Drink More Water People
The best way to prevent kidney stones is simple: Drink a lot of water. People with low urine output tend to be more prone to developing stones.
Kidney stones are formed by small pieces of minerals, like calcium, building up in your kidneys as your kidneys filter waste from your blood. If you stay hydrated, theres less of an opportunity for those minerals to build up and chunk together.
You know youre drinking enough water if your pee is pale yellow or clear. Still, its easy to forget to hydrate.
Thats why Harper and Wessells are conducting a study to see if using smart water bottles that track someones fluid intake can help prevent kidney stones. The bottles send data about how much someone is drinking to an app, which then alerts the participant if they need to drink more.
Being reminded is helpful because even people who have had kidney stones tend to slip up when it comes to hydration, Wessells says.
They do it for a while but then they go back to the way they were. The kidney stone becomes a distant memory, he says.
But just because the memory may fade doesnt mean the costsfinancial and otherwisedo. Kidney stones usually cause people to miss several days of work at least, and the financial burden of emergency department visits and CT scans is high, says Wessells.
Its important for people to understand what their barriers are to fluid intake so we can help them remove those barriers and develop strategies to take in more fluid regularly, he says.
Quick Read Yes Women Can Get Kidney Stones
- Kidney stones are being diagnosed in women at increasing rates.
- Obesity, diabetes and associated conditions increase kidney stone risk in women.
- Other risk factors include climate change and hot, dry climates.
While youve likely heard of kidney stones , theres a lot of misconceptions about these pebble-like deposits.
Kidney stones are hard formations that develop in your kidneys when there is a high concentration of substances like calcium, oxalate, uric acid and phosphorus in your urine. They can vary in color, density, location and shape, and range in size from as small as a grain of sand to, in rare cases, as large as a spikey golf ball.
Perhaps the most common misconception is that kidney stones only happen to men, but this is simply not true. Around 11% of men and 6% of women are diagnosed with kidney stones in their lifetime, and this gender gap is closing as women are diagnosed at increasing rates.
While some of this is likely due to improved sensitivity of imaging even tiny, symptom-free stones can be seen with todays advanced technology much of the increase can likely be attributed to common health-related challenges: our ongoing obesity epidemic and the health challenges posed by our diets and sedentary lifestyles.
What Causes Kidney Stones In Children
Certain foods and beverages may increase the chances of having a kidney stone in children who are more likely to develop them.
When children cant move for a long time, for example when a child is in a cast after surgery, the chances of developing a kidney stone are higher. When children arent moving, their bones may release extra calcium into the blood.
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Causes Of Kidney Stones In Teenagers
There are many causes of kidney stones. A teen having a kidney stone has an underlying condition that increases the risk of kidney stone development.
Following are general causes for kidney stones :
Not drinking enough water causes concentration of uric acid in urine may increase. Chances of developing crystals resulting in kidney stone increases due to high urine saturation.
How Can You Prevent Kidney Stones
Although its not always clear what causes kidney stones, Dr. Chang says theres at least one thing you can do to prevent them: Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of fluids: six to eight glasses a day, he advises. This dilutes the urine, because what we dont want is really concentrated urine where calcium ions can bind together easily. Instead, we want those calcium ions to be distributed across a larger volume of urine, which theoretically should also flush out the kidneys better in the event that a stone is trying to form.
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Treatment Of Kidney Stones
Small stones may naturally pass out from the body but larger stones cannot thus they can lead to pain, swelling and high levels of uric acid concentration in the body. Severe pain like this requires medical assistance for removal of the kidney stones.
Following are the medical procedures to get rid of the kidney stones:-
Kidney Stones In Children And Teens
Kidney stones have become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years. They can occur in children of any age, even premature infants, but most stones occur in teens.
Kidney stones happen when minerals and other substances normally found in urine join together to form a hard stone in the urinary tract. They can also form if there is not enough of other substances in the urine that help stop stones from forming.
Stones typically form in the kidney and ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. They rarely form in the bladder.
