According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 19% of men and 9% of women will experience a kidney stone by age 70.
If you have never experienced the excruciating pain of passing a kidney stone, consider yourself to be very lucky. If you have had at least one, unfortunately you are likely to have another. In either case you should keep reading to learn how your diet can help keep these painful stones at bay.
If you’ve experienced kidney stones once, odds are you’ll want to learn how to prevent them from forming again.
While the small, hard masses can be caused by family history and certain medications, there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure you don’t experience kidney stone pain again:
Stay hydrated. Drinking at least 12 – 8 oz glasses of water a day will dilute the mineral concentration in your urine and reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.
Lower sodium intake. Too much salt in your diet can cause excess calcium in your bloodstream, which increases the chance of developing kidney stones.
Limit oxalate-rich foods. Chocolate, nuts, spinach, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, wheat germ, and black Indian tea can increase your chances of developing oxalate stones.
Decrease the amount of animal protein you’re consuming. Too much animal protein can cause uric acid stones.
Eat foods high in phytate. Certain fiber-rich foods that are high in phytate can prevent calcium from crystallizing, which prevents stones from forming.
Eat more citrus. Citrus fruits and juices, such as lemon juice, increase the amount of citrate in the urine, which decreases the chance of calcium stones from forming.
Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases your risk of developing kidney stones.
When to Talk to Your Doctor About Kidney Stones
If you had a kidney stone and want to prevent getting them in the future, it’s important to speak to your urologist about the steps you should take. Here are a few questions to ask your physician if you’re concerned about kidney stones:
What foods can I eat?
What foods should I avoid?
Should I limit calcium intake?
Should I take medication to prevent kidney stones from forming in the future?
Are there any tests I can take to find out why I get kidney stones?
It is believed that Benjamin Franklin originally coined the phrase: “The only things in life that are certain are death and taxes.” Well, if you’re asking about BPH and how to prevent it, there are certain other things we can’t control, like our age and our family.
The prostate is a small, muscular gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It slowly swells as a man gets older, squeezing the urethra and limiting the flow of urine. An enlarged prostate is known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH.
Accompanying symptoms can be mild to severe and usually get worse over time. Diagnosis helps to rule out other more serious conditions and can help to manage the symptoms and treat the condition.
Kidney cancer, also referred to as renal cell carcinoma (RCC), is among the top 10 cancers found in men. About 40,000 new cases are reported each year, with a majority of them being in men over 40, who fall into the high-risk category. The good news is that there’s a very high survival rate, so it’s important to look for the warning signs to diagnose the disease early.
What are the most common signs of kidney cancer?
The most common symptoms tend to show up in the lower back area, or are evident in urine.
1. Blood in your urine
This is the most common symptom and typically the earliest sign of kidney cancer. Even the slightest amount of blood will affect the color of your urine, giving it either a brown or pink discoloration. You may also experience difficult or painful urination.
2. Pain or discomfort in your side or back of the abdomen
This is a persistent, strong pain in your side that may be accompanied by a lump as well.
3. A loss of appetite
Kidney cancer may cause a loss of appetite and in turn a sudden weight loss not caused by conscious dieting.
4. An unexplained fever lasting longer than normal
This fever is different than others as it typically lasts for weeks and there isn’t a specific cause to associate it with such as a cold or other infection.
5. Extreme fatigue and weakness
People with kidney cancer experience constant and extreme tiredness and a feeling of weakness throughout the body.
Who is at high risk for kidney cancer?
Doctors are still unable to pinpoint the exact cause of kidney cancer, however they have picked up on a few common factors that may increase one’s risk. The number one factor is age. Kidney cancer is more prevalent in people over the age of 40 and continues to increase with each passing year. Other risk factors that may increase your chance of getting kidney cancer include:
High blood pressure
Being obese or having diabetes
Genetic conditions/ family history of kidney cancer
Race (rates are higher in African-American and Hispanic individuals)
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms similar to those of kidney cancer or you feel you are at high risk due to the common risk factors, it’s a good idea to get tested. Testing is rather quick and painless. Doctors will just need a simple blood and urine test from you. If further testing is needed, your doctor will most likely refer you to a radiologist to get a CT scan, PET scan, MRI or ultrasound.
Southland Urology patient Jim talks about his experience with the UroLift procedure. Dr. Eric Tygenhof and Jim discuss life before and after the treatment, exploring his vast improvement in quality of life. Jim had this one-time, in-office solution and experienced rapid relief and recovery from his BPH symptoms. He is off medications and feeling great! And all without invasive surgery.
Southland Urology is the first dual Center of Excellence for the UroLift procedure. We are one of the largest volume UroLift providers in Southern California.
The UroLift System
The UroLift System uses a revolutionary approach to treating BPH that lifts and holds the enlarged prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra. It is the only BPH treatment performed by a urologist that does not require heating, cutting, or removal of the prostate tissue. The procedure is typically performed using local anesthesia in the office and typically takes about 20 minutes. Most patients return home the same day without a catheter.
Is UroLift Right For You?
Your Southland Urology physician will help you understand whether you are a good candidate for the UroLift. On average about 75% of patients are candidates for the UroLift procedure. For more information please contact us or request an appointment online today.
The doctors of Southland Urology will discuss UroLift therapy at a St. Jude Medical Center community presentation on July 16th at 6 p.m. Most men over 60 have symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Symptoms include frequent urination, slow urination, and getting up at nighttime. UroLift is a revolutionary treatment option for symptoms of an enlarged prostate. This presentation will focus on why most men are eligible for the treatment and how it stacks up against other treatment options.
Kidney stones can be painful and treatment may be necessary. Dr. Eric Tygenhof sat down with Orange County Catholic to discuss kidney stones. If you or someone you know is suffering from pain due to recurring kidney stones, call Southland Urology today at (714) 870-5970 or request an appointment online.
The prostate gland is an integral part of the male reproductive system. About the size of a walnut, it continues to change and grow during a man’s lifetime. Maintaining prostate health should be of maximum importance to all men if they want to lead a long and healthy life.