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Stay hydrated to avoid kidney stones says expert

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With the rise in temperatures this month, it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid conditions triggered by the heat.

Royal Bahrain Hospital (RBH) urology specialist Dr Shabbir J K advises to stay hydrated to avoid the risk of a common urological condition known as urinary stones.

Urinary stones are a condition of the genitourinary system, which is referred to as a formation of stones within the urinary tract.

This includes the formation of stones in the kidneys and the ureter obstructing the flow of urine, which causes pain.

In some cases, stones may also be formed in the bladder or urethra.

Symptoms of urinary stones include blood in urine, frequent urinary tract infections, severe pain in the flanks, increased urgency and frequency of urine and fever.

In order to diagnose urinary stones, the physician will take a detailed history as to when the symptoms started and their severity.

An ultrasound may be performed to look for the location and size of the stones along with any obstruction in the urinary system.

In addition, CT and MRI scans may be done to visualise the entire urinary tract and look for any site and size of the stones.

The treatment of urinary stones is conservative as most cases, once identified, can be excreted through the urine if they are small (less than 6mm in size).

Patients are strongly advised to stay hydrated by maintaining their water intake.

Certain medications will also be given to increase the production of urine so that the stones can pass by itself.

Furthermore, should the stone be large and not able to be passed through urine, shockwave therapy is given to break the stones into tiny fragments which can then be flushed out easily through urine.

Intervention is required in the form of an endoscopic laser procedure if the symptoms and pain persist, or if the obstruction impairs renal function or if the patient has a urinary tract infection with a fever.

It is imperative to take measures to avoid recurrence.

Patients should consume plenty of fluids (2.5-3 litres per day), have balanced nutrition with vegetable fibres, avoid consuming large amounts of salt, animal protein and fat and consume a moderate amount of dairy products.

In the case of obese patients, loss of body weight and moderate physical exercise contribute significantly in reducing relapse risk.

These precautionary measures may prevent stone recurrence in 75 per cent of the cases.

To consult Dr Shabbir J K, call RBH and book your appointment on 17246800.

You can also book online on www.royalbahrainhospital.com or download the mobile app on iOS and Android devices.

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