Kidney Stones and how to avoid them

Kidney stones are a common and painful chronic condition seen in otherwise “healthy” patients, and
one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. Kidney stones are hard collections of salt and
minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other
parts of the urinary tract.

Stones vary in size. Some are as small as the period at the end of this sentence — a fraction of an
inch. Others can grow to a few inches across. The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation
or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing
damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain.
Making small adjustments to your current diet and nutrition plan may go a long way towards
preventing kidney stones.

1. Stay​ ​hydrated:

The number one risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Drinking plenty
of fluids, especially water, is perhaps the most important dietary advice for the prevention
and management of kidney stones. When urine becomes too concentrated minerals can
crystallize to form stones. Water helps in diluting the urine, making it difficult for salts to
crystallize to form the stone. Everyone’s water requirement is different, depending on one’s
particular system and activity level, but keeping the urine diluted and not darker than pale
yellow will go a long way in preventing stones.

2. Get​ ​adequate​ ​citrus:

Research suggests that consuming food rich in citrates, including lemon, oranges, and limes
may help prevent kidney stones. In addition to the beneficial water content of lemonade and
orange juice, alkaline substances called citrates in these juices may help neutralize
stone-forming acids, inhibiting the formation of certain calcium-based kidney stones.
Incidentally, the valuable mineral potassium, also found in orange juice and lemonade, may
be useful since potassium is linked to a reduced risk for kidney stones.

3. Eat​ ​Calcium-Rich​ ​Foods:

Two powerful observational studies found that people who ate the most calcium-rich foods
were significantly less likely to suffer from calcium-based kidney stones. It turns out that
a diet rich in calcium actually blocks a chemical action that causes the formation of the
stones. It binds with oxalates (from foods) in the intestine, which then prevents both from
being absorbed into the blood and later transferred to your kidneys. However, calcium
consumed in supplement form may actually increase the risk for stones.

4. Limit​ ​Sodium​ ​Intake:

A high sodium intake increases the risk of stone formation by increasing calcium levels and
decreasing citrates level in urine. These altered levels make it easier for stones to develop. To reduce
your sodium intake, read food labels carefully. Foods notorious for being high in sodium include
processed foods, such as chips and crackers, canned soups, canned vegetables, seasoning, and
meats.

Vikram hospital offers comprehensive nephrology services under one roof. At Vikram hospital a
team of experienced and accomplished nephrologists treat a range of kidney disorders from
congenital to acquired and degenerative. We provide a whole spectrum of services to achieve the
best possible outcomes in the treatment of the most complex kidney related diseases.

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