What is a kidney stone?
The kidney stones arise due to the crystals, which separate from the urine in the urinary tract. Normally urine contains various kinds of chemicals, which do not allow the crystals to become rigid. If these chemicals stop their function, this leads to the formation of stones in the urinary tract. Normally these crystals are very small in size and float in the urinary tract.
Types of kidney stones
1.Calcium oxalate stones This is a very common type of kidney stones. The increase in intake of calcium leads to the calcium kidney stones. It has also been seen that if calcium level decreases in the body, this also leads to kidney stones. If the calcium level decreases in the body, the amount of oxalate in the blood vessels increases to absorb the calcium, then this oxalate excretes out from the body through urine. Calcium plays an important role in binding the oxalates present in the body, thus due to deficiency of calcium, oxalate stones are formed.
2.Calcium phosphate stones- This is a very rare kind of stone occurring in the body. This is related to hyperparathyroidism and renal tubular acidosis. This kind of stone is large as compared to other stones formed in the body and it is very rigid, thus this may damage the kidney.
3.Uric acid stones When the urine becomes very much acidic or the level of uric acid increases in the urine/blood then uric acid stones are formed. This occurs due to high intake of animal protein and purine. High level of uric acid in blood leads to rheumatism and metabolic disorders.
4.Struvite kidney stones This kind of stones is related to urinary tract infection. The number of women and children is more as compared to the men who suffer from this problem.
5.Cystine stones This is a hereditary problem, whose main cause is cystine. Cystine is a kind of amino acid which plays an important role in protein synthesis. When cystine starts leaking out from the kidney and passes in the urine, cystine stones are formed.
Symptoms of kidney stones
1.Pain in the lower side of the belly, back pain or pain below the ribs.
2.The pain exists for about 20-60 minutes and the pain increases and decreases frequently.
3.Blood comes in the urine and there is a foul smell in urine.
4.Pain in excreting out the urine.
5.Nausea and vomiting.
6.The urge to urinate frequently.
7.Fever and cold.
Plan your diet The formation of kidney stones can be prevented by taking a balanced diet.
Drink plenty of water Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, so that the minerals responsible for stone formation would not gather in the urine. Besides ½ litre of water, other drinks should also be included.
Use less amount of salt in the food Decreasing the amount of salt in food leads to lower calcium level in the urine and thus prevents calcium stone formation. Besides this you should avoid pasteurized food products, salty snacks or junk food because these things also contain high amount of salt.
Include sufficient amount of calcium in your diet Having two servings of high calcium food products daily, reduces the risk of kidney stones to a great extent. Those persons who suffer from calcium oxalate stones should include about 800 mgs of calcium daily in their diet. This not only prevents the formation of stones but also maintains the bone density. One cup of skimmed milk provides about 300 mgs of calcium. Other dairy products like curd and cheese also contain high amounts of calcium.
Vitamin C Our body converts vitamin C to oxalate, which increases the risk of kidney stone formation. If the physicians advice you to lower the intake of oxalate, in this case you should avoid the supplements of vitamin C. In this case the kidney stone patients are advised to reduce the intake of vitamins and minerals up to 500 mgs and should not take more than this amount.
Low quantity of oxalate Those food products which increase the oxalate level or uric acid level in the urine should be consumed in less amount. Oxalic acid or oxalate is generally found in products like spinach, wheat bran, strawberry, chocolate, dry fruits, beet root and tea. Consuming high calcium food also reduces the oxalate level in urine. Calcium actually binds the oxalate in digestive tract, so it does not pass in the urine.
Insoluble fibersThis is the part of fiber plants which does not digest. It has two types- soluble (which dissolves in water) and insoluble (which does not dissolve in water). Both of these fibers are very important for the metabolism of the body. The main sources of insoluble fibers are wheat, barley and rice. Their consumption reduces the calcium level in urine. Insoluble fibers combine with the calcium in the intestine and it is excreted out with the stool instead of urine. Thus the patient's body absorbs less calcium.
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