Lutheran Health Network urging people to seek treatment for kidney stones

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Lutheran Health Network is urging people to seek out treatment if they’re experiencing kidney stones. If you feel a sharp pain in your back, side, lower abdomen, groin, or have blood in your urine, you may have a kidney stone.

If left untreated, LHN said kidney stones can cause serious complications in addition to severe pain. Seeking timely treatment is necessary to prevent permanent damage.

“Kidney stones can be extremely painful. The pain can occur suddenly or gradually anywhere along the urinary tract from the back, flank, lower abdomen, or groin generally on either the right or left side. We have effective methods to control the pain and help with the passage of kidney stones,” said Melissa Stemen, NP-C, Family Practice. “If you’re experiencing this kind of pain, don’t delay care. We can help.”

According to The National Kidney Foundation, over half a million people go to the emergency room for kidney stone problems every year. It’s estimated 1 in 10 will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives. A family history of kidney stones will make it more likely for a person to develop one.

“We use several methods to diagnose kidney stones including the patient’s medical history, patient’s report of symptoms, physical exam, and tests such as blood work, urine testing, CT and xray,” said Stemen. “Treatment of kidney stones depends on the size, location and potential complicating factors. Patients may be able to prevent kidney stones by drinking enough water, changing their diet and/or taking medications.”

The National Kidney Foundation has four dietary tips to help prevent kidney stones:

  • Drink plenty of fluids when exercising and sweating
  • Eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. This includes peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes.
  • Maintain your calcium intake, but cut back on sodium
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and less animal-based protein

If you suspect you may have a kidney stone, contact your primary care provider.

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