If so, you probably know how painful they can be. Sometimes, however, kidney stones cause no symptoms. Other times they may result in blood in the urine or even block the flow of urine, resulting in great pain.
“A kidney stone forms in the kidney out of substances in the urine,” says Omar Ortiz-Alvarado,MD, a urologist at Cleveland Clinic who performs surgeries at Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. “Most patients with kidney stones have a chemical abnormality of blood or urine that contributed to the tendency to form these stones.”
If the stone does not pass through the urine in a couple of days, recommended treatments may include the insertion of a small ureteroscope to “snare” the stone, shock wave lithotripsy to crush the stone, or surgery to remove the stone.
In all cases, not drinking enough fluids contributes to kidney stone development by causing the kidneys to produce less and more highly concentrated urine. Dr. Ortiz-Alvarado recommends drinking eight to 10 glasses of liquid a day, with water constituting at least half of the liquid intake. “You should also reduce salt intake, moderate the amount of high-calcium foods in your daily diet, and avoid foods that may increase oxalate or uric acid in the urine. If kidney stones are a frequent problem, your physician may also prescribe medication to help.”
Source: Cleveland Clinic Heal Essencials magazine Summer 2012