The Journey to Becoming Kidney Stone Free
For patient’s referred to one of Chesapeake Urology’s kidney stone disease specialists, the first step is to get patients stone free. Once all kidney stones have passed or been surgically removed, patients will undergo a metabolic work-up, an important component to your overall management of kidney stone disease.
What is a Metabolic Evaluation?
Metabolic evaluations are a vital component to a well designed kidney stone prevention plan. This series of diagnostic tests help your physician determine causes of your stone disease. The metabolic work up includes several key components:
- Urine tests
- Blood work
- Crystal analysis (when a stone or fragment of the stone is available)
Results from the metabolic work up often yield a diagnosis such as dehydration, low urinary citrate or elevated levels of urinary sodium or protein. Understanding the factors that caused your body to produce kidney stones ultimately helps your physician map out a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan to help ensure you stay stone free.
Steps You Can Take To Help Prevent Kidney Stones
The kidney stone disease physicians at Chesapeake Urology work closely with patients to manage stone disease for the long term. In addition to regular metabolic work-ups and close monitoring, the doctors recommened patients take the following steps to help prevent kidney stones from returning:
- Stay well hydrated – Make sure to drink enough fluids (water is best) to make 2L or about 1/2 gallon of urine a day. Drink more water in the summer months when you're apt to lose more water through sweat. Lemonade made with real lemon juice has citrate which can be good for the urinary system
- Cut the salt - Limit the amount of sodium in your diet. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2500 mg, yet the average American diet takes in about 5,000 mg of sodium a day. Don't add salt to food and take the salt shaker off the table to avoid temptation. Limit eating out and processed foods which also contribute to higher sodium intake. Decreasing urinary sodium also decreases urinary calcium, which are leading culprits in kidney stone formation
- Limit calcium intake - if you have a history of stone formation, your doctor may recommend a moderate intake of calcium- about 300-1200 mg a day
- Cut the fat - your doctor may also recommend that you cut down on your protein intake
Learn more about the specialists in metabolic evaluations for kidney stone disease here.