Small deposits of mineral in our urine combine and form crystals in our kidneys, they are called kidney stones. If a kidney stone is large enough, it can block urine flow out of the body which causes severe pain in one’s abdomen. Smaller stones usually get passed out within 3-4 weeks’ time. Statistics claim that one in ten people are prone to developing kidney stones at some point in their life.
People in age group 30-60 are more susceptible to developing a kidney stone. There is a 50% chance of developing another kidney stone within 5-10 years if a person has had kidney stones. The below covered points are the best ways to prevent formation of kidney stones.
Water is Important
The amount of water you drink has a strong relation with the chances of getting kidney stones. Dehydration results in a dry kidney which allows mineral deposits to turn into hard crystals. At least 2-3 liters of water daily is a ‘must-consume’ to avoid formation of kidney stones.
Tone it Down with Salt
Most of the time, salt is consumed for no reason except for adding taste, but that happens at the cost of raised calcium levels in your urine. The more your urinary calcium levels, the more easily you will develop kidney stones. The standard intake of salt in a balanced diet is 5g daily. Doctors also recommend not consuming more than 3-5 grams of salt daily.
As a bonus, lesser intake of animal proteins results in increased urinary citrate levels. Urinary citrate is very effective in preventing kidney stones formation.
Oxalate-Rich Foods = Danger
Oxalate has a peculiar behavior in a digestive system and it makes it a major cause of kidney stones. Oxalate rich foods, when going through the digestion process, are deemed useless and are excreted via kidney.
Unfortunately, calcium and oxalate have a high tendency to bind together and form kidney stones. Not only the Oxalate-rich food items are hard to stay away from, they are very often consumed with calcium rich products. Both components combine to form Calcium-Oxalate bond in such foods and should be very strictly avoided.
It should be noted that 80% of kidney stones are made of Calcium Oxalate.
Oxalate is found in a variety of foods and vegetables which are usually good for our health. But spinach, nuts, berries, and soya products have a high tendency of elevating a body’s urinary oxalate levels. Try to avoid them as often as you can, or at least not eat these items a lot.
Consume Adequate Calcium
Most of the people are ill-advised about calcium’s relation with formation of kidney stones. The proper statement regarding this would be that lower quantities of calcium and higher than standard quantities of calcium consumption both result in formation of kidney stones.
Doctors suggest that 1-1.2 gram of calcium should be consumed daily. Consuming lesser than this standard will result in an increase in urinary oxalate levels. While consuming calcium in quantities more than the standard quantity will result in excess calcium which will easily react with oxalate to form kidney stones.