Kidney Stones

Once you have taken the pains of passing a kidney stone, you would probably take good preventive measures to not get one again. It is important to know that kidney stones are more common in men than women, and that it also reoccurs in 15 to 20 years if proper preventive care is not taken.

How do kidney stones develop —

Kidney stones are formed when calcium, oxalate and uric acid from some substances gets concentrated and forms crystals in the kidney. They form stones of uric acid or calcium, and are usually found in people with low urine pH levels. As stones in the kidney grow, they then move down to the ureter, thus blocking the flow of urine, resulting in severe pain in intervals. Other symptoms being blood in urine, nausea and vomiting. The passage of kidney stone induces frequent urination, bladder pressure or pain in the groin. The diagnosis includes a urinalysis, a renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray or CT scan to confirm kidney stones and also determine the size, number and location.

When do kidney stones pass —

Kidney stones usually take a few weeks to months in order to pass out, depending on the number and their size. Pain relief medications help in relieving pain and discomfort until the stones pass. Some muscle relaxants such as alpha-blockers are prescribed to help pass stones faster and with lesser pain.

When the stones are too large, they are difficult to pass and the pain is too severe, then surgical procedures such as ureteroscopy are done to remove the stones. The endoscope has a miniature video camera and tools at the end of a long tube that is passed into the bladder and straight into the ureter. The kidney stones are broken with the use of the laser, and the fragments are removed later. 

What steps can help bypass kidney stones —

Although kidney stones are quite common, as well as their reoccurrence, there are some simple ways that can be followed to prevent them.

Drink enough water —

A study has shown that a person who produces 2 to 2.5 liters of urine per day are less likely to develop kidney stones, than those who produce less. Therefore, it is best to have about 2 liters of water per day to keep good kidney health.

Skip high-oxalate foods —

High oxalate foods include spinach, beets and almonds, which raise levels of oxalate in the body. Include chocolate and berry instead to keep low levels of oxalate.

Enjoy Lemons —

Lemons have citrate, a salt in citric acid that helps bind calcium and block the formation of stones. A daily drink of lemon juice diluted with water can increase urine citrate thus reducing the risk of kidney stone formation.

Watch sodium levels —

If your diet consists of high sodium, this can trigger the formation of kidney stones as it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. The suggested total daily sodium intake should be limited to 2,300 mg. In case you have already had stone in the kidney, then your sodium intake should be 1,500 mg.

Limit animal fat —

Animal protein found in meat, eggs and seafood have a tendency to increase the levels of uric acid, hence eating too much of them is not good for your kidney. In case you are already prone to the formation of kidney stones, you must limit your daily intake of meat to a large extent, by just having a tiny quantity each day.


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