What Causes Kidney Stones
Stones form as a result of increased non-soluble substances in the urine. The most common type of kidney stone is calcium oxalate but other types include magnesium-ammonium-phosphate and uric acid stones.
Although other risk factors include hyperparathyroidism , bacteria and medications, the biggest risk factor for stone formation is dehydration, which results in decreased urine output, which in turn leads to an elevated concentration of crystals in the urine. The crystals bind together to form stones.
Studies have found a higher incidence of kidney stones in the stone belt in the southern part of the country. It is believed that warmer weather and corresponding dehydration contribute to this higher incidence. Thats why it is important to stay well hydrated, especially when outside.
Take More Natural Citrate
Research shows that lemonade and other fruits and juices high in natural citrate can prove to be ;beneficial for kidney stone prevention.; Citrate will prevent the binding of calcium with other constituents which can lead to stones. Exclusion of sugar in this regard is necessary as it can increase the risk of kidney stones.
What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally
Too much salt is not good for the kidneys either. It can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Having too much sodium in the urine prevents calcium from being reabsorbed from urine and into blood leading to kidney stone development.; Avoid processed foods rich in sodium.
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How Can You Prevent Kidney Stones
The following tips may lower your chance of getting kidney stones:
- The most important thing you can do is drink more fluids, especially water if your doctor says it is okay. Try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. If you don’t already drink that much, slowly increase how much you drink. For example, add one more glass of water each day until you are drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day. This slow increase will give your body time to adjust to the extra fluids. You are drinking enough water when your urine is clear or light yellow. If it is dark yellow, you are not drinking enough fluids.
- If you had a calcium kidney stone, it may help to:
- Eat less salt and salty foods. One way to do this is to avoid processed foods and limit how often you eat at restaurants.
- Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much calcium you need every day. Try to get your calcium from food, rather than from supplements. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all good sources of calcium.
If you have had kidney stones in the past, it may also help to:
Drinking Plenty Of Water Is Important For Avoiding Kidney Stones
The most important step you can take to prevent kidney stones is to drink more water, says Sean Hashmi, MD, a nephrologist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. Drinking enough water not only means youre urinating more frequently, but it also means that your urine is less concentrated with stone-causing minerals, he says. The more you urinate, the lower the chance that these waste products will settle and bond together to form kidney stones.
The amount of fluid needed to help prevent kidney stones varies for each person, says;Naim Maalouf, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. For example, some people sweat more than others and need to drink more, he says. Ideally, doctors want to see patients produce more than two and a half liters of urine per day.
A helpful indicator that youre drinking enough water is the color of your urine. If its dark yellow, youre probably not drinking enough. We would like the color of the urine to be as clear as possible, says Dr. Maalouf.
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How To Prevent Kidney Stones From Forming Naturally
1. Eat Less Sodium
According to the Urology Care Foundation, a diet high in salt increases your chance of calcium kidney stones . Sodium rich foods can increase the calcium content in the urine, thereby supporting the formation of kidney stones. Plus, it causes kidney disease by increasing the quantity of urinary protein. Thus, consuming a low-sodium diet will help you reduce the risk of kidney stones. You should eat no more than five grams of salt daily. You need to read food labels carefully to lower your sodium intake. Foods high in sodium include lunch meat, processed foods such as crackers and chips, canned soups, canned vegetables, condiments, foods containing sodium bicarbonate, foods containing sodium nitrate, and foods containing monosodium glutamate. Instead, people with kidney stones can use healthier salt substitutes such as sea salt, spices, and herbs.
2. How To Prevent Kidney Stones Limit Red Meat Consumption
3. Limit Intake Of Artificial Sweetener & Sugar
Basically, drinks having high sugar content can cause kidney stones. An excessive consumption of sugar imbalances the mineral relationship because it interferes with magnesium and calcium absorption. Plus, artificial sweeteners arent good for your kidneys because they cause a drop in kidney function. Therefore, you need to limit your consumption of fructose found in high fructose corn syrup and table sugar. Instead, you can use stevia or organic honey in your tea or coffee to add sweetness.
Avoid Excess Of Vitamin C
This vitamin is an essential element of human body; but this compound can be a potential problem to those who have the tendency of forming kidney stones because the body will convert vitamin C into oxalate. Avoiding high doses vitamin C supplements will be preferable for you. Try to accumulate this necessary element from foods only in moderate amounts.
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Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
How Do Kidney Stones Form
Our kidneys are tasked with the responsibility of filtering toxins, waste, and excess fluid from the blood to form urine.
When the kidneys contain an excess of certain types of chemicals, such as uric acid, phosphorous, calcium, and oxalic acid, and not enough fluid to dilute them, these minerals and waste substances get concentrated enough to form crystals.
Your kidneys may simultaneously run low on certain substances that prevent these crystals from sticking together.
As a result, these clumps of waste material gradually grow in size to acquire the form of kidney stones.
The smaller stones are usually excreted without any medical intervention, rarely presenting any noticeable pain or symptoms. The larger ones, however, can get jammed in the narrow ureter and obstruct the natural flow of urine.
Given that your urinary tract is custom made for the passage of liquid matter, the expulsion of these solid rock-like masses can be mind-numbingly painful.
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How To Prevent Kidney Stones Avoid Taking Fluoridated Water
Drinking fluoridated water may also increase your risk of developing kidney stones. According to a study, drinking fluoridated water is linked to kidney stones . Mottled and discolored tooth enamel is one of the initial signs that youre consuming too much fluoride. To flush fluoride out of your water, you can have a reverse-osmosis system that is installed in your home.
Who Gets Kidney Stones
About 1 in 10 people will experience a kidney stone at some point during their lifetime, and men are about twice as likely as women. Kidney stones generally occur after age 30, although its possible for a younger person to have one as well. Once youve had a kidney stone, youre at a significantly higher risk for future stones.
The tendency to form kidney stones tends to run in families, so if your parents or siblings have had stones, you may be at increased risk. Whether or not you have a family history of stones, though, certain dietary habits can increase or reduce your risk.
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How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
You can lower your risk of a kidney infection by taking steps to prevent UTIs, and by treating them right away if they occur.
You can lower your risk of a kidney infection by taking steps to prevent UTIs, and by treating them right away if they occur.
Kidney infections usually happen when a urinary tract infection develops in your lower urinary tract your urethra and bladder then spreads to your kidneys.
Most UTIs occur when bacteria in your digestive tract, usually E. coli, enter your urethra, the tube through which urine exits your body. From there, it can enter and infect your bladder.
Usually, potentially harmful bacteria are flushed out of your urethra and bladder by urine, and no infection occurs. But for a number of reasons, sometimes this flushing isnt effective, and a UTI develops.
If you experience symptoms of a UTI, seeking prompt evaluation and treatment can help prevent your infection from spreading to your kidneys.
You can also take a number of steps to prevent a UTI from developing in the first place, from drinking lots of water to ensuring proper hygiene in your urethral area.
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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Natural Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are becoming more and more common these days.
Many experts blame diet and lifestyle as the main culprits in the rise of this disorder. The incidence of developing kidney stones is on the rise in the United States for both males and females. Once youve developed a kidney stone, you are significantly more likely to develop others in the future.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are deposits of certain minerals and salts that crystallize in the kidneys and form small to large masses. Once they crystallize, they can no longer naturally dissolve and instead, need to be passed through the urinary tract system to be eliminated out of the body. Kidney stones are fairly common and once you get one, youre about 50% more likely to get another one within the next 10 years.
Not only are kidney stones an annoyance, but they can also be extremely painful and;accompanied by a range of other symptoms. Some people report having bloody urine, an intense pain in the lower back, nausea, fever, stomachaches, or urine that has a foul odor in addition to the kidney stone itself. If you think you have a kidney stone or are experiencing symptoms that last for more than a few days, its important to see your doctor find a treatment plan that will work for you. To help avoid these situations, prevention is key.;
Kidney Stone Signs & Symptoms:
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Natural Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
Eat more plant-based protein
Treatment For Kidney Stones
Most kidney stones can be treated without surgery. Ninety per cent of stones pass by themselves within three to six weeks. In this situation, the only treatment required is pain relief. However, pain can be so severe that hospital admission and very strong pain-relieving medication may be needed. Always seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering strong pain.
Small stones in the kidney do not usually cause problems, so there is often no need to remove them. A doctor specialising in the treatment of kidney stones is the best person to advise you on treatment.
If a stone doesnt pass and blocks urine flow or causes bleeding or an infection, then it may need to be removed. New surgical techniques have reduced hospital stay time to as little as 48 hours. Treatments include:
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British Columbia Specific Information
If you have had kidney stones before, you are at a higher risk of getting them again. Eating certain foods may help lower your risk of having kidney stones again. To learn about what foods you should choose to help lower your risk of having kidney stones, see our Healthy Eating Guidelines For People with Kidney Stones web page.
You may also call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or you can Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian.
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Risk Factors For Kidney Stones
“Kidney stones” is a term that covers different types of small, solid crystals. They can have different causes and different food culprits. Some are related to kidney infections. Others form because you have too much of certain minerals in your system.
Genes can play a role, too. Forty percent of the people who get kidney stones have relatives who have them, too. Their bodies may get rid of too much calcium or too little citrate in their pee, for instance.
Other conditions that make kidney stones more likely include:
- Obesity. When youâre overweight, you tend to get them more often. The same is true if you have diabetes.
- Gout. This painful condition happens when uric acid builds up in your blood. That makes crystals form in your joints or kidneys.
- Intestinal surgery. If youâve had certain types of gastric bypass surgery or other intestinal surgery, your risk may go up.
- Hyperthyroidism. It can raise calcium levels in your blood and trigger kidney stones.
- Certain kidney diseases. One example is polycystic kidney disease, in which clusters of cysts grow in your kidneys. Another is medullary sponge kidney, a birth defect that causes cysts to form in the organâs tubes.
Middle-aged men are most likely to get kidney stones, though it can happen to people of any age or sex.
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What Causes Struvite Stones
Struvite stones are caused by an upper urinary tract infection from bacteria. Ammonia produced as a waste product by the bacteria can make the urine less acidic . Struvite stones form when the urine becomes more alkaline. The main chemicals in a struvite stone include struvite and calcium carbon-apatite. These stones can grow quickly and become quite large. This can happen with few symptoms at first or little warning.
Not All Stones Are Created Equal
In addition to calcium oxalate stones, another common type of kidney stones is uric acid stones. Red meat, organ meats, and shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound known as purines. “High purine intake leads to a higher production of uric acid and produces a larger acid load for the kidneys to excrete,” said Dr. Jhagroo. Higher uric acid excretion leads to lower overall urine pH, which means the urine is more acidic. The high acid concentration of the urine makes it easier for uric acid stones to form.
To prevent uric acid stones, cut down on high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and shellfish, and follow a healthy diet that contains mostly vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, especially those that contain high fructose corn syrup. Limit alcohol because it can increase uric acid levels in the blood and avoid crash diets for the same reason. Eating less animal-based protein and eating more fruits and vegetables will help decrease urine acidity and this will help reduce the chance for stone formation.
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