Specific Health Concerns >> Kidney Stones
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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses if having Symptoms is ever normal and what you need to consider if you would choose to be healthy.
Kidney Stones are a long-term chronic imbalance that has been building up for a while. Understanding the metabolic reasons for this becomes paramount if you value the health of your Kidneys.
Consider what this video says and if you have Kidney Stones and want to deal with them Naturally, we are here to help you and look forward to serving you.
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Kidney Stones - Overview
Kidney Stone facts
Kidney Stone Treatment
Most Kidney Stones eventually pass from the kidney through the ureter and bladder and finally through the urethra on their own. However, treatment is often required for pain control from Kidney Stones as they pass. The consumption of ample fluids helps facilitate the passage of Kidney Stones, but even with plentiful fluid intake, most people require some type of medications for pain control.
What Is A Kidney Stone?
A Kidney Stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney Stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having Kidney Stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
Who is at Risk for Kidney Stones?
Anyone may develop a Kidney Stone, but people with certain diseases and conditions (see below) or those who are taking certain medications are more susceptible to their development. Urinary tract stones are more common in men than in women. Most urinary stones develop in people 20 to 49 years of age, and those who are prone to multiple attacks of Kidney Stones usually develop their first stones during the second or third decade of life. People who have already had more than one Kidney Stone are prone to developing further stones.
In residents of industrialized countries, Kidney Stones are more common than stones in the bladder. The opposite is true for residents of developing areas of the world, where bladder stones are the most common. This difference is believed to be related to dietary factors. People who live in the southern or southwestern regions of the U.S. have a higher rate of Kidney Stone formation than those living in other areas. Over the last few decades, the percentage of people with Kidney Stones in the U.S. has been increasing, most likely related to the obesity epidemic.
A family history of Kidney Stones is also a risk factor for developing Kidney Stones. Kidney Stones are more common in Asians and Caucasians than in Native Americans, Africans, or African Americans.
Uric acid Kidney Stones are more common in people with chronically elevated uric acid levels in their blood (hyperuricemia). This is associated with the condition called Gout.
A small number of pregnant women develop Kidney Stones, and there is some evidence that pregnancy-related changes may increase the risk of stone formation. Factors that may contribute to stone formation during pregnancy include a slowing of the passage of urine due to increased progesterone levels and diminished fluid intake due to a decreasing bladder capacity from the enlarging uterus. Healthy pregnant women also have a mild increase in their urinary calcium excretion. However, it remains unclear whether the changes of pregnancy are directly responsible for kidney stone formation or if these women have another underlying factor that predisposes them to Kidney Stone formation.
What Are The Types of Kidney Stones?
Calcium stones are the most common. They can be made of calcium oxalate (most common at 80 %), calcium phosphate (5 - 10 %), or calcium maleate. Eating fewer oxalate-rich foods can reduce your risk of developing this type of stone. High-oxalate foods include potato chips, peanuts, chocolate, beets, and spinach.
This type of kidney stone is more common in men than in women and represents 5 - 10 % of stones found. They can occur in people with gout or those going through chemotherapy. This type of stone develops when urine is too acidic. A diet rich in purines can increase urine’s acidic level. Purine is a colorless substance in animal proteins, such as fish, shellfish, and meats.
This type of stone is found mostly in women with urinary tract infections. These stones can be large and cause urinary obstruction. These stones are caused by a kidney infection. Treating an underlying infection can prevent the development of struvite stones. They represent 10 - 15 % of stones found.
Cystine stones are rare, representing 1 - 2 % of the stones found. They occur in both men and women who have the genetic disorder cystinuria. With this type of stone, cystine — an acid that occurs naturally in the body — leaks from the kidneys into the urine.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Kidney Stones form when there is a decrease in urine volume and/or an excess of stone-forming substances in the urine. This is a biproduct of changes in the Microbiome, Leaky Gut Syndrome and Digestive Yeast/Candidia imbalance. The most common type of kidney stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate. A majority of Kidney Stones are calcium stones. Other chemical compounds that can form stones in the urinary tract include uric acid, magnesium ammonium phosphate (which forms struvite stones; see below), and the amino acid cysteine.
Dehydration from reduced fluid intake or strenuous exercise without adequate fluid replacement increases the risk of Kidney Stones. Obstruction to the flow of urine can also lead to stone formation. In this regard, climate may be a risk factor for Kidney Stone development, since residents of hot and dry areas are more likely to become dehydrated and susceptible to stone formation.
Kidney Stones can also result from infection in the urinary tract. These are known as struvite or infection stones. Metabolic abnormalities, including inherited disorders of metabolism, can alter the composition of the urine and increase an individual's risk of stone formation.
What Health Conditions Are Associated With Kidney Stones?
A number of different medical conditions can lead to an increased risk for developing Kidney Stones:
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
While some kidney stones may not produce symptoms (known as "silent" stones), people who have kidney stones often report the sudden onset of excruciating, cramping pain in their low back and/or side, groin, or abdomen. Changes in body position do not relieve this pain. The abdominal, groin, and/or back pain typically waxes and wanes in severity, characteristic of colicky pain (the pain is sometimes referred to as renal colic). It may be so severe that it is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The pain has been described by many as the worst pain of their lives, even worse than the pain of childbirth or broken bones. Kidney stones also characteristically cause bloody urine. If infection is present in the urinary tract along with the stones, there may be fever and chills. Sometimes, symptoms such as difficulty urinating, urinary urgency, penile pain, or testicular pain may occur due to kidney stones.
How are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of kidney stones is suspected when the typical pattern of symptoms is noted and when other possible causes of the abdominal or flank pain are excluded. Which is the ideal test to diagnose kidney stones is controversial. Imaging tests are usually done to confirm the diagnosis. Many patients who go to the emergency room will have a non-contrast CT scan done. This can be done rapidly and will help rule out other causes for flank or abdominal pain. However, a CT scan exposes patients to significant radiation, and recently, ultrasound in combination with plain abdominal X-rays have been shown to be effective in diagnosing kidney stones.
In pregnant women or those who should avoid radiation exposure, an ultrasound examination may be done to help establish the diagnosis.
What is the Treatment for Kidney Stones? How long does it take to pass a kidney stone?
Most kidney stones eventually pass through the urinary tract on their own within 48 hours, with ample fluid intake. Ketorolac (Toradol), an injectable anti-inflammatory drug, and narcotics may be used for pain control when over-the-counter pain control medications are not effective. Toradol, aspirin, and NSAIDs must be avoided if lithotripsy is to be done because of the increased risk of bleeding. Intravenous pain medications can be given when nausea and vomiting are present.
Although there are no proven home remedies to dissolve kidney stones that traditional medical treatments are aware of, home treatment may be considered for patients who have a known history of kidney stones. (Refer to Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Perspective Below) Since most kidney stones, given time, will pass through the ureter to the bladder on their own, treatment is directed toward control of symptoms. Home care in this case includes the consumption of plenty of fluids. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be used as pain medication if there is no contraindication to its use. If further pain medication is needed, stronger narcotic pain medications may be recommended.
There are several factors that influence the ability to pass a stone. These include the size of the person, prior stone passage, prostate enlargement, pregnancy, and the size of the stone. A 4 mm stone has an 80% chance of passage while a 5 mm stone has a 20% chance. Stones larger than 9 mm to 10 mm rarely pass without specific treatment. (Refer to Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Perspective Below)
Some medications have been used to increase the passage rates of kidney stones. These include calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia, Afeditab, Nifediac) and alpha blockers such as tamsulosin (Flomax). These drugs may be prescribed to some people who have stones that do not rapidly pass through the urinary tract.
For kidney stones that do not pass on their own, a procedure called lithotripsy is often used. In this procedure, shock waves are used to break up a large stone into smaller pieces that can then pass through the urinary system.
Surgical techniques have also been developed to remove kidney stones when other treatment methods are not effective. This may be done through a small incision in the skin (percutaneous nephrolithotomy) or through an instrument known as an ureteroscope passed through the urethra and bladder up into the ureter.
Our Experience With Kidney Stones
Early on in Dr. Huntoon's career, he had a number of patients come to him with Kidney Stones. Each one wanted to address the cause of the Kidney Stones in addition to wanting to prevent them from coming back. Dr. Huntoon consulted with his mentors and with their guidance, developed a plan to dissolve the stones and then restore balance to the person so they could go on with their life and not have to worry about developing Kidney Stones again.
The recommended protocol for kidney stones requires an evaluation and a conversation to discuss the specifics involved, what to expect and what to do if you run into problems. You are encouraged to have a Consultation and Examination to determine if you are a candidate for Dr. Huntoon's Kidney Stone Solution.
After the stones have been eliminated, you will need to discuss your dietary habits, understand the mechanism of your stone formation and develop a life-style change to prevent them from coming back. This is vitally important for the successful recovery and prevention of future Kidney Stones.
Can Kidney Stones be Prevented?
Rather than having to undergo treatment, it is best to avoid kidney stones in the first place when possible. It can be especially helpful to drink more water, since low fluid intake and dehydration are major risk factors for kidney stone formation.
Depending on the cause of your Kidney Stones and your unique medical history, changes in the diet will be recommended to decrease the likelihood of developing further kidney stones. Addressing the repressed emotions related to the Kidney/Bladder (Genitourinary System) is vital to keep the person from precipitating out the Kidney Stone Metabolites.
If one has passed a stone, it can be particularly helpful to have it analyzed in a laboratory to determine the precise type of stone so specific prevention measures can be considered.
People who have a tendency to form calcium oxalate kidney stones may be advised to limit their consumption of foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, beets, wheat germ, and peanuts. Also drinking lemon juice or lemonade may be helpful in preventing kidney stones.
What is the Prognosis for Kidney Stones?
Most kidney stones will pass on their own, and successful treatments have been developed to remove larger stones or stones that do not pass. People who have had a kidney stone remain at risk for future stones throughout their lives.
Are Home Remedies Effective for Kidney Stones?
For some people who have had many Kidney Stones, home care may be appropriate. When passing a Kidney Stone, drinking lots of fluid is important. In fact, this is the most important home care measure. Medications may help control the pain (as described previously). However, if it is the first time one has had symptoms suggestive of a Kidney Stone, it is important to see a doctor right away.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Huntoon directly at 845-561-2225. He looks forward to serving you.
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
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Dr. Richard A. Huntoon