Kidney stones are a common problem that can affect people of all ages. There are a number of factors that can lead to kidney stones and increase an individual's risk of developing them at some point. Dr. Lucas Jacomides, a urologist at Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX, offers diagnostic and treatment options for kidney stone removal.
Kidney stones are solidified deposits of salt and minerals, and can range in size from small enough to safely pass on their own, to large enough to require surgery to remove them. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium, uric acid, cystine, and struvite.
Common Causes and Risk Factors for Kidney Stones
Kidney stones crystallize when the urine contains an abnormally high concentration of minerals like oxalate, calcium, and uric acid. Staying hydrated and drinking sufficient water on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk.
Along with dehydration, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing kidney stones:
- Personal history (they can be more likely to reoccur if you've had them before)
- Family history
- High sodium/fat diets
- Certain digestive issues
The symptoms vary depending on the size and location of the stones. The most common symptom is pain in the side, lower abdomen, back, or groin. Kidney stone related pain typically fluctuates and comes in waves. Some people also experience pain while urinating. Other symptoms include:
- Dark colored urine (brown, red, or pink)
- Foul odor from urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Urinating more than usual, or in small amounts
- Urine looks cloudy
Seek prompt medical attention if you experience severe pain, have trouble urinating normally, have blood in the urine, or have signs of an infection like fever, vomiting, or chills.
For more information about the causes, risk factors, and preventive steps you can take for kidney stones, contact Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX by calling (512) 540-3937 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacomides today.
It’s Easter Sunday, at least for most of the world. I’m Greek Orthodox, and our Easter is next week, so today is our Palm Sunday, which means tomorrow is Chocolate Bunnies and Peeps on Sale Day! Whatever your religion or beliefs, it is a time to reflect on life’s journey since last year, and the new lessons learned along the way. I know I haven’t posted a blog since Christmas because (thankfully) I’ve been too busy, so for inspiration, I looked all the way back to one of my first blogs (Reflections after Week One), and made a few modifications:
There are a lot of good people out there who want you to be successful. I already thanked the people who helped me get started, but I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the people who helped me keep it going- besides Stacey and Benny, of course! Special mention to Jessica Browning Schraufnagel from St. David’s, Kristen Largent from Ascension Seton, and Cindy Gall from Austin Cyberknife for introducing me to primary care providers that have been sending me patients, Crystal Lilley Boynton from AthenaHealth for her unwavering support, Zack Ragsdale from Catalyst Consulting for convincing me that (almost) every insurance is worth taking the first year, and finally my accountant Greg Caudell, who was (and still is) the steady voice of calm optimism when I would “occasionally” freak out about how bad I thought things were going.
Sometimes, you have to do this alone. Business startups are all about controlling costs, which means you can’t pay people just to sit around, waiting for the phone to ring. That means everyone has to wear many hats, including you, Doctor, so when all your phone lines are busy, or you give your employees the afternoon off, you have to be willing to occasionally wear the receptionist hat and answer the phone yourself. When I first started doing this, I was worried that patients would find it weird or unsettling. However, I soon realized that it gave me a closer connection to my patients that they never experienced before, and while they are initially caught off-guard when I answer the phone, they appreciate that it is not somehow beneath me to talk to them. Additionally, I have also gained a much deeper appreciation of what my employees have to endure.
Not everyone should do this. Contrary to my original blog, I have to admit that starting your own medical practice is not for everyone. These days, there are serious headwinds, and you have to have serious stomach lining to put up with the ups and downs. You also have to be comfortable with the fact that you will not be able to pay yourself for at least 1.5 to 2 years. I heard this from multiple sources in different industries, and I didn’t want to believe it, but it’s true. Save it up, borrow it, or pay yourself from a previous startup, but plan on being the last one paid. I am glad to say I am well on my way, and it has not changed my opinion of whether or not this was the right decision for me. Hands-down, I would do this again, and I have already started to coach others on how to do the same successfully, but this is one of the first pearls of wisdom I share with them.
And with that, I hope you all enjoyed a joyous Easter with your family, and I look forward to doing the same, while feasting on roasted lamb, next weekend!
As 2018 winds down next week, we will be reminded about what a terrible year this has been. To recap, we witnessed:
- Catastrophic hurricanes in North Carolina and Florida, and deadly wildfires in California
- Mass shootings in Parkland FL, Santa Fe TX, Pittsburgh PA, and Thousand Oaks CA
- A growing refugee crisis on our southern border
- Numerous government scandals, indictments, resignations, and now a shutdown
- And most recently, a stock market that has fallen nearly 20% (so far)
Tragic events have also hit close to home, as some of my closest friends are dealing with serious illnesses. It is easy to get despondent, but it’s Christmas Day, when we should all look for a glimmer of hope and optimism. Like many of you, I spent this morning enjoying the look on my kids’ faces when they opened their Christmas presents. Not being satisfied, I played old tapes of past Christmases, when they were even more joyful! I can’t say that most of those toys lasted a year before they were broken or forgotten, but the memories of being together at Christmas will last a lifetime!
