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Don’t Underestimate the Symptomless Kidney Stones

Kidney stone is a common renal disease in Taiwan. According to statistics, the prevalence is as high as 10% of the population, and is often present in patients aged 30-50, with men being 2 times more likely to be afflicted than women. The physicians warn the public that if kidney stone is not treated timely, it will easily cause prostate cancer.

Chen Yong-Tai, attending doctor of the Nephrology Department in Taipei City Hospital Heping Fuyou Branch, says that urinary calculi obstruction can cause unbearable pain during acute attacks that would prompt the patients to visit the hospital immediately. Even though calculus is often symptomless, it should still be treated timely. According to the latest research findings abroad, patients with kidney stones will have a higher chance of suffering from chronic renal failure, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke and fracture than people without stones.

Dr. Chen says that although the pain often makes patients go to the hospital immediately, once the pain subsided, they will often mistakenly believe that the stones have gone away and stop receiving further treatment. In fact, the stones in the urinary system still influence the patients unnoticeably. Therefore, he reminds us that if you suffer from kidney stones, you must receive regular reexamination and treatment to ensure there are no complications, until there are no more stones.

He also says that bigger kidney stones can be removed through surgery or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy; drug treatment combined with the change of lifestyle and dietary habit can be adopted for treating smaller stones or symptomless stones, in order to reduce the recurrence or prevent the stones from becoming bigger. Drinking more water, urinating moderately and reducing the intake of animal protein and food high in oxalic acid can reduce and help prevent kidney stones.