Treatment And Prevention Of Kidney Stones: An Update
LYNDA FRASSETTO, MD, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
INGRID KOHLSTADT, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
Am Fam Physician. 2011 Dec 1 84:1234-1242.
Patient information: See related handout on preventing kidney stones, written by the authors of this article.
The prevalence of nephrolithiasis is increasing in women and with increasing age. The risk of developing kidney stones is 10 to 15 percent in the United States, although this number is trending higher.13 Table 1 includes rates of different types of kidney stones in children and adults.48 Contributing risk factors for kidney stones are obesity, insulin resistance, gastrointestinal pathology, living in warmer climates, and certain dietary patterns and medications.2,9
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.
S For Preventing Kidney Stones
If youve ever had a kidney stone, you surely remember it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the tiny stone passes through your urinary plumbing and out of the body. For many, kidney stones arent a one-time thing: in about half of people who have had one, another appears within seven years without preventive measures.
Preventing kidney stones isnt complicated, but it does take some determination.
Kidney stones form when certain chemicals become concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. The crystals grow into larger masses , which can make their way through the urinary tract. If the stone gets stuck somewhere and blocks the flow of urine, it causes pain.
Most stones occur when calcium combines with oxalate. Stones can also form from uric acid, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism.
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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.
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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Can Diet Alone Treat Kidney Stones
For some people, dietary changes may be enough to prevent kidney stones from occurring.
In other cases, additional treatment may be necessary, including medication to break the stones up or surgery to remove the stones.
If stones become extremely painful, it is best to seek consultation with a doctor or nephrologist so they can recommend the best course of action.
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.
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Prevention Tips For Kidney Pain
Kidney pain is commonly caused by urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and direct trauma, so kidney pain prevention entails preventing these causes. Heres what you can do to reduce your risk of developing kidney pain:
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to promote urination and expel bacteria.
- Dont hold in your urine.
- After a bowel movement, wipe front to back in order to discourage bacterial movement from the rectum into the urethra.
- Take showers as opposed to baths.
- Gently wash skin around the vagina and anus do not use harsh soap or scrub vigorously.
- Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse.
- Avoid the use of scented deodorants and scented feminine hygiene products near the genitals.
- Eat a low-oxalate diet.
Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University . He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine , and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.
Eat The Recommended Amount Of Calcium
If you take calcium supplements, tell your doctor. Make sure you are not getting too much calcium. On the other hand make sure you aren’t getting too little calcium either. Talk with your doctor or dietitian about whether you need supplements. Good sources of calcium to choose from often are those low in salt. Eating calcium-rich foods or beverages with meals every day is a good habit. There are many non-dairy sources of calcium, such as calcium-fortified non-dairy milks. There are good choices, especially if you avoid dairy.
You can usually get enough calcium from your diet without supplements if you eat three-to-four servings of calcium-rich food. Many foods and beverages have calcium in them. Some foods and beverages that might be easy to include on a daily basis with meals are:
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Get Care From An Expert
Kidney stonesare formed when there are more of certain chemicals in the urine than fluid to dilute forming a crystal. That crystal tries tomake its way out of your system through the urinary tract. Sadly, the urethrais smaller than the stone, so its a painful process. Symptoms of kidney stones can include intense pain inthe lower abdomen or back, blood in your urine, or a blockage that stops youfrom being able to urinate. If the pain you are feeling resemblesone of the stories above, get to your healthcare provider fast. They can helpwith some of the pain and put a treatment plan together.
Get Enough Calcium From A Balanced Diet
If you already have an adequate calcium intake, this may not be helpful to reduce your chances of stones. The amount of calcium you need depends on your age and gender. Check with your primary care provider or urologist on what is right for you. Also, make sure you have vitamin D in your diet to help the body absorb the calcium.
While you may think it would be helpful, taking calcium supplements does the opposite and may increase the risk. If you need to take supplements, be sure to take them with a meal to try to reduce that increased possibility of stones.
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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
This means using a machine to send shock waves from outside your body to break up the stone. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy doesnt always work as well as other treatments, but it means less time in hospital and a lower risk of complications.
The shock waves break the stone into fragments small enough to be passed in your urine. You may feel some pain as the stone breaks up, so youll usually have a sedative and a painkiller. The treatment takes 30 to 60 minutes depending on how big the stone is. You need to lie as still as possible. You should be able to go home within a couple of hours.
The procedure can cause skin blistering or bruising. This should disappear after about a week. You can use skin cream to soothe your skin. You may have some pain and bleeding as you pass the stone fragments. Contact your doctor if this is severe.
You may need to have ESWL more than once to completely get rid of your kidney stones. It may not be suitable if youre pregnant, if your blood doesnt clot properly or if you get a lot of urine infections. Being obese can make it harder to target the stone. You may need to have medical expulsive therapy afterwards to get rid of any fragments.
It’s Not Just The Oxalate
Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, and even chocolate and tea. Some examples of foods that contain high levels of oxalate include: peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes. Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones, the leading type of kidney stones.
A common misconception is that cutting the oxalate-rich foods in your diet alone will reduce the likelihood of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. While in theory this might be true, this approach isn’t smart from an overall health perspective. Most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.
It is important to eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form.
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How Can You Get Treated From Kidney Stones: Tips And Treatment
Fluids play an important role in settling and treating kidney stones. Few fluids that you cannot forget to take during kidney stones include water, basil juice, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and coconut water. All these fluids are rich and loaded with health benefits.
Include apple cider vinegar:
If you visit a healthcare centre, you would be recommended to even have apple cider vinegar to treat kidney stones naturally. The acetic contents in vinegar help to breakdown and dissolve kidney stones. You need to consume it with water. Take opinion from the doctor on the amount of consumption as they will guide you best based on the size of the stones and level of pain.
Consume pomegranate juice:
Pomegranate juice is a known remedy for centuries to cure kidney stones. It helps to flush out the toxins from the system and help the kidneys with more strength. Consult your doctor if you can safely include the juice in your meals in case you are recommended some medications by them.
Wheatgrass juice has power packed nutrients and is another health drink that is consumed to improve overall health. It works great to dissolve kidney stones and naturally settle the pain. In case you do not find wheatgrass juice in the shops, try finding wheatgrass supplements and take a second opinion with your doctor.
See a doctor:
Dietary Calcium And Kidney Stones
Only lower your calcium intake below that of a normal diet if instructed by your doctor. Decreased calcium intake is only necessary in some cases where absorption of calcium from the bowel is high.
A low-calcium diet has not been shown to be useful in preventing the recurrence of kidney stones and may worsen the problem of weak bones. People with calcium-containing stones may be at greater risk of developing weak bones and osteoporosis. Discuss this risk with your doctor.
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Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
It’s not always possible to prevent some types of kidney stones.
But anyone who’s had kidney stones should:
- Drink a lot of liquids throughout the day. Avoid dark sodas, soft drinks, and sports drinks. If their pee is almost clear, that’s a sign they’re drinking enough. Ask your doctor how much you should drink.
- Limit the salt and protein in their diet.
If dietary changes don’t prevent kidney stones, medicines can help. Depending on the type of kidney stone you had, the doctor can prescribe treatments or medicines to lower the levels of crystal-forming substances in the pee.
Doctors will keep an eye on teens who have had kidney stones and try to prevent new ones. The doctor might have you use a 24-hour urine collection test. This measures the volume of pee within a 24-hour period and checks what’s in it.
Kidney stones aren’t usually a worry for most teens, though it’s always a good idea to eat healthy foods and drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.
Should I Cut Out All Foods That Have Oxalate Or Calcium
No, this is a common mistake. Some people think that cutting out all foods that have oxalate or all foods with calcium will keep stones from forming. However, this approach is not healthy. It can lead to poor nutrition and can cause other health problems. A better plan? Eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. Doing this helps oxalate and calcium bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before reaching the kidneys, making it less likely for kidney stones to form in the urine.
Plan Your Plate For Kidney Stones
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Rethink Some Healthy Foods
Your doctor may recommend more dietary changes for you based on stone type and the results of a 24-hour urine test to determine your urine composition basically, what your urine is made of.
If you have high oxalate content in your urine, for instance, your doctor may advise staying away from oxalate-rich foods like rhubarb and spinach. Or they may recommend eating those foods with dairy, as the calcium from milk products binds to oxalates and forces them into your feces rather than urine.
Oxalate is in a lot of really healthy foods like greens, vegetables, beans and nuts, says Dr. De. So we would only restrict them after examining a patients stone type and urine test results.
Easy Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones
Did you know that one in ten people will have a kidney stone over the course of a lifetime? Recent studies have shown that kidney stone rates are on the rise across the country. Those in the know believe that some major misconceptions may be the culprit.
The National Kidney Foundation has teamed up with Dr. Allan Jhagroo, a kidney stone specialist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, to help you stay stone-free by debunking some of the major kidney stone myths and misconceptions.
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How Do I Prevent Kidney Stones
Everything you need to know about the tests doctors use to diagnose kidney stones.
both of which help to prevent stones, are also measured. The test can also analyze sodium levels in urine.
In this video, a doctor discusses kidney stone preventionand dispels some common myths about how they form.
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.
Several years ago I had kidney stones. I would like to know how or what I can do to prevent this happening again. I understand that there is a chance of this happening again once you have it before.
What You Can Do to Prevent Kidney Stones. If youve already had a kidney stone, your doctor may recommend medication to keep it from happening again. What kind will depend on what caused the stone.
Kidney tissue damage is worse with Br than HA stones. Potassium citrate, a common stone prevention, may not be appropriate as a treatment because it raises urine pH. Alkaline Urine Causes Phosphate Stones. Stone phosphate replaces oxalate when urine is too alkaline. Kidney and GI tract physiology raise urine pH, especially in women.
Fruits with high levels of citric acid, such as oranges and lemons, have also demonstrated a positive effect in preventing kidney stones according to a 2014.
Tips: Preventing Kidney Stones.
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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