If you've ever experienced a kidney stone, the pain is something you won't forget. The discomfort, which may be intolerable at times and may come in waves, will continue until the pebble-sized stone travels through the urinary system and leaves the body.
Kidney stones are solid deposits of minerals and salts that can form inside your kidneys. These deposits can also be referred to as renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis.
Kidney stones are a recurrent issue for many people; in fact, approximately half of those who have experienced one will get another within seven years if they do not take any preventative steps. While preventing kidney stones is not difficult, it does require some commitment.
Why do kidney stones form?
When certain compounds, such as calcium, oxalate, or uric acid, form to the point that they start to crystallise in your kidneys, kidney stones can develop. Most stones develop when calcium and oxalate mix. Uric acid, a byproduct of purine metabolism, can also result in stones.
The crystals develop into bigger lumps called stones that can pass through the urinary tract. Pain, nausea, and vomiting may occur if the stone becomes lodged and restricts the passage of urine. Blood may also occasionally be present in the urine. The stones may cause frequent urination, bladder pressure, or groyne pain as they move down the ureter and towards the bladder.
Ways to prevent kidney stones
Making dietary changes can lower your chance of kidney stone development. Diet and nutrition initiatives like the ones below may be beneficial:
Drink a lot of water. More water consumption dilutes the urine components that cause stones. Try to consume as much liquid as necessary to produce 2 litres of pee each day, or around eight regular 8-ounce cups. Orange juice and other citrus-flavoured drinks, such as lemonade, may be beneficial. These beverages' citrate content prevents the formation of stones.
Eat food sources of calcium. Oxalate is absorbed into the bloodstream and subsequently eliminated by the kidney in smaller amounts when dietary calcium binds to it in the intestines. As a result, there is less of a possibility that oxalate will bind to the calcium in the urine. The danger of kidney stones is lowered as a result.
Foods high in calcium include
- yoghurt, cheese, and other dairy products
- foods high in calcium, such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, soy and rice drinks, and tofu.
- Leafy green vegetables. Fish with soft bones that you eat, including canned sardines and salmon,
Reduce your sodium intake. Because a high-sodium diet raises the level of calcium in your urine, it can induce kidney stones. So, for those who are prone to kidney stones, a low-sodium diet is advised. According to current recommendations, a daily sodium consumption of 2,300 mg is the maximum. If you have a history of kidney stones, try keeping your sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day. Additionally beneficial to your heart and blood pressure, this is:
These foods contain a lot of salt. Look for sodium-free substitutes.
Processed meats, such as deli meats (including turkey), sausages, and pepperoni Sauces, seasonings, and condiments Instantly flavoured foods, such as flavoured rice and noodles.
Limit your intake of animal protein. Consuming excessive amounts of animal protein, including red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, has been associated with an increased risk of kidney stones. Limit your daily meat intake to no more than a pack of playing cards if you are prone to stones. This component is also good for your heart.
Avoid meals that can cause stones. Oxalate content is high in beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and the majority of nuts. Those who develop calcium oxalate stones ought to avoid these foods. Excess oxalate is eliminated in the urine, where it may mix with calcium. Your doctor might suggest avoiding these foods or eating them in moderation if you have calcium oxalate stones.
For everyone else, certain foods and beverages often don't cause kidney stones unless they are ingested in incredibly large doses. According to certain research, those who use large amounts of vitamin C in the form of supplements have a slightly increased chance of developing kidney stones. That could be a result of the body's ability to turn vitamin C into oxalate.