In addition to drinking 8 glasses of water a day, take orange juice, since they contain citrate, which limits the possibility of calculations. It is essential to keep yourself hydrated.
Kidney stones are fragments of solid material that are formed due to high levels of certain substances in the urine. They are generally found in urine and therefore do not cause problems at the lower levels.
The fate of the calculations can be of two types: they can remain in the kidneys or go down the urinary tract. Their size can vary, and so does their effect. If it is small calculations, they can go out alone, causing little pain or even without causing any discomfort. In the case of larger calculations, however, these can get stuck in the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and causing intense bleeding and much pain.
What causes the formation of calculations?
The formation of stones in the kidneys is mainly caused by high levels of substances such as calcium oxalate and phosphorus in the urine. There are certain foods that can increase the likelihood of calculations in some people.
How can you know that you are at risk for kidney stones?
You may be at greater risk of having kidney stones if you present some of the following factors:
- You have digestive problems;
- You suffer from continuous or frequent infections of the urinary tract;
- You suffer from blockages in the urinary tract;
- You suffer from some disease that alters the level of substances in the urine;
- You have prior family members of people who have suffered from calculations;
- Drink fewer fluids or are taking medicines that could have negative effects on the kidneys.
Know the symptoms
Knowing the symptoms you can more easily understand the presence of calculations in your kidneys:
- Presence of blood in the urine;
- Acute and unbearable pain in the lower part of the abdomen (between the chest and the hips) or at the back;
- Pain when urinating.
If you are dealing with large stones, you will certainly experience severe pain, possible nausea and vomiting. If instead it is a small calculation, it will come out alone and you may not have any symptoms.
When you know the situation is critical and you have to go to the doctor?
If you present some of these symptoms, it is important that you go to the doctor quickly:
- Blood in the urine.
- Fever and chills.
- Pain in the lower part of the abdomen or back, frequent and that does not disappear.
- Urine with a strange and cloudy color and with a bad smell.
- Strong pains when you urinate.
How can you prevent kidney stones?
To prevent calculations, you can use several methods:
- Learn about kidney stones so that, if you suffer from it, you can fight them in the most appropriate way, consuming foods that do not contain the substance that is harming your kidneys.
- Check your weight. People with a larger body mass and a wider waistline are usually those who are at greater risk of developing these calculations.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. It is very important to do it, especially if you are practicing physical activity or if it is very hot. It may also be useful to drink orange juice, since this contains citrate which helps to minimize the degrees to which calcium and oxalate acid crystallize, then forming the calculations.
- Reduce the consumption of animal-based proteins such as fish, meat and eggs. Eat up to 170 grams a day. In fact, these foods contain natural substances that break down or are metabolised into uric acid (such as purines). Also avoid sardines and liver and substitute animal proteins with vegetable ones, such as nuts and legumes, for example.
- Minimize sodium consumption (salt). Do not eliminate it completely, but try to use as little as possible.
- Consume foods that contain high amounts of potassium, such as vegetables (pumpkins, potatoes and tomatoes) and fruit (melon, banana and apricots).
- Be very careful if you take multivitamin supplements containing calcium or oxalates.
- Reduce fat. Consume only low fat dairy products.
- Pay attention to age: people over the age of 40 are usually more likely to suffer from kidney stones.
- Check the family history: ask your relatives if any of them have problems with kidney stones.
- Ask a specialist for advice: visit a urologist at least once a year.
Note: It depends on you if kidney stones are enlarged, decreased or never appear. However, if the symptoms start to be bothersome, do not forget to ask for help from a doctor because, if you are not careful, the situation may get worse. Remember to change your diet.