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Most Googled Questions On Kidney Stones Answered By An Apollo Expert

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By Dr Ravi Vemagiri Andrews, Nephrologist, Apollo Hospitals Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad- 24 August 2022, Updated on - 26 August 2022

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Sharp, cramping pain in the back and side is often considered a tell-tale sign of kidney stones. But how to be sure? Worry no more! Here are the 10 most commonly asked questions associated with kidney stones, answered by none other than Dr Ravi Vemagiri Andrews, Nephrologist, Apollo Hospitals Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad

1.  What causes kidney stones?

Ans: A genetic tendency for stone formation triggered by unhealthy lifestyle choices often results in kidney stones. These lifestyle choices include drinking less fluids (resulting in dehydration), consuming high uric acid and high oxalate (found in foods like beans and soy), high salt consumption, drinking too much alcohol, and eating foods and drinks with too much calcium.

2. How common are kidney stones?

Ans: Kidney stones are quite common as one in 10 persons suffers from a kidney stone at some point in their life.

3. What are the risk factors for kidney stones?

Ans: The risk factors for kidney stones include:

  • Family history
  • Dehydration
  • Consuming foods with high salt, uric acid, calcium, and oxalate
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Drinking too much alcohol

alcohol

4. What are the kidney stone symptoms?

Often, kidney stones are asymptomatic and discovered incidentally. However, the most common kidney stone symptoms include: 

  • Back pain travelling towards the bladder
  • Vomiting 
  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Fever with chills
  • Passage of stones/gritty material in the urine 

5. How are kidney stones diagnosed?

Ans: Your doctor may take complete medical and family history and recommend some diagnostic tests to confirm the presence and size of kidney stones. Some of these tests include: 

  • Ultrasound of the abdomen
  • Plain CT scan of the abdomen
  • Intravenous Pyelography (IVP)
  • CT Urography
  • MR Urography

6. How are kidney stones treated?

Ans: Initially, every attempt should be made to identify the root cause of the stone formation and treat it. Identifying the major components of the stone (such as calcium, oxalate, or uric acid) can also help in determining the underlying issue. Depending on the underlying cause, the kidney stones treatment is divided into; medical and surgical. 

Medical treatment for kidney stones includes making dietary and lifestyle changes, drinking enough water and taking certain medications. Surgical treatment is given only after the medical treatment fails. Your doctor may also use “Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy” to break the stone with a laser.

7. How to prevent kidney stones?

Ans: Kidney stones can be prevented by:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Reducing salt in the diet
  • Reducing the intake of red meat
  • Consuming more fruits
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Aggressively treating urinary tract infections

8. Do children get kidney stones?

Ans: Rarely, but yes, children can also get kidney stones. 

9. What is the ideal kidney stones diet for people suffering from it?

Ans: People suffering from kidney stones should:

  • Increase fluid intake
  • Consume less red meat
  • Minimise alcohol intake
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid eating spinach and tomato
  • Avoid drinking too much milk and milk products

10. Can beer help in getting rid of kidney stones?

Ans: No! This is one of the most common myths associated with kidney stones. If you have kidney stones, you must avoid alcoholic beverages to avoid worsening of symptoms.

no beer

If you suffer from kidney stones and need expert advice,

Consult Dr Ravi Vemagiri Andrews

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