Do you experience sharp pain in your abdomen when you speak? You may need to know how to prevent kidney stones.
To understand what are kidney stones or Nephrolithiasis and how to prevent them, you’ll need to know their symptoms and causes. Life Advancer has the answers and a few natural remedies on hand.
What Kidney Stones and Why Do They Form?
Kidney stones are painful urinary disorders. You can think of them as obstructions that trigger pain in the urinary tract. They are renal calculi that begin as salt crystals within our urine.
Urine typically has substances that prevent them from crystallizing under normal circumstances, but they are ineffective in patients with this condition.
Typically, tiny crystals will pass out along with the urinary flow without causing problems. They have various salts, including calcium, phosphate, and oxalate. These are an essential part of our diets. Problems begin when they start to clump and solidify.
There are different types of kidney stones, and these include:
This type of kidney stone is the most common. Calcium stones often comprise calcium oxalate but can consist of maleate or phosphate.
Avoiding foods that are high in oxalates reduces the risk of them developing. The different high-oxalate foods are:
- And Potato chips.
Furthermore, reducing high-oxalate foods in your diet can prevent kidney stones from forming.
2. Uric Stones
More men have Uric kidney stones than women. They happen in people who have gout or who are undergoing chemotherapy. It develops when the urine has too much acid.
Eating food rich in Purines, a substance in animal proteins, increases uric acid. These include meats, shellfish, and fish.
Women who have Urinary Tract Infections tend to develop struvite stones. These are bulky and may obstruct the urinary tract. Therefore, treating the infection stops their development.
Stones comprising Cystine salts aren’t common. They happen in men and women who have a rare genetic disorder known as Cystinuria. They form when Cystine, a uric acid, leaks into the kidneys.
10 Most Common Causes of Kidney Stones
What causes salts to crystallize and form kidney stones? Knowing these triggers will help you to prevent nephrolithiasis.
First of all is the food you put in your body. There isn’t much conclusive evidence that diet has a direct impact on the growth of kidney stones, but we do know that it has some effect.
People who eat lots of red meat are susceptible to kidney stones. If you have them, you should avoid chocolate, peanuts, and other oxalate-rich foods such as those listed above.
Are you drinking at least eight glasses of water a day? Not drinking enough water is a top cause of kidney stones.
That said, not all liquids are beneficial. Caffeine causes kidney stones to form, so steer clear of coffee if a doctor has diagnosed you with them.
You are prone to kidney stones if a family member had them before. Rare genetic diseases may also contribute to them.
4. Living conditions
The risk of kidney stones increases depending on where you live. A study shows that they happen more often in the Southern United States than in the North. People who live in warm conditions are likely to be dehydrated and, therefore, develop stones.
Gender influences the type of kidney stone you develop. Women are more likely than men to have Struvite kidney stones if they are prone to Urinary Tract Infections. This research states that women tend to have kidney stones because of their tendency to have UTIs.
6. Health Problems
As you may expect, a person is likely to develop kidney stones if he or she has health problems. One example of this is kidney disease. Kidney stones also tend to form in aids patients.
Patients on antibiotics and aspirins tend to develop kidney stones. Follow your doctor’s prescriptions. If you have a history of kidney stones or kidney disease, do consult your doctor.
8. Surgical Aftereffects
You may develop kidney stones after intestinal surgery. Your doctor will inform you of the risks before performing surgical procedures.
9. Lack of Exercise
No research proves that a lack of exercise causes kidney stones. However, there is an apparent connection. A person who spent a lot of time confined to a bed is more likely to develop them than one who exercises.
People who have kidney stones below the age of 25 are likely to have them again as they age. The body builds up calcium as a person moves to the later years of his or her life. This study highlights that senior men are at risk of Nephrolithiasis.
7 Signs of Kidney Stones to Watch for
You may have kidney stones if you have any of the following symptoms.
1. Kidney Stone Pain
First of all, you may feel pain in your side, back or belly, known as ‘Kidney Stone Pain.’ Some people compare it to the pain of being stabbed. It happens when the stone enters the Ureter. According to statistics, it accounts for about a million visits to the emergency room a year.
2. Pain while urinating
You may also find it hard to Urinate because it hurts. Doctors call this Dysuria. You may think that it is a UTI, and in some cases, it is. An infection comes with the stone. Consult a doctor for a full diagnosis.
3. Feeling Urgent
Also, you may go to the bathroom more often than usual. Again, this urgency may also be a symptom of a UTI. Moreover, you may urinate only a little at a time.
4. Blood in the Urine
Haematuria, or blood in the urine can occur as well. It can be pink or brown. You may not be able to see the blood, except when you look at cells under a microscope.
5. Cloudy urine
Your urine may also smell. Kidney stones may case Pyuria or pus in the urine. The bacteria that causes UTIs may trigger this.
You may feel like vomiting if you have kidney stones. The nausea is because of the nerve connections between the digestive tract and the kidneys. It’s how the body copes with pain.
Fever is a sign of inflammation and the presence of an infection. It is a complication of kidney stones.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones with the Right Food and Lifestyle Choices
1. Stay hydrated
It’s important to drink lots of water if you want to prevent nephrolithiasis. Experts recommend eight glasses of water, but these may not be sufficient if you already have kidney stones. In this case, you may need to drink 12 or more glasses.
2. Reduce Salt
Salt causes water retention. Adults should take no more than 2300 milligrams of salt a day. Avoid excessive intake of salt as well as foods like:
- Canned soups
- Packaged Meals
- And noodles with side dishes because these contain a lot of salt.
3. Have a healthy body weight
Being overweight strains the kidneys. That said, lose weight the safe way. Crash dieting can cause kidney stones.
4. Limit foods with Calcium Oxalate
A 2014 study found that 67% of kidney stones were full of Calcium Oxalate. Note that you should only reduce your oxalate intake if your risk of developing kidney stones is high. Limit foods such as:
5. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol increases fluid output and prevents fluid absorption. It leads to dehydration and the formation of kidney stones. So one of the key strategies for kidney stone prevention is avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.
6. Limit Caffeine
Caffeine speeds up metabolism and causes dehydration. Coffees, teas, and energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine. Therefore, reducing the intake of caffeine-containing drinks will help you prevent nephrolithiasis.
7. Avoid sugary beverages
Sweet drinks, particularly those high in fructose, have connections with the development of kidney stones. Limiting your intake of coke will keep your weight down and prevent kidney stones from forming.
8. Increasing Citric Intake
Did you know that not eating enough oranges puts you at risk of developing kidney stones? Unsweetened lemon juice, orange juice or mango juice is a rich source of citric acid.
9. Avoiding High Acid Foods
High acidity increases the risk of kidney stones and makes them difficult to pass. They also make it hard to reabsorb citrate, which flushes out stones.
So if you are serious about kidney stone prevention, avoid foods such as:
- Red meat
In all, there are many things you can do to prevent kidney stones from forming. Make sensible food and lifestyle choices.