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