Kidney Stones Causes and Prevention
Kidney stones are hard deposits that sometimes grow in kidneys and obstruct urine flow. There are many factors responsible for formation of kidney stones - medication, metabolic disorders, diet and genes. Kidney stones are formed when urine becomes saturated with minerals and additional minerals crystallize inside the kidney. These small masses subsequently grow into large deposits forming kidney stones.
In the industrialized countries, majority of kidney stones are found to be made of calcium and oxalate. Therefore, keeping control on high concentration of these minerals in urine is recommended for Kidney stone prevention. This can be done by following a good diet regime.
Kidney stones are known to recur in 80 percent of kidney stone cases within 25 years of kidney stone treatment. Fortunately, research has shown that diet can prevent the stone recurrence by 50 percent.
Five tips for preventing kidney stones:
- Reduce Meat intake: A diet low in animal protein is useful in reducing kidney stone formation. This is because animal protein increases the level of calcium, oxalate and uric acid in urine, therefore facilitates stone formation.
- Reduce Salt intake: Researchers believe that reducing sodium intake lowers chances of stone-formation. This is so because reducing sodium lowers calcium level in urine.
- Restrict Spinach and Rhubarb: Spinach and Rhubarb are rich in oxalate which when combines with calcium can form stone. Therefore, cutting down on oxalate-rich food can help. But, there are other sources which can enrich urine with oxalate - foods rich in protein.
- Drink lots of water: Water dilutes the mineral concentration and thus hampers stone formation. Therefore, drinking lots of water helps. In fact, the common recommendation of eight glasses of water per day may not be sufficient in hot weather.
- High-Fiber Diet: A diet rich in fiber when combined with low-protein and high-fluids can reduce calcium and oxalate in urine.