The danger of developing kidney stones if you suffer from gout

Kidney stones (renal lithiasis) are not only painful like gout but can be developed due to high uric acid in the blood. If you suffer from gout, you are at an increased risk of developing kidney stones in the future if you don’t watch your diet and treat your gout properly. Especially after the age of 40 and even more after the age of 70. If you are a man, you are more likely to develop kidney stones. One in 20 people with or without gout will develop kidney stones in their lifetime.

Once you have already developed kidney stones you are prone to develop it again becoming a recurring illness to deal with. Kidney stones are basically crystalline minerals that form in the urinary tract causing severe pain in either the stomach or groin area and usually causes blood in the urine. If you experience less urination or if there is a large amount of stone-forming substances in the urine, then kidney stones tend to appear. You’ll get a burning sensation when peeing and like a gout attack this will be a kidney stone attack!

A mix of oxalate and phosphate or calcium can produce kidney stones as well as uric acid and God knows us gout sufferers have plenty of that in our blood. Among the different types of kidney stones, uric acid stones are the hardest to diagnose since they are not spotted that easily through an x-ray and since your doctor might stall in diagnosing you, this can lead to an enlargement of the kidney stone. That’s why gout has much in common with kidney stones.

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Causes like uric acid, dehydration and alcohol can lead to developing kidney stones. Uric acid crystals that deposit themselves in the kidneys can become large stones and can cause you permanent kidney damage scarring your kidneys with sharp edges. In addition, kidney stones can prevent your kidneys from removing wastes and risk causing you infection. Kidney stones may also eventually lead to chronic kidney disease and even kidney failure meaning you may require dialysis or a transplant to treat the complications that will make you more sick or even kill you!

A 2017 Swedish study has found that gout patients are 60% more likely to develop kidney stones compared to the general population. That is scary! The study found that the risk is more prevalent in males compared to women and affected mostly the men who were obese and suffered from diabetes as well. The study also emphasizes the importance of taking the proper dosage of allopurinol to limit the risk of kidney stones in the future.

If you suffer from kidney stones the symptoms include not only blood in the urine and pain in your stomach or groin area but nausea, vomiting, cramping, fever, back pain and even the chills! When any symptoms arise make sure to get medical attention immediately! It is important to drink lots and I mean lots of water, try and drink at least 8 cups but I would drink 12 to 16 cups of water a day.

If you sweat a lot like I do, it is important to stay well hydrated. Drinking lots of water will flush out sodium and other toxins to help the kidney stones pass through the body quicker. Passing kidney stones can be quite painful but won’t cause you any permanent damage. Stay away from meats, alcohol, sugary foods, salty foods and if I were you I’d eat mostly vegetables, so a lot of big salads full of vegetables to make this as comfortable as possible. If worse comes to worse, then surgery will be needed to remove the kidney stones.

If you are passing a small stone, your doctor can recommend you take a pain reliever for the discomfort like Advil, Tylenol or Motrin. Your doctor may also prescribe a medication to relax the muscles in your ureter, helping pass the stone quicker and with less pain. What you want to do starting today is change your lifestyle if you want to avoid having kidney stones in the future.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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