Kidney stones are hard, crystalline mineral materials formed within the kidney or urinary tract. In medical terms this condition is known as Nephrolithiasis. This is one of the common condition that is present in many. The function of kidney is to eliminate wastes from the body. These wastes include minerals, salts and other substances. If these substances starts retaining in the kidney, then it results in kidney stones. People who live in very warm and hot places often develop kidney stones. It is more common in men than women.
Having kidney stones can be very painful and can be intolerable. This results in improper urination. If not removed, it can damage the kidney. There may be blood flow in the urine due to stones. Sometimes small stones pass through urine without our knowledge. If the stones are larger then, it needs special attention like surgical removal. Treatment also includes pain-control medications and, in some cases, medications to facilitate the passage of urine.
Following are types of kidney stones:
- Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stone and occur in two major forms: calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. Calcium oxalate stones are more common. Calcium oxalate stone formation may be caused by high calcium and high oxalate excretion. Calcium phosphate stones are caused by the combination of high urine calcium and alkaline urine, meaning the urine has a high pH.
- Uric acid stones form when the urine is persistently acidic. A diet rich in purines—substances found in animal protein such as meats, fish, and shellfish—may increase uric acid in urine. If uric acid becomes concentrated in the urine, it can settle and form a stone by itself or along with calcium.
- Struvite stones result from kidney infections. Eliminating infected stones from the urinary tract and staying infection-free can prevent more struvite stones.
- Cystine stones result from a genetic disorder that causes cystine to leak through the kidneys and into the urine, forming crystals that tend to accumulate into stones
Reasons for kidney stone formation:
- Decrease in urine volume
- Excess of stone-forming substances in the urine
- Not drinking enough water
- Dehydration in excess
- have a family history of kidney stones
- In pregnant women due to high level of progesterone
- People who are on a high-protein, low-fiber diet
- Inactive lifestyle
- Kidney or urinary infections
- Person who has only one fully working kidney
- Intestinal bypass surgery can be another reason
- Meats and other animal protein consumption
Which foods one should eat to prevent kidney stone formation?
- Coconut water: Prevents accumulation of salt and minerals
- Maize: Controls kidney stones formation
- Barley water: Increases urination amount
- Pineapple: Controls calcium accumulation in urine
- Banana: Controls oxalate crystallization
- Almonds: Controls potassium and magnesium stone accumulation
- Citrus fruit: Controls oxalate crystallization
- Carrot: Prevents pyrophosphate
- Beans: Prevents kidney stone formation
- Bitter gourd: Controls and prevents magnesium, phosphorus stone formation
Yoga poses: Backward bending, camel pose, bridge pose, raising leg pose, wind releasing pose, child pose and breathing exercises – these poses helps in flushing the stones out of kidney and helps in its proper functioning.
Following foods should be avoided to prevent development of kidney stones:
- Spinach, amaranthus, tomato, Indian gooseberry, sapota, cashew, cucumber: These foods contain more oxalate
- Cauliflower, papaya, pumpkin, mushroom and egg plant: High in Uric acid and furine.
- Avoid or control intake of meat and animal protein such as eggs and fish. To prevent uric acid stones, cut down on high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and shellfish.
It is important to keep good and balanced health of kidney. They are one of the important organs that protect our body from toxins and wastes. It is also important to understand the importance of various food that prevents and helps in kidney’s health. Eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form. Lemonade and other fruits and juices high in natural citrate offer stone-preventing benefits. We are what we eat, so better to keep a good overall health of all organs by eating healthy foods.