The development of kidney stones is one of the most common medical conditions suffered by around half a million people each year. They are hard deposits that are formed due to the changing chemical composition of the acidic fluids in your digestive system, caused by a number of reasons. It is one of the most painful diseases and in the worst-case scenario, people that have kidney stones have to undergo special medical treatments.
Wondering what causes kidney stones and what are some of their common symptoms? In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this particular medical condition as well as list down and discuss the 7 ways to prevent kidney stones.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
The formation of stones in the kidney is one of the most commonly occurring medical conditions because it is mainly caused by drinking not enough water and not hydrating your body with fluids properly. There are also many other reasons that could lead to kidney stones formation like weight loss surgery or treatment that doesn’t suit your body, exercise (too much or too little), being overweight, or eating fatty or oily food as well as edible items that have too much salt or sugar.
We can also not overrule the possibility that this disease may have passed on to you through your genes, which is why family history matters a lot when it comes to kidney stones and other types of infections and medical conditions. These are some of the most common causes of kidney stones.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones vary in size depending on the intensity of the disease. If anyone is suffering from mild symptoms, then they would probably have tiny kidney stones that are as small as a grain of sand that too in very little quantity. On the other hand, if someone is experiencing severe symptoms, then their body could have possibly developed large kidney stones that may have a size equivalent to a pebble or even a golf ball.
Some of the most common symptoms of kidney stones have been listed below. As discussed, they may vary from person to person and the severity of the disease.
- One of the sides of your lower back would start hurting severely.
- Your stomach would start aching and the pain would not go away.
- You could experience blood while urinating.
- You could possibly feel like vomiting or nauseous.
- High fever is also a common symptom of kidney stones
- Urine with an extremely bad smell or cloudy appearance.
7 Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
There may be no sure ways for kidney prevention, especially if you have a family history of this particular disease. However, there are certain changes that you can make in your lifestyle and dietary habits that can help you bring down the risk of the formation of kidney stones.
Switch to Calcium-rich Diet
The calcium oxalate stone is very common when it comes to kidney stone diseases in people. It is one of the most common types of kidney stones. Since it has“calcium” in its name, people often relate this medical condition to calcium and start avoiding any foods that contain it. They believe this is how they could avoid developing kidney stones, which is not true.
On the contrary, you should be eating more calcium-rich foods. There are many different types of low-fat cheese, low-fat milk, and other related healthy dairy options available in the market, which are rich in calcium and absolutely not bad for patients with kidney stones. But, you should definitely avoid taking calcium supplements.
Drink Plenty of Water and Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated is one of the best ways to prevent kidney stones. It is mainly because water and other types of healthy fluids that you consume dilute and flush out different stone-forming chemicals and in the form of urine, preventing their crystalization.
Like water and other beverages such as coffee, tea, lemon, and orange juice, not all fluids are beneficial for people who are prone to developing kidney stones. So, it is better to avoid artificially sweetened and carbonated drinks. Thus, staying hydrated the right way is very important for preventing kidney stones and other related conditions.
Try to Cut Down on Oxalate-rich Foods
A lot of people may not be aware of the fact that oxalate is a natural compound, which is found in many different types of foods that they consume on a regular basis, is very hazardous. It has a special chemical composition because of which it attaches itself to the calcium in the fluids of your kidney system to form calcium oxalate stones.
This is why medical practitioners and health experts on the subject suggest people who have the tendency of developing kidney stones or have a family history in this regard limit their intake of oxalate-rich foods. Items that have oxalates in high quantities include spinach coffee beets, chocolate, sweet potatoes, peanuts, rhubarb, soy products, and wheat bran.
Eat Foods that are Low on Sodium
If someone is following a high-salt diet, they may be at a greater risk of developing a condition that results in high calcium urine. This disrupts the entire chemical composition of your internal system, aiding the process of kidney stone development. You become more prone to calcium kidney stones formation.
According to medical research, if there is too much salt in urine, the calcium doesn’t reabsorb into the blood, which results in the formation of crystals; the very first step of kidney stone development. So, always try to eat foods that are low on sodium if you want to reduce the risks associated with its higher intake. Foods that have high sodium levels and you should try your best to avoid consuming them are processed foods (crackers and chips), canned vegetables, and soups among other items. You can also for many different immune-boosting foods if you want to stay healthy and fit.
Try to Avoid Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C supplements may be beneficial in a lot of different ways but they may also make you more vulnerable to kidney stone development. It is more relevant to men because according to a survey conducted a few years ago, men who took Vitamin C supplements excessively became twice as vulnerable to kidney stone formation as they were before. On the other hand, vitamin C that is contained in different types of food sources is not as harmful as Vitamin C supplements.
Don’t Consume Too Much of Animal Protein
When working on the different types of kidney stone prevention tips, you should also make a list of foods that are rich in animal protein and avoid them as much as you can. They are extremely acidic and could trigger a chemical reaction in your body to increase the acidity levels,
The hiked acidic levels in your body dangerously the chances of not only uric acid stones but also calcium oxalate kidney stones. There are many different food items and dishes that you need to totally avoid consuming or limit your intake of them. This means whether you are a fan of beef, chicken, mutton, any other type of meat or seafood, try to consume it in little quantities and healthy ways. You can also consume a variety of vegetables that are good for your health along with foods that have high animal protein to balance things out.
Go for Herbal Remedies
There are many different herbal remedies available these days that could help people with kidney stones. There is one very famous herbal remedy known as Chanca Piedra, which is also known as “stone breaker”. It is found and grown in tropical rainforests spread across South America.
As one of the most used herbal folk remedies for kidney stones, it is widely believed to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate, which is actually the most commonly formed kidney stone. Along with kidney stone prevention, this herb is also believed to reduce the size or break down the existing stones in your system.
Along with considering the aforementioned ways for kidney stone prevention, you should also consult your doctor for essential preventative medications. The type of medication they recommend would probably be according to the chances of the development of kidney stones in your body, which usually varies from person to person. So, it is always a good idea to seek medical health when it comes to such types of severe health issues.