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Debunking the Most Common Kidney Stone Myths
21 Jan 2023

Debunking the Most Common Kidney Stone Myths

Kidney stones are infamous for being among the most painful medical conditions a person can experience, and they have become more common in recent decades. Today, about one in 10 Americans will have a kidney stone at some point. Their painful reputation, combined with their growing prevalence, means people are interested in doing everything they can to avoid them. This attention has led to many myths and misconceptions about kidney stones, their causes, and what can help prevent them.

Here are the six most common myths surrounding kidney stones.

Myth #1 - All stones are painful

Fact - Kidney stones are hard masses in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, or infection or block urine flow. But they're not always painful, especially at the beginning. The first signs of the stones may be blood in the urine or minor back pain. In other cases, kidney stones can be severe and cause nausea and vomiting.

Myth #2 - Larger stones are always more painful

Fact - Size is only one factor in how painful a kidney stone can be. The location of the stone is the other main element to consider. A smaller stone in the wrong area can create an incredibly painful blockage requiring emergency treatment. Depending on the location of the stone, the patient may feel pain in their back or lower abdomen. The pain tends to come in waves, gradually increasing to peak intensity, then fading over about 20 minutes to one hour.

Myth #3 – Kidney stones condition always require medical attention

Fact - Kidney stones often require emergency medical treatment, but not always. Some individuals with a family history or associated medical conditions such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis are more likely to have chronic or repeating kidney stones. These people can develop strategies for safely managing pain and passing stones at home. Individuals experiencing severe pain or blood in their urine can see a physician or urologist for a urinalysis and imaging to be sure.

However, several symptoms do warrant emergency treatment. Individuals should be aware of experiencing persistent pain, nausea, vomiting, or high body temperature, which could indicate an infection.

Myth #4 – Kidney stones are more prevalent in men

Fact - Many more women are suffering from kidney stones today, and men and women are equally likely to develop them. A more acidic diet today and an increased prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and other risk factors.

Myth #5 – Iced tea causes kidney stones, and cranberry juice prevents the best to prevent it

Fact - Certain beverages increase the chances of developing kidney stones. Coffee, milk, soda, and iced tea are all on the list of usual suspects. Acidic drinks or those high in calcium or caffeine may be triggers, but they certainly aren't for everyone.

When preventing kidney stones, lemon juice is better than cranberry juice. Citrus beverages show more citrate levels in urine, which can minimize stone formation. However, research shows how much you drink has a much more significant impact than what you drink. Aim to drink at least 100 ounces of fluids daily to keep the kidneys flushed out and the concentration of stone-forming salts lower.

Myth #6 – If the pain goes away, you've passed your stone

Fact - Unfortunately, the relief from subsiding pain does not necessarily mean the stone has washed out. The level of pain can vary as the stone grows and moves.

For more about kidney stones and their treatment, visit the Urolife Urology & Andrology Clinic provide the Best Kidney Stone Treatment in Secunderabad, Hyderabad.

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