Kidney Stones: Effective Ways To Prevent Them From Forming

Solid waste material binds together and crystallizes to form kidney stones. Composed of minerals and salts, the urine becomes unable to dilute the substances, hence the formations stick together. Smaller kidney stones pass through the urinary tract unnoticed. 

However, the larger ones cause a lot of pain and bleeding, which can lead to urinary infections and other health problems since the stones can get stuck on the path to excretion. Sometimes, this condition becomes so unbearable that it needs surgery. The majority of kidney stones, about 80 percent, are made up of calcium oxalate. The three other types of stones include struvite, uric acid, and cystine.  

Kidney stones are a common problem that affect 12 percent of men and 5 percent of women at least once in their lifetime. There is a 50 percent risk of developing kidney stones again once you get it, within five to ten years. Depending on the severity of the stones, doctors either offer treatment limited to pain medication or other home remedies.

Here is a list of the remedies that you can opt for. 

Drink enough water

While there are certain fluids that prevent the formation of kidney stones, there are other fluids to aid the development of kidney stones. For instance, water helps dilute substances in the urine and keeps them from crystallizing. Even coffee, tea, beer and wine has the same effect. Staying hydrated with the right kind of fluids is important to dislodging the kidney stones and keeping them from forming 

When it comes to soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, the fructose content increases the production of calcium, oxalate and uric acid. Such beverages increase the risks of acquiring kidney stones. Studies have linked higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to an increased risk of kidney stones. 

.Add citric acid to your diet

Citric acid is a powerful plant compound that can be derived from consuming citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruit. Citric acid can become mixed with calcium in urine and bind with the mineral, to prevent kidney stones from taking shape. Similarly, it prevents calcium oxalate crystals from growing larger. This is to help them pass through the urine, without much complications. 

Decrease intake of oxalate-rich foods

Oxalate-rich foods cannot be completely cut out of the diet, hence it is best to take advice from your health practitioner before opting to decrease the intake. Oxalates help the formation of calcium oxalate crystals by binding with the calcium in the urine. Hence some restriction is advised to people who are prone to developing kidney stones. 

Get enough calcium

Decreasing the intake of calcium does not reduce risk of kidney stone formation. It is a misconception held by many people. A diet rich in calcium, is in fact good for preventing kidney stones. Dietary calcium binds with oxalate and prevents it from passing through the urinary system. 

Decrease intake of salt, animal protein and vitamin C 

A high-intake of sodium increases the amount of calcium that is discharged through the urinary tract. Limiting table salt is one way to stop kidney stones. A high intake of animal protein has the same effect, hence limiting consumption works best. 

According to a few studies, taking vitamin C supplements could increase the risk of developing kidney stones made of calcium oxalate, particularly in men.

Kidney health Kidney stones can be prevented by some natural remedies like staying hydrated, reducing intake of vitamin C and oxalate-rich foods. Sanjay Acharya, CC-BY-SA-3.0