HEALTHY FOR LIFE
from Eyewitness News Online
September 6, 2013
A kidney stone forms from crystals in your urine and can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pebble, or even a golf ball.
"A stone itself doesn't cause pain," said Dr. Stephen Woolums, a urologist at Cabell Huntington Hospital and director of the Cabell Stone Center. "A stone that causes obstruction causes pain."
So how will you know if you have one?
"They will just hurt. Their belly with hurt. Their back will hurt. They may see burning with urination. They may see blood in their urine. They may have nausea and vomiting because of it," Woolums said.
The doctor said you should seek help at the first sign that you have uncontrolled pain.
An X-ray or CT scan can spot the stone. If it's 4 millimeters or less, it will probably pass on its own most of the time. If it's bigger, it's most commonly treated by shock wave lithotripsy.
"Just like a hammer would break up a rock if you're in a rock quarry, the sound waves go in and focus on the stone, and break the stone into smaller pieces and then those stones will pass on their own," Woolums said.
The Cabell Stone Center uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat patients. Woolums said it looks at the patient, looks at his habits, looks at his metabolic derangement and helps create a solution to help the patient prevent stones in the future.
He said stones can actually be prevented in most cases, and dehydration is the No. 1 cause of kidney stones. The easiest way to prevent dehydration is to give up soda, tea, alcoholic beverages and other drinks that lead to dehydration, and drink more water.
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