Newswise — (Baltimore, MD) -- Approximately 19 million people experience kidney stones every year, and research shows people with kidney stones have a significantly higher risk of reoccurrence.

"I'm not able to (take) care of my son when I have issues like this," said new mom Liz Ciociola.

Ciociola has suffered from passing kidney stones for years, but it became worse when she was pregnant.

"I had my first issue about two months into the pregnancy and I was a little bit alarmed," she said.

In all, she passed five kidney stones. She collected them, something her doctor, Mercy Medical Center nephrologist Dr. Robert Greenwell, suggests whenever possible, because not all kidney stones are the same.

"The majority of stones are calcium-based stones, but there are other kinds of stones present, so if they're passed, we can collect those and then we can analyze the type of stone for the particular type, and that would dictate the therapy for prevention," Dr. Greenwell said.

Tests revealed the type of stones Ciociola had and it's likely manageable. Doctors modified her diet and increased her water intake.

A kidney stone can remain symptomless, but when it moves to the duct where urine passes from the kidney to the bladder the pain becomes intense.

According to Mercy’s Jonathan Rich, D.O., it is always smart to follow up with a doctor after passing a stone.

"You sometimes don't know if you passed the stone. There may be other stones in there. Some of the stones can get infected, they can cause kidney infections, so it can be quite dangerous," Dr. Rich said.

Ciociola is loving being a new mom and is glad she took steps to prevent kidney stones in the future.

"I want to make sure I'm the healthiest I can be to give him the best care that I can," she said.

View Drs. Greenwell and Jonathan Rich's interview regarding kidney stone risk.


Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.comFacebookTwitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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