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Foul Smelling Or Cloudy Urine
The presence of stones in your kidneys makes your urine more concentrated. The kidney stones are caused due to crystallization of concentrated minerals and make the urine cloudier, stinky, and darker. The strong or foul smell is often compared with ammonia, but it may be due to a urinary infection rather than just a kidney stone.
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How Long Does It Take A Kidney Stone To Form
You can have kidney stones for years without knowing theyre there. As long as these stones stay in place within your kidney, you wont feel anything. Pain from a kidney stone typically starts when it moves out of your kidney. Sometimes, a stone can form more quickly within a few months.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors. They might do a 24-hour urine test to check how quickly you develop stones.
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How Kidney Stones Affect Women
While womens overall lifetime risk is lower than mens, obesity, diabetes and associated metabolic syndromes have narrowed the gap, according to Dr. Robert Sweet, medical director of the Kidney Stone Center at UW Medical Center Northwest.
Plus, a recent epidemiological study spanning decades demonstrates that people who develop symptoms from kidney stones tend to be female, with the highest increase in incident rates between women ages 18 to 39. Women also had a higher frequency of infected stones as a result of recurrent urinary tract infections .
Womens risk of getting stones is greater than for men if they are obese, says Sweet. When women who have these other conditions have a kidney stone, they are also more likely to have complex stones that are more difficult to treat and have accompanying urinary tract infections and pain that reduces quality of life.
Is There Any Way To Make Them Pass Faster
The best home remedy to encourage the stone to pass is to drink lots of fluids, especially plain water and citrus juices such as orange or grapefruit. The extra fluid causes you to urinate more, which helps the stone move and keeps it from growing. You should aim for at least 2 to 3 quarts of water per day.
Smaller stones are more likely to pass on their own, so you should take steps to keep the stone from growing. This includes eating a diet thats low in salt, calcium, and protein.
However, you need all of these for your body to function properly, so talk with your doctor about an appropriate diet to help you pass the stone.
Passing a kidney stone can be very painful. Taking pain medication such as ibuprofen wont speed up the process, but it can make you a lot more comfortable while passing the stone. A heating pad can also help.
If you have a fever, significant nausea, or are unable to keep down liquids without vomiting, you should seek medical care.
Likewise, if you have only one kidney or known kidney problems or damage, see a doctor immediately.
An infected kidney stone is a surgical emergency. If you notice any signs of infection, go to the hospital.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Do I have a kidney stone or is there another reason for my symptoms?
- What type of kidney stone do I have?
- What size is my kidney stone?
- Where is my kidney stone located?
- How many kidney stones do I have?
- Do I need treatment or will I be able to pass the kidney stone?
- Should I be tested for kidney disease?
- What changes should I make to my diet?
- What type of procedure should I have to get rid of the stones?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Kidney stones can be frustrating at best and agonizingly painful at the worst. To stop your situation from getting worse, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The pain can get severe, and surgery might be necessary. Remember: dont skip your prescriptions, drink lots of water and follow any dietary guidelines. Also, remember that kidney stones are a temporary condition. They wont bother you forever.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2021.
Kidney Stones On The Rise Among Women
TUESDAY, Feb. 13, 2018 — Kidney stones are becoming more common, especially in women, new research has found.
Better diagnostic tools could be part of the reason for the steady rise in diagnoses, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.
By using CT scans, “we are now diagnosing symptomatic kidney stones that previously would have gone undiagnosed because they would not have been detected,” lead researcher Dr. Andrew Rule said in a Mayo news release.
Rule and his colleagues analyzed the records of more than 7,200 residents of Olmsted County, Minn., who were diagnosed with kidney stones for the first time between 1984 and 2012.
The investigators found that women — especially those 18 to 39 years old — developed stones more often than men. They were most likely to have so-called infection stones, blamed on chronic urinary tract infections.
People prone to kidney stones should make some changes to their diet to help prevent recurrences, the researchers advised. This may include drinking more water, reducing salt intake and eating less meat.
The researchers noted that their findings may not apply to everyone because study participants were mainly white. White people have a higher risk for kidney stones than other racial groups, they said.
