Life After Kidney Stones

Life After Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are common in the Western world and are growing in frequency. Eleven percent of men and 6% of women in the United States can expect to have at least one kidney stone during their lifetime. 

If you’re in that unfortunate and painful percentage, you may wonder what’s next. Whether you could pass a small stone or stones more or less painlessly, or whether you had to undergo shockwave therapy or treatment, your next steps should be to prevent the next stones.

Half of those who’ve had one stone will go on to have another. You definitely don’t want to be among that percentage. 

Alex Lesani, MD, is an expert urologist who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing kidney stones. At our offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, he can tell you what kind of stone you have and help you avoid the next one.

What is life like after kidney stones? Here are a few things you can expect.

You may have residual pain

If you underwent shockwave therapy to remove your kidney stones, the treatment actually broke them into smaller pieces. You then need to pass the stone fragments through your urine.

You may have some pain when the pieces pass through your urethra. You could also experience nausea. You may also notice a small amount of blood in your urine. These after-effects could last anywhere from a few days to up to eight weeks. 

Bruises might also appear on the treatment area, such as your back or side. Fortunately, they should clear up within a few days.

Have somebody drive you home after your procedure. You may feel tired or groggy for a few days afterward. Be sure to take any medications or painkillers that we give you or prescribe.

You need to strain your urine

We may ask you to strain your urine so that you can tell when the stones have passed. You collect the stones, and we forward them to a lab for analysis.

In some cases, we may have placed a stent or drainage tube. We give you aftercare instructions for those devices and recovery in general.

You need a follow-up

If you underwent laser or shockwave therapy, we schedule follow-up visits to ensure you’re infection- and stone-free. Always be sure to let us know if you develop troubling or severe symptoms, including vomiting, heavy bleeding, painful urination, or light-headedness.

You have to be extra alert to your kidney health

One stone makes you prone to another. You need to take extra care of your kidneys by adopting lifestyle changes that minimize the chances that you’ll form more stones. 

Lifestyle changes can also prevent complications, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney infections. Poor kidney health can even lead to kidney failure.

You must drink plenty of healthy fluids

Both after your procedure and as a daily habit, you must drink at least ten 10-ounce glasses of water or other healthy fluids. The liquids help flush your kidneys and prevent new stones from forming. Be sure to avoid sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, and carbonation in your liquids.

If you’re active or use saunas, you may need to drink significantly more than 100 ounces. Adopting a regular exercise regimen is one way to avoid stones and improve kidney health, so prepare yourself to drink more water than you’re used to; when you sweat, you must drink extra water to replace the fluid you’ve lost.

You should modify your diet

Unfortunately, there’s not just one kidney-friendly diet. What foods you should eat and which you should avoid varies by the type of stones your kidneys are prone to create.

In general, though, you need to focus your diet on healthy, whole foods and avoid highly processed meats and other foods. Vegetables, pastured proteins, and wild-caught fish should be the basis of your meals.

Do you have kidney stones? Find out how to pass them and prevent them by calling our team today at 702-470-2579. You can also book your appointment online for kidney stone evaluation or treatment. 

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