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Kidney stone disease is also referred to as nephrolithiasis or renal calculi. These are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. Kidney stones have many causes and can affect any part of your urinary tract, from the kidneys to the bladder.
More than 80% of Kidney stones are calcium based, most commonly calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate.
The other less common types of kidney stones are:
Patients often have mixed stones (e.g: calcium and uric acid stones).
Once you’ve had kidney stones a first time, the risk of kidney stone recurrence is about 15% in 1 year, 35-40% at 5 years and 50% in 10 years.
Common risk factors include:
Preventing kidney stones is not impossible but it does take some determination on your part.
#1 – Increase Your Water Intake
You can help prevent kidney stones by modifying your diet and increasing your water intake. Water intake is the key to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.
The recommended amount of daily water intake is about 64-80 ounces of water a day, which may vary with individuals depending on their medical history, type of kidney stones and certain lab values. The goal is to have >2-2.5 litres of urine per day.
#2 – Dietary Modification (most common recommendations)
We advise all the patients to take the calcium they need according to their age and medical history. The ideal source of calcium is from your food. Consult your doctor for age appropriate calcium requirements.
We advise all the patients to adhere to a low sat diet. We suggest limited sodium intake of 2-2.5 grams per day, which can also vary individually based on your medical history and medications.
Other dietary recommendations are made according to your individual history and type of kidney stones.
#3 – Medications
Medications can also be used to prevent stone formation. This is typically done after a 24-hour evaluation of your urine to identify the risk factors for formation of the stones. Medications are used only after dietary modifications are maximized with no improvement in the risk factors.
Medications are carefully tailored to an individual’s needs after evaluating the medical history, current medications, kidney functions and other laboratory results.
Read more about treating kidney stones.
WakeMed is the only hospital in the Triangle to offer immediate help for kidney stones. Contact the WakeMed Kidney Stone Center by calling the Stone Phone at: 919-350-ROCK (7625).
Dr. Shams Zia is a Nephrology consultant for the Kidney Stone Center, and she also serves as a hospitalist at WakeMed Raleigh Campus. Appointments with Dr. Zia are made by referral through WakeMed Physician Practices – Urology.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610