The findings are published in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
How To Help Preventing Kidney Stones
There are many things that you can help your child do to reduce the chances of developing more kidney stones. Children with kidney stones should:
- Drink a lot of fluid throughout the day . Ask your healthcare team for an amount that’s right for your child. If your child has kidney disease and needs to limit fluid, please discuss this with the team.
- Limit salt in the diet.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits.
- Eat fewer meats, processed foods, fast food, and sodas.
- Avoid food and drinks with high fructose corn syrup.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Eat the recommended amount of calcium-rich foods and drinks. Cutting back calcium in the diet is not recommended and can sometimes actually increase stone risk. On the other hand, don’t take a calcium supplement unless your doctor says your child needs one.
Your doctor may also recommend that your child see a pediatric nephrologist, a kidney specialist who treats children with kidney stones. Blood tests and a 24-hour urine collection test may determine why your child formed a kidney stone. With this information, a registered dietitian nutritionist can make specific dietary recommendations and your doctor and health care team can prescribe medicines to reduce your child’s risk for making future kidney stones.
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Kidney Stone Symptoms: Pain Pain And More Pain
While some small kidney stones can pass through the urinary tract and out of your body without being noticed, others have tell-tale signs, most notably: pain.
Symptoms are similar regardless of gender, and include pain in your back or sides, radiating pain into the groin, nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine and fever. The presence of stones in the kidney can also lead to chronic UTIs, so if this is something in your own history, its a good idea to bring it up to your doctor.
Can Children Get Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.
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Treatment For Kidney Stones In Children
If a kidney stone is causing a child pain, the goals are to help ease discomfort and to help the stone pass down into the bladder and out in the urine. This can sometimes be done at home by drinking large amounts of water and other fluids. Over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be helpful to manage pain. Other oral medications may be prescribed to ease the stone’s passage. Your child’s doctor may recommend using a strainer to help collect the stone from the urine so it can be tested in the lab.
Sometimes, if children are vomiting or have severe pain, they may need to be hospitalized so they can get fluids and stronger pain medicine through a vein.
Children with large stones or stones that will not pass on their own may need the help of a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the urinary tract. The urologist may use lithotripsy, a procedure that uses sound waves to break the stone into tiny pieces, which are then passed down the urinary tract. While it may sound scary, it is quite safe and does not damage the kidney. The urologist may also remove the stone by using a scope that enters the bladder and goes up the ureter while your child is under anesthesia. The urologist can then “grab” the stone and remove it from the body.
Are There Any Foods Or Drinks That Help Treat Kidney Stones Are There Any Home Remedies
There are three liquids rumored to help with kidney stones:
- Cranberry juice. Although cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections , it doesnt help with kidney stones.
- Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is acidic and it can sometimes create changes to your urine, which helps with kidney stones. But, this doesnt always help. Talk to your healthcare provider about the use of vinegar.
- Lemon juice. Lemon juice is rich in citrate, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming. Citrates are found in several citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges and melons.
- Coffee. Studies show that coffee may decrease your risk of developing kidney stones.
Avoid soda and other drinks with added sugar or fructose corn syrup. They increase your risk.
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How To Prevent Kidney Stones
While there is no way to completely rule out the chance of developing a kidney stone, there are steps that can be taken to decrease your odds. One of the most important preventative measures to kidney stones is to drink enough water each day at least 64 ounces is the recommended daily value by most healthcare providers.
Other tips include:
- Consume less oxalate-rich foods
- Avoid vitamin C supplements
Best practice for avoiding kidney stones centers around consuming enough daily purified water, maintaining a healthy weight, and basing a diet around vegetables, fruits, and other fibrous foods.
Tips To Avoid Kidney Stones
- Drink plenty of fluid, especially water. This is the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of getting another kidney stone. Aim for at least 2 ½ liters to 3 liters of fluid each day. People with cystine stones may want to aim for 4 liters .
- It may be helpful to limit animal protein, including meat, fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs.
- Eat calcium-rich foods instead of taking supplements.
- If you want to take a vitamin C supplement, make sure you take less than 1000 milligrams per day. High amounts of vitamin C may increase your risk of stones.
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