Studies have shown that ten percent of the general public has dealt with kidney stones at some point in their life. In the United States, the propensity to suffer from kidney stones has been on the rise for the past few years, and experts believe this may be due to the lack of knowledge about the condition and failure to take some of the most simple steps to prevent it.
Kidney stones are small pebbles formed out of mineral deposits in the urine. They usually stay in the kidneys but can sometimes leave the body through the urinary tract causing an incredible amount of pain, discomfort and in some instances, a major blockage. Kidney stones can reappear in over 50% of those who experience them.
Stones are caused by abnormal changes in the balance of water, minerals and salt in the body and their symptoms include severe pain on the patient’s side, abnormal urine colorations and while they are relatively painless when they remain in the kidneys, they become excruciating along their way from the kidneys to the bladder and so on.
Treatment for kidney stones is not pleasant at all. Your options are pretty much limited to waiting for them to pass your tract on their own as you drink water or in more severe cases, undergo a procedure that breaks the kidney stones into smaller fragments that can be passed easily or lastly, be fitted with a caterer that expands your urethra in order to make room for the stones to pass.
After reading all of this, you may realize just like we have here at Joe Cosgrove’s Blog, that prevention sounds like the better option, and that is why we bring you here some of the best options you have to try to avoid kidney stones.
Drinking plenty of water is not only great for your general health but also helps the kidneys do their job and continue eliminating excess toxins properly. If you do not drink enough water, your urine output will low, so it will concentrate more inside your body thus giving the kidney stones a perfect environment to form and grow. If you have a very active lifestyle, then you have to keep in mind that you are also eliminating water through sweat, so you may not be retaining enough fluids inside your kidneys and may be giving stones an opportunity to form. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is recommended, but that may change depending on your body, as you may need more if you are active and eliminate fluids by sweating.
Reduce sodium intake
Diets high on salt will increase your risk of developing kidney stones. If your calcium levels are high, the body cannot extract the proper amount from your urine, which may lead to kidney stones. Eating less salt and greatly help you reduce the calcium levels in your urine and prevent kidney stones. Calcium doesn’t just come from adding actual table salt to your food, but also from canned foods like soups, vegetables, and lunchmeat. Reading the labels of the foods you consume is extremely important if you want to prevent kidney stones.
Eat less oxalate-rich foods
Oxalate is a natural occurring compound found in foods that we normally consider healthy. The problem is that oxalate binds with calcium in the urine and can lead to the development of kidney stones. Some foods that are rich in oxalates may include spinach, chocolate, coffee, sweet potatoes, beets, soy, and wheat. Calcium oxalate crystals are the most commonly found type of kidney stones. It is important to consider that oxalates are only harmful when they are bound with calcium, so it is important to keep in mind the level of both of these compounds.
Reduce animal protein intake
Animal protein can promote the buildup of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is another substance that along with calcium oxalates, form kidney stones. Consuming too much poultry, eggs, seafood and red meat also reduces the level of citrate. Citrate in the urine helps prevent the forming of kidney stones, so it is important to regulate your intake of these proteins not just to prevent kidney stones, but to watch your general health as well.
Balance your calcium intake
Calcium is something that must be regulated in your diet. Too much of it can help kidney stones form and too little can also promote their growth because it causes oxalate levels to rise. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk amongst others.
There are many natural remedies that help promote healthy kidney functions. Eating foods like celery and watermelon can help the body hydrate itself and maintain fluids easily. Remember that natural remedies are not always the way to go, but you can use good judgment to consume products that are good for your body and eat a balanced diet.
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