Kidney stones are the most common type of kidney disease in both men and women. They are made up of minerals and crystal-like, solid pieces of materials. There are several types of kidney stones which can be of different shapes, sizes and colors. They may also be irregularly shaped or even stick together. Some kidney stones can also be missed by physicians, especially if they are very small and located close to the outside of the kidney. They may only show up later on X-rays and ultrasounds.
The condition is caused by a number of reasons which include: being overweight, family history (hereditary), kidney infections/inflammations, not drinking enough water , taking certain medications for blood pressure problems , gout , arthritis , kidney stones , etc. The condition is also associated with kidney diseases, kidney failure , urinary tract infections, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular problems.
The most common cause of kidney stones are genetics or family history. Once a person has inherited the tendency to form kidney stones, he/she will likely continue to do so throughout their lives if nothing changes. Hereditary factors that contribute to kidney stone formation include the following: high calcium levels in urine (hypercalciuria), dehydration or low fluid intake, increased oxalate concentration in urine (hyperoxaluria), metabolic acidosis , uric acid stones, excess salt consumption and genetic kidney diseases .
It is important to remember that people who have had kidney stones are at greater risk of developing kidney stones again in the future. To help relieve kidney stone symptoms, doctors recommend that patients drink plenty of water and eat a low-salt diet. These healthcare professionals may also prescribe some medications to certain patients to prevent kidney stones from growing larger.
People with kidney disease should avoid certain foods which contain high levels of oxalic acid. They include spinach , rhubarb , beets, nuts , chocolate, tea, wheat bran , soy products and beans . On the other hand, they are encouraged to eat more fruits such as oranges, lemons and strawberries for their high potassium content which helps thin out the kidney stones so it flows easily through the urinary tract. The following vegetables also contain lots of potassium: dried apricots, avocados, potatoes , kidney beans and peas .
Regular kidney stone treatment usually starts with a dietary plan for patients. The doctor will recommend a specific diet to follow based on the type of kidney stones a person has. For example, people who have calcium oxalate kidney stones must avoid foods which are high in oxalates such as chocolate, peanuts, rhubarb or spinach. They should also drink lots of water every day. The recommended amount is about 4-5 quarts each day which means drinking about 10 glasses each day. It is best to drink this amount of water at regular intervals throughout the day. Doctors may also prescribe some medications which help prevent kidney stones from growing larger over time or block certain substances that can trigger kidney stone formation.
Individuals who are diagnosed with kidney stones must avoid dehydration which causes kidney stones to grow larger over time. They should drink plenty of water each day since it helps flush out kidney stones and prevent them from forming again in the future. Drinking more fluids may also help people who have kidney failure . It is recommended that men drink about 3 liters (13 cups) of non-alcoholic fluids every day while women should consume 2.2 liters (10 cups) of fluid per day for kidney health.
It is best to choose beverages with low sodium content such as unsweetened herbal tea or fresh fruit juices without added sugars . Doctors recommend drinking at least 8-ounces of water before, during and after meals. This can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
People who want to prevent kidney stones should avoid drinking alcohol or at least limit their consumption to less than 2 drinks each day since it can increase the risk of kidney stones. Alcoholic beverages are known for their ability to trigger kidney stone formation in certain individuals because they contain high amounts of calcium, sodium and oxalic acid. They may also irritate kidney tissues if ingested over a long period of time which makes kidney stones more likely to occur.
It is important for people with kidney problems to avoid eating foods that are high in purines since these substances may cause gout . Dietary sources of purines include organ meats like beef or lamb kidneys , anchovies, sardines, game meats, herring, mackerel and scallops. Caffeinated beverages may also increase kidney stone risk in certain individuals since they are known to contain high amounts of oxalic acid which can trigger kidney stones.
Doctors recommend that people with kidney diseases avoid taking extra calcium supplements since they may cause kidney stones to form or grow larger over time. Patients who have problems with kidney function may want to talk with their doctors about taking vitamin D supplements instead of these types of supplements since it helps the kidneys process calcium more efficiently without increasing kidney stone risk in the future.
People who have recently had kidney stones must drink enough water each day because it helps prevent kidney stone formation . It is important for people to stay hydrated by drinking at least 4-5 glasses of non-alcoholic beverages each day. This can help prevent kidney stones from forming again in the future.
People who have kidney stones must avoid drinking soft drinks or other sweetened beverages since they are known to increase kidney stone risk . The high amounts of sugar found in these types of commercially produced drinks makes it more likely for kidney stones to form.
It is important for people with kidney problems to discuss proper hydration with their doctors because lack of fluids may cause kidney failure . Dehydration can increase kidney stone risk and can also damage kidneys which reduces kidney function over time. Doctors recommend that men drink about 3 liters (13 cups) and women should drink about 2.2 liters (10 cups) per day to keep kidney stones away. Drinking enough fluids can also help kidney disease patients who have kidney failure .
People must avoid drinking sweetened beverages to reduce kidney stone risk. These types of commercially produced drinks are high in sugar which makes kidney stones more likely to form or grow larger over time. Sugar upsets the body’s pH levels and increases kidney stone risk by triggering acid-based kidney stone formation which can cause intense pain during urination, nausea, vomiting and blood in the urine.
Peanuts, pistachios, cashews , seeds, low-fat dairy products , wheat bran cereals and wholemeal bread are all known for their ability to increase kidney stone risk if they are consumed too often. They reduce kidney function because they absorb kidney-cleansing fluids that are naturally filtered by the kidney. This makes kidney stones more likely to form over time because kidney function is reduced when they are exposed to too many kidney-irritating substances.
People with kidney problems must avoid taking analgesic pain relievers while kidney stones are present since it can worsen kidney damage . These types of medications slow down kidney function and reduce urine output which raises the risk for kidney stones to form or grow larger in size.