The horrible pain can be quite excruciating, coming and going in painful waves until the stone finally passes through the urinary tract and exits the body. Anyone whos suffered the agonizing pain of a kidney stone will likely never forget it.
For several people, kidney stones occur more than once. In nearly half of all people who have endured one, another surfaces in less than seven years without any preventative action. What we will discuss here is learning how to preventing kidney stones from developing in your body rather than dealing with them after they appear.
Kidney stones develop when specific chemicals come together in the urine and in time, form crystals. These crystals then grow into large masses, or stones, which can travel through the urinary tract. However, if the stone should become stuck within the tract and stop the flow of urine, the pain can become quite severe.
Most kidney stones come about when calcium merges with either one of two substances phosphorous or oxalate. They can also occur from uric acid, which develops as the body metabolizes protein-rich food.
In order to prevent kidney stones, avoiding the prime conditions that allow for their development is key. Here are the top five tips that will help to prevent painful kidney stones from ever forming:
1. Get Enough Calcium
A diet too low in calcium can cause the level of oxalate to increase and therefore cause stones. To keep this from happening, be sure to consume an adequate amount of calcium relative to your age.
Preferably, get your calcium through your diet rather than a supplement. Some studies have shown a correlation between calcium supplements and kidney stone formation. Men 50 years of age and older should consume 1,000 mg per day together with 800 1,000 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D to aid the body in absorbing calcium.
2. Water, water, water
Drinking plenty of fresh water dilutes the chemicals within the urine that can cause stones. Your goal should be to drink enough fluids (preferably fresh water) to excrete at least 2 liters of urine per day, which is about eight 8-ounce glasses.
Also, fresh citrus drinks such as orange juice or lemonade may help to flush kidney-inducing substances from the body as well. The citrate in juice helps prevent kidney stone development.
3. Restrict Your Amount of Animal Protein
Consuming a large amount of animal protein such as red meat, seafood, eggs, or poultry enhances uric acid levels and could result in forming kidney stones.
A diet rich in protein may also diminish citrate levels, the chemical found in urine that wards off stone formation. If you are susceptible to forming stones, its imperative that you limit your portions of meat to a size no bigger than a deck of cards. Your heart will thank you as well.
4. Watch Your Salt
Too much salt in your diet can trigger the formation of kidney stones since it boosts the levels of calcium within the urine. So, if youre already prone to getting stones, monitor how much salt is in your diet.
Recent guidelines recommend a 2,300 mg daily intake of sodium. If salt has been a contributing factor to developing kidney stones before, reduce the level to no more than 1,500 mg per day total.
5. Stay Away from Foods that Form Kidney Stones
Chocolate, tea, beets, rhubarb, spinach, and most nuts are high in oxalate along with phosphorous-rich colas, which may all contribute to forming kidney stones.
If you already suffer from or are predisposed to developing kidney stones, your doctor will likely advise you to stay clear of these particular foods or at least consume them in much smaller amounts.
Because everyone is different therefore its your job to know what your body can and cannot handle in terms of triggering kidney stones.