Fol­low a fluid-filled diet to keep stones out of your kid­neys

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Anjali Muk­er­jee

Kid­ney stones can be ex­tremely painful and hap­pen to be one of the most com­mon dis­or­ders of uri­nary tract.

Kid­ney stones vary in their lo­ca­tion, min­eral con­tent and the con­tribut­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions. These stones can be as tiny as a grain (these ones usu­ally pass out dur­ing uri­nat­ing with­out much pain or dis­com­fort) or as large as a lemon. These large stones may cause se­vere pain and at times, even kid­ney dam­age as they progress along the ureter, uri­nary blad­der and re­nal tubes.

The most com­mon symp­toms are pain and cramps in the back and lower ab­domen, nau­sea, fever, burn­ing sen­sa­tion dur­ing uri­na­tion and re­nal colic pain. The fac­tors which pre­dis­pose one to the risk of de­vel­op­ing kid­ney stones range from ge­net­ics, meta­bolic dis­or­ders, seden­tary life­style, wrong eat­ing habits with overindul­gence of junk foods, maida prod­ucts and acid form­ing foods.

A ma­jor part of the treat­ment for this con­di­tion is aimed at pre­vent­ing re­cur­rences by adopting suit­able di­etary mod­i­fi­ca­tions and med­i­ca­tions. Since about 80% of all kid­ney stones are com­posed of cal­cium and other min­er­als, di­etary ad­just­ments help to pre­vent the re­cur­rence and also to al­le­vi­ate the symp­toms.

DI­ETARY CONSIDERATIONS

In­crease fluid in­take. This is the most im­por­tant pre­ven­tive mea­sure for any­one to avoid de­vel­op­ing kid­ney stones. It hin­ders the for­ma­tion of stones by di­lut­ing the urine. Adopt a cal­cium-con­trolled diet un­der guided su­per­vi­sion usu­ally helps. How­ever, care should be taken to main­tain the cal­cium in­take lev­els within a nar­row range, not too much and not too lit­tle, be­cause the body needs a cer­tain amount for main­tain­ing im­por­tant func­tions. It’s bet­ter to have cal­cium with your meals as cal­cium sup­ple­ments taken be­tween meals have been found to in­crease the risk of stones. Con­sult a physi­cian be­fore tak­ing any over-the­counter med­i­ca­tion or vi­ta­min sup­ple­ment.

Al­though there are many foods that con­tain large amounts of ox­alate, a few foods which have been shown to sub­stan­tially raise the urine ox­alate lev­els are spinach, straw­ber­ries, choco­late, wheat bran, nuts, beet­roots and tea. In­take of these foods in mod­er­a­tion is ad­vised.

Too much of sugar, sodium, and an­i­mal pro­tein may ag­gra­vate the de­vel­op­ment of cal­cium or cal­cium ox­alate stones. Avoid re­fined and pro­cessed pack­aged foods with added sug­ars, trans-fats and ex­cess salt as they in­ter­fere with cal­cium ab­sorp­tion and el­e­vate the lev­els of cal­cium in the urine. In­take of diet high in an­i­mal pro­tein (rich in purines) may also pro­mote the for­ma­tion of kid­ney stones (es­pe­cially the uric acid stones) by in­creas­ing cal­cium ex­cre­tion.

INSOLUBLE FIBRE

Insoluble di­etary fibre, found in wheat, rye, bar­ley, and brown rice may help to re­duce cal­cium in the urine. The phy­tates in fi­bres com­bine with cal­cium in the in­testines, so the cal­cium is ex­creted with the stool in­stead of through the kid­neys. Insoluble fibre also speeds up move­ment of sub­stances through the in­tes­tine, so there will be less time for cal­cium to be ab­sorbed.

Eat­ing potas­sium rich foods such as bar­ley, pota­toes, wheat flour, cau­li­flower and ba­nana can help avoid stone for­ma­tion.

IN­CREASE FLUID IN­TAKE. THIS IS THE MOST IM­POR­TANT PRE­VEN­TIVE MEA­SURE FOR ANY­ONE TO AVOID DE­VEL­OP­ING KID­NEY STONES

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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