Like many of you, at Greater Austin Urology, we’ve also seen our ups and downs this year, but I remain focused on True North, and what it will take to get us there. Everything else is just a detractor and a temporary road-bump. I can’t help but think of the words of the late comedian George Carlin, who said it best: “Don’t sweat the petty things…and don’t pet the sweaty things!”
May the blessings of the Holiday Season be with you and your family. Merry Christmas, everybody, and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2019!
Find out the treatment options we offer for handling bladder control issues.
Experiencing problems with bladder control is very common and there are many things that could be causing this issue. According to a recent U.S. survey, the National Poll on Healthy Aging report, “43% of 50- to 64-year-olds said they suffered from incontinence, as did 51% of those 65 and older.” Some people only notice mild occurrences, while others may experience sudden and intense urges to go to the bathroom that disrupt their day. While urinary incontinence, to some degree, is common as we get older, it’s important to know when this issue warrants a trip to see urologist Dr. Lucas Jacomides at Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX.
Did you know that there are different kinds of urinary incontinence? While the occasional small leak is more common, others may notice more urine loss than usual, which can be a sign that something is wrong. Types of urinary incontinence include:
- Stress-induced: episodes triggered by coughing, sneezing, laughing, and exercise
- Urge: The intense need to urinate or urge to urinate may also be followed by a leak.
- Overflow: If your bladder doesn’t fully empty, this could lead to urinary leakage.
- Functional: Sometimes everything is working properly within the bladder, but unfortunately certain physical impairments make it challenging to get to the bathroom in time, which leads to loss of bladder control.
- Mixed: This happens if you experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.
Should I see a doctor?
Of the women who participated in the recent U.S. survey, "nearly half of women over age 50 report bladder leakage and many say it’s a major problem for them, yet two-thirds of the women who experience leakage haven’t spoken to a doctor about the problem.” If you are like them, you may feel like it isn't a big problem or may be embarrassed about bringing it up. While we know that no one likes talking about issues such as this one, it’s important to understand that this is a common issue among older women and that this doctor has heard it all before. Plus, if you are dealing with any changes in your bowel habits, it’s important that you visit our Austin urology specialist to find out what might be going on. While not usually serious, there can be a serious reason why this is happening, so it’s important to have the issue addressed.
What could be causing my urinary incontinence?
This symptom can be brought on by either temporary or permanent factors.
Temporary factors include:
- Consuming certain foods and drinks (e.g., alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods)
- Urinary tract infection
Persistent factors include:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer
- Neurological disorders
How is urinary incontinence treated?
How we treat the issue will really depend on the cause of your urinary leakage. Sometimes several treatments will be recommended. These include:
- Behavioral therapy (e.g., bladder training, diet management)
- Pelvic floor exercises (to strengthen pelvic floor muscles)
- Medical devices
We will talk with you during your evaluation of your treatment options so you can make the most informed decision regarding your care.
Are you dealing with urinary incontinence or other bladder issues? If so, then it’s time you got some answers. You shouldn't have to feel restricted due to this condition. Call Dr. Lucas Jacomides at Greater Austin Urology in Austin, TX at (512) 540-3937 today to schedule an evaluation.
Howdy folks! I know it’s been far too long since I last wrote on my blog, but it’s Halloween, and the holidays (even Pagan ones) have a way of inspiring me to reflect on the past and write about it.
October has been a truly historic month for Greater Austin Urology. We saw a record number of patients and made a little money accordingly, which is always nice when you’re starting out. I performed my first robotic prostatectomy (with the expert assistance of my good friend, Dr. Sandeep Mistry). And we launched an innovative treatment for prostate cancer, HIFU (which stands for high-intensity focused ultrasound). Our first 2 patients were already out dancing and jogging less than a week after their surgery. If it’s as good as advertised from a cancer-cure standpoint, it will truly be a game-changer!
Most importantly, we have an entirely new team, with some familiar faces. Stacey Hardt is our new office manager. She worked with me in a similar capacity at my previous job, and for some strange reason, she was willing to take the plunge and do it again! Joining Stacey is my new nurse, Benny Reeve. He was my very first nurse at my previous job, and I watched him climb the ranks to become an RN. He has a regular job, but luckily for us, he was willing to help us out in clinic a couple of days a week.
Finally, this month was historic for others as well. Speaking of my previous employer, on the first day of this month, they announced plans for a $14 billion merger with the largest hospital system in the Houston area. Or was it an acquisition, in which case, who bought whom? Doesn’t matter. 14 years ago, another relic from the 19th century, K-mart, bought/merged with Sears in an $11 billion merger. And, wouldn’t you know it, this month they also made history, only this time it was by declaring bankruptcy. I guess bigger isn’t always better, especially when you don’t adapt to changes in your industry and take your employees and customers for granted, while your competitors and new industry disruptors continue to crush you on service and price.
Now that’s spooky scary- time to go trick-or-treating! Happy Halloween, everybody!
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