BENGALURU: Kidney stones are a common lifestyle disease. People who have had it in the past are likely to have them again. Kidney stones are caused when calcium is combined with oxalate and is concentrated in the urine over a period of time to form crystals, and the crystals grow in size. If the stone gets stuck in the path and blocks urine flow, it causes pain.
Although kidney stones are a lifestyle disease, there can be other reasons for their formation. Some of these are when someone is suffering from a condition that makes the urine store high levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid or calcium, or are on prescribed medicines, like calcium-based antacids. The other reason could also be polycystic kidney disease or other kidney related issues, as such conditions cause fluctuations in the bowel movement. Make these lifestyle changes to prevent kidney stones:
Drink plenty of fluids: Liquids aid in removