How Do You Treat Bladder Stones?
If you are lucky and find out that you have bladder stones while the stones were very small, you may only need to drink more water to naturally pass the stones. However, if you experience symptoms of bladder stones, it is likely that you will need surgery to remove them. In most cases, experiencing symptoms of bladder stones means that they are too large for them to naturally exit your body.
Litholapaxy is a procedure that breaks up the bladder stones into much smaller pieces so they can pass through your body. Your doctor will perform the procedure through ultrasounds or through lasers.
Some people may need to undergo surgery to remove their bladder stones. This is usually necessary if the bladder stones are too large to be broken down by litholapaxy.
Typically, litholapaxy is the preferred method because it includes fewer risks. Surgery is usually a “last resort” if other treatments cannot break down the stones.
How Do You Prevent Bladder Stones?
It is very probable for a person who has had bladder stones in the past to get bladder stones again. If you have had bladder stones before, or suspect you are at risk, you can try to prevent the occurrence of bladder stones by:
- Lowering your urine concentration by increasing your fluid intake (typically by 1-2 liters or as recommended by your doctor)
- After trying to urinate for the first time, try to urinate again after 10-20 seconds to fully empty your bladder
- Always go to the toilet when you need to urinate (avoid holding it in)
Who Is More Likely to Develop Bladder Stones?
Men tend to be much more likely to develop bladder stones than women. It is two times more common among men compared to women.
Of course, other factors can increase your risk. These include:
- Using calcium supplements
- High intake of dietary sugar, animal protein, and sodium
- Low dietary calcium levels
- Low phytate intake (found in many beans and grains)
- Some urinary tract infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should seek medical attention immediately. If left untreated, bladder stones can cause infections as well as other complications.
Learning more about bladder stones is important for your health. With the right knowledge you can avoid acquiring the condition or undergoing serious complications as it is a preventable and treatable condition.
Learn more about bladder disease here.