Path of Totality for Kidney Stone ReliefBy: Stephen Kappa
Monday's solar eclipse was quite a natural phenomenon. Millions watched as the moon blocked the sun and for just a few minutes, the world was in awe.
However, sometimes when one thing blocks another, it isn’t an awe-inspiring event. That’s the case with kidney stones, which can be very painful. Kidney stones develop when minerals and salts form crystals in the urine, causing pain when they pass down and block the ureter. This results in urine backing up into the kidney.
Occurring much more frequently than a solar eclipse, kidney stones develop in one in 10 people at some point in their lives, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Sometimes the stones pass on their own within a few days or weeks with a simple regimen of drinking plenty of water (at least three quarts a day) and possibly adding alpha-blocker medication. But when stubborn or large stones won’t move on their own, a number of other treatments can offer relief.
One common procedure, called lithotripsy, uses high-energy shock waves to break up stones into tiny pieces, allowing them to pass through the urine. It’s somewhat like creating a meteor shower in your urinary tract. The Urology Group’s lithotripsy procedure is one of the few in the nation to offer a built-in ultrasound. This allows our physicians to more easily pinpoint the type and location of the stones.