Tag Archives: Family history

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS AND CONDITIONS #25: KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones are more common than you think, and over the span of life, afflict 1 out of 10 people, more commonly men. The pain is sharp, spasmodic and severe; it is described as being worse than the pain of childbirth. The pain is breathtaking, and if you have “renal colic”, your
world is truly “ in a grain of sand”.

This sand, this tiny rock, forms when certain elements and compounds become too concentrated in the urine as it is formed in your kidneys, and “drop out of solution”, or precipitates. This little pebble, which I’m sure feels like a rock, then begins its long, painful journey down the drainage system of the kidneys, and eventually passes, you hope, out with the
urine.

Be sure to save it for analysis if it does. Sometimes it is arrested, causes the urine to “back up”, and you need assistance to get it out. Half of the kidney stone attacks recur, and you will get other attacks.

This is particularly the case if your first attack comes when you are young, or there is a history of kidney stones which runs in your family. It is important for a doctor, such as an internist, to review your case, particularly if you are young.

Your family history, lifestyle including diet, medications, and other problems may give clues which will allow other attacks to be avoided. Sometimes there are serious underlying conditions that should be addressed. Half of people who have kidney stones have a genetic cause, but even here there are lifestyle changes which will help..

Drinking plenty of liquid helps, unless you have kidney failure. Read the Mayo Clinic article referenced below for details. They are interested enough in kidney stones to have consulted a Geologist, the ultimate student of Rocks.

–Dr. C.

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #22: MIGRAINE HEADACHE

Migraine Headache in its classic form is a unique syndrome, or grouping of symptoms. There is often a PRODROME of anxiety, mood changes or fatigue a day or two before the Headache. There may also be an AURA, such as visual or other sensory symptoms, preceding the headache by minutes.

The Headache is often ONE-SIDED (hence the name, HeMigraine). The Headache is SEVERE, and accompanied by NAUSEA AND VOMITING, a “sick” Headache.

There are a variety of TRIGGERS, such as ripened Cheeses, Red wine, Nitrate-containing foods like hot dogs and pepperoni, and missing your cup of coffee. Stress and Hormonal Changes (menstrual periods) may trigger Migraine.

Migraine often has a FAMILY HISTORY. If one parent has migraine, the risk is 50%, and if both parents, 75%. It is more common in women. During the Headache, Migraine sufferers often seek out a quiet, dark room, and avoid stimulation.

My own experience with Migraine is with isolated OPHTHALMIC MIGRAINE. I have the aura, but luckily have no pain. In my day, 50 years ago, Migraine was considered a Vascular Headache Problem, with Vasodilation being the cause. Many triggers result in Vasodilation.

After a half century of intense study, including the discovery of Calcitonin Gene Related Product (CGRP) in the blood during Migraine, It is now considered a NEUROVASCULAR Headache Problem, and there is optimism for future progress.

TREATMENT can be to abort, to shorten the attack after the warning Prodrome or Aura start. If the attacks are too frequent, such as several times a week,

PREVENTATIVE treatment may be needed. Medications include a host of chemicals, including Hormones, and most recently, CGRP. Many of these chemicals are vasoconstrictors, which narrow blood vessels.

Please refer to the Mayo Clinic article for more information.

–Dr. C