By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ask Dr. Gott 1/31
Lithotripsy may help prevent kidney-stone agony
Placeholder Image
    DEAR DR. GOTT: I was recently diagnosed with kidney stones. The pain was some of the worst I have ever experienced. I was treated with pain medication, hydrated with a saline solution and given a CT scan. One of the stones passed that morning, and I was sent home. The follow-up doctor visit revealed that I have three more stones in my kidney that I was told will eventually make their way down my urinary tract and will also be painful. I am now somewhat paranoid waiting for the new pain that will come at anytime. I have a visit scheduled in six weeks, but in the meantime, I was told to drink eight to 10 glasses of water to keep the acid content in my kidneys diluted and basically just wait. I do some traveling, and the thought of this pain hitting me again while flying or in another state is agonizing.
    DEAR READER: I can certainly understand your concern, but there is hope. Talk to your doctor about having a procedure called lithotripsy. It is a noninvasive technique that fragments the stones with sonic waves. This should free you from your anxiety and save you the pain of passing three more stones or having surgery should they be too large to pass.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my recently updated Health Report "Kidney Disorders."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am 80 years old and take only one prescription, Fosamax for high cholesterol. A year ago, my triglycerides were very high despite taking Fosamax for several months. A nurse told me to avoid white potatoes, white rice and white flour. I had been eating my fair share of white potatoes despite the fact that they seem to cause some throat tightness. I prefer wheat bread and brown rice and had not had the white version in quite some time. I did, however, eat cookies made with white flour.
    DEAR READER: There are several issues here.
    First, Fosamax is a drug used to treat osteoporosis, an age-related bone-softening condition, not high cholesterol.
    Second, if your triglycerides have been high, the nurse's diet is not an appropriate choice; rather, you should limit dietary fats.
    Third, you need to speak to your doctor about a low-fat diet for your cholesterol problem and why you are taking Fosamax. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding about the Fosamax. If you do not have osteoporosis or osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis), you do not need Fosamax and could do with calcium and vitamin D supplements. You may also need a cholesterol-lowering medication if diet does not lower your numbers.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter