the condition and select the most effective method of treatment for you.
Treatment for stones can be quite invasive if you have several large ones in your urinary tract, but it is usually a one-shot deal. Your healthcare provider will usually prescribe you medication to dissolve the stones (often in combination with dietary changes and/or exercise) so that you can pass the stones without interference. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the stones completely.
Treatments for stones are not meant to be long-term solutions, so make sure to consult with your physician about how to prevent the condition from recurring. In some instances, this may mean avoiding certain foods or substances that contribute to the formation of stones, such as oxalates and citrates.
What About The Pain That Comes With Stones?
Stones in the urinary tract can cause a great deal of pain, especially if they are large and/or if they are particularly irritating. This is because the presence of a stone in the urinary tract constricts the ureter – the duct that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. If the ureter is continually constricted, it will eventually lead to a buildup of pressure and, in some cases, kidney damage. This is why it is essential that you see your healthcare provider for regular check-ups and to have your stone size and composition determined, as this might require specific treatment strategies.
To manage the pain that comes with stones, your healthcare provider may prescribe you medications that dilate the blood vessels and prevent the nerve endings from being repeatedly stimulated. In some cases, this might mean that you have to try different medications and/or combination therapies to find the one that is most effective for you.
In most cases, the pain from a stone is temporary and should subside as the stone passes through the urinary tract. If it does not, then this might mean that the stone has caused permanent damage and required surgical removal.
Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented?
There is no known way of preventing stones, as they are common and usually develop as a result of genetic predisposition, dietary habits, or repeated bladder irritation. However, there are some things that you can do to lessen the chances of you or a family member developing stones in the future: be sure to have regular check-ups with your physician, particularly if you have an above-average risk of developing stones; try to limit your daily sodium intake, which tends to promote the formation of stones; and drink plenty of water, as this helps maintain an alkaline environment in the body, which in turn protects against the formation of stones.
If you are already 40 years old and have not yet formed any stones, then it is highly recommended that you do so before you turn 50 to ensure that you can still treat the condition effectively when you grow old.