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What are Kidney Stones?

A kidney stone usually starts off as a small crystal-like material that later builds up into a large, hard, solid mass. Kidney stones are basically are hard deposits that are made my minerals and salts. Calcium combines with other chemicals, such as oxalate or phosphorous that are present in the urine. This can happen if these constituents become so concerted that they eventually harden. Kidney stones can also be initiated by a buildup of uric acid, which is caused by the metabolism of protein in our body.

The chemicals that inhibit these kidney stones to form can be found in urine, or if the formed crystals are small enough they can simply travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body. However, if the kidney stones are a bit larger in size, then passing out kidney stones can be quite painful. Whereas, sometimes when crystals combine together to form a kidney stone they can stick to the wall of the kidney or even settle in an area from where urine cannot carry them out of the body. 

The Kidney Stone Diet

To prevent kidney stones from developing, or to avoid the reoccurrence of them after the extraction, people should drink plenty of water, eat protein, limit foods that are high in oxalates, limit the use of salt, and be vigilant when taking calcium as a supplement. 

There can be different kinds of kidney stone present in our body (calcium stones, Struvite stones, Uric acid stones, Cystine stones), but all of then usually have the same diet. The diet that is recommended by a doctor for people who have a kidney stone or are preventing to have yet another encounter with them is DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), also known as the best diet for kidney disease

The following diet has proven to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation while lowering blood presser and decreasing the risk of heart diseases, strokes, and cancer. It encourages the patient to consume more vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains, whereas it also limits the use of sodium, sugar and red meat. 

As our causes of kidney stones vary along with the types of kidney stones present in our body, the food to include in the diet will also vary. 

Calcium and oxalate-rich foods

Calcium and Oxalate bind together in the intestines that helps in the reduction of kidney stones formed.

Some foods to include are:

  • Dairy products
  • Calcium-stimulated foods
  • Spinach salad or low-fat cheese
  • Yogurt and berries

Fruits and vegetables

Being an essential part of our diet, the amount of fruits and vegetable consumption in their diet can help prevent a person from forming kidney stones. Select fruits and vegetables that have high oxalate content and try to limit them. 

Water

Water has always proven to be beneficial in preventing the formation of kidney stones and uric acid. One should at least drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. 

Foods to limit

  • Sodium
  • Animal proteins that include eggs, fish, pork, beef, and milk products

Everyone is different which means every one requires a unique set of dietary requirements. Take help with your doctor or consult a dietitian, you can also save yourself some time and find yourself a registered doctor at Healthsoul. As dietary changes work for some of the cases, while in others additional treatment that includes medication to break the stones or surgery to remove the stones may be needed.

Kidney Stones, Nephrology


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