Much of the country is experiencing a massive heat wave, including many areas with triple digit temperatures. This means high humidity, which can lead to dehydration for many people. Drinking plenty of water can help reduce your risk of heat stroke and dehydration. But it can also lower your risk of developing painful kidney stones. The Cleveland Clinic finds more people go to the doctor with kidney stones during the summer months than any other time of the year.
Kidney stones form when certain chemicals like calcium, oxalates and phosphorous form crystals that grow into stones and block the flow of urine. They can be incredibly painful and downright dangerous. They can vary in size from a grain of sand to more than an inch in diameter. They build up gradually, and can be found anywhere in the urinary tract.
Drinking soda, especially dark colored colas, can significantly increase your risk of stone formation. If left untreated, kidney stones can block the ureter and make it narrower, which increases the risk of infection and added strain on the kidneys.
Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for kidney stones, including Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy. Lithotripsy is a simple and noninvasive procedure where your urologist uses sound waves to break down the stones so they can pass naturally. Using x-ray or ultrasound, physicians target the stone and use multiple high-energy pressure waves until it breaks into tiny particles. This helps them pass naturally from the urinary system.
While lithotripsy is a routine procedure, the equipment your physician uses is extremely important. HealthTronics provides the mobile equipment to your urologist and ensures that these sophisticated and high-tech devices are maintained according to industry standards. Physicians do more than 50,000 lithotripsy procedures every year with our equipment. Our lithotripsy technologists, who have an average of 12 years of experience, work side by side with physicians during every procedure.