Many people have heard of kidney stones, but what exactly are these potentially painful little intruders?
Kidney stones are deposits made of minerals and salts that can form inside your kidneys. They’re created when urine becomes too concentrated. Most of the time, these deposits come with symptoms like blood in urine; uncomfortable pain in the back, abdomen, or groin area; frequent and/or cloudy urination; and in some more serious cases, nausea, fever or chills. Occasionally, you may have no symptoms at all. However, it is important to seek medical care if you are experiencing any of these symptoms because kidney stones can turn a painful situation into a life-threatening condition.
Preventing kidney stones is usually a matter of lifestyle choices. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you set yourself up for a much lower chance of developing kidney stones. Staying fully hydrated at all times is an essential aspect of prevention. If you know you’re in an environment where dehydration is likely, such as in a hotter environment or during the summer, you’re also at higher risk. Additionally, other dietary factors such as consuming too much salt, protein or oxalates (found in foods like spinach and nuts, for example) can lead to kidney stones. Lastly, if you are obese or have had gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea, the way your kidneys process calcium and water also can be impacted.
Seeking care quickly is essential if you suspect kidney stones may be an issue. Garnet Health Doctors is proud to have state-of-the-art technology to serve our patients. The Urology Department is on the main campus of Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown, NY, so our Garnet Health Doctors team, and you, have immediate access to hospital resources and staff. Although an operation is rarely necessary for small stones or cases diagnosed early, larger stones or more advanced cases may require intervention that could include surgery.
It’s also important to know that, in these unprecedented times, you should not delay the care you need. You can trust that you’ll be safe from COVID-19 when going to a Garnet Health hospital or doctor’s office for any type of care. Providers are highly trained on how to safely protect patients. Precautions include taking your temperature using no-contact thermometers when you enter. All registration and waiting areas use social distancing. Facilities have installed plastic shielding in key areas, and patient appointments are staggered to minimize foot traffic. These steps are complemented by aggressive cleaning and sanitizing 24 hours, seven days a week.
In addition to in-person appointments, Telehealth visits also are available. Telehealth is an easy, convenient way to talk to a doctor via a phone call or live video. This means you don’t have to leave your home – and that you can receive care from anywhere. Most insurance plans cover Telehealth, so don’t ignore symptoms that you would typically visit or call your doctor about.
To set up a Telehealth or in-person appointment with Garnet Health Doctors, call (845) 333-7575.