Kidney stones are hard stone-like substance that forms in the kidneys. They might not trouble you as long as they’re settled in one or both the kidneys. It’s only when a kidney stone moves out of the kidney and makes its way into the ureter (the tube that comes with urine) on its way to the bladder that the pain begins. The pain can be from mild to severe depending on the size and shape of the kidney stone. The stone can obstruct the flow of urine, and might cause bleeding too.
Types of Kidney Stones
Calcium Stones: These are the most frequently occurring kidney stones. These stones comprise of calcium and oxalate, which are introduced to the body through the food we eat. Too much intake of calcium and oxalate can help form calcium stones. Moreover, excessive vitamin D intake, and hyperactive parathyroid glands can also cause kidney stones.
Struvite Stones: These stones are not very common and are found mostly in women. The bacteria that bring about urinary tract infection are responsible for the production of ammonia. Struvite stones, also known as infection stones, are formed when there is excessive ammonia in the urine.
Uric Acid Stones: Individuals who consume meat products excessively run the risk of forming uric acid stones, as meat ingestion results in production of uric acid, a by-product of protein metabolism.
Cystine Stones: These are the least common of all stones and are made from cystine, an amino acid. Cystinuria, a hereditary disorder, is the cause for the formation of cystine stones.
Avoiding the Formation of Kidney Stones
o The most effective preventive measure is drinking a lot of fluids, particularly water. Two to three liters of water a day is enough to flush your kidneys completely of contaminants.
o Learn the type of stones which are formed in the kidneys and also the cause of formation, as well. You could modify your eating habits appropriately and adjust the consumption of certain types of salts and minerals that assist in the formation of kidney stones.
o You could discuss the matter with your doctor, who may suggest you to lower your calcium intake. Foods which are rich in calcium are milk and milk products, and leafy vegetables.
o If your kidneys have uric acid stones, then reducing your meat, poultry and fish consumption will certainly help. Your physician might also prescribe medication to manage the uric acid level in the urine.
o People, who get struvite stones, could be given antibiotics to help eliminate bacterial infection.