Kidney stones: Risk factors prevention and diagnosis
Kidney stone disease is one of the more common illnesses known to man. While it may occur for many reasons, urologist Dr. Cletus Georges notes that it is highly preventable.
In this blog, Dr. Georges writes about kidney stone disease, its risk factors, prevention tips, classifications, and treatment methods.
What is kidney stone disease?
Kidney stone disease, also known as nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis, describes what happens when a person develops a kidney stone or stones in the urinary tract. While smaller stones, those under 5 millimeters or 0.2 inches, may pass through the tract without causing any major issues, stones that are bigger may block the ureter and cause severe discomfort and pain in the lower back and abdomen. It can also lead to blood in the urine, vomiting, pain, or discomfort during urination, Dr. Cletus Georges mentions.
What are the risk factors for kidney stone disease?
Cletus Georges, M.D., explains that among the most common risk factors that lead to kidney stones include genetics, high urine calcium levels, obesity, overconsumption of certain food types, particular medications, calcium supplements, hyperparathyroidism, gout, and severe lack of water intake. Many of these risk factors lead to a high concentration of minerals, which form the stones.
How is kidney stone disease diagnosed?
Urologists oversee the treatment of kidney stone disease, but a regular physician can diagnose it. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms plus urine test, blood test, and medical imaging results, Dr. Cletus Georges explains.
How are kidney stones classified?
Kidney stones are classified according to where they are found. Stones found in the kidney are classified under nephrolithiasis, ureterolithiasis for those in the ureter, and cystolithiasis for those in the bladder. Urologists also classify stones based on the materials present, such as calcium oxalate, uric acid, cysteine, and struvite.
How can people prevent developing kidney stones?
The most common way of preventing kidney stone development is by drinking enough fluids, preferably water – to produce more than two liters of urine a day. Thiazide diuretic, citrate, and allopurinol may also be used if drinking fluids does not work or is not effective enough.
What are the treatment methods for kidney stone disease?
Dr. Cletus Georges prescribes pain relievers to his patients experiencing pain from kidney stones and tamsulosin to help them pass the larger stones. In removing kidney stones, Dr. Georges is skilled at performing procedures, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, or percutaneous nephrolithotomy, depending on the nature of the case.
Dr. Cletus Georges is a urologist at Health Orlando Urology. He is a member of the American Urological Association, Southeastern Section of American Urological Association, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, and Orange County Medical Society. Learn more about Dr. Georges and his work by visiting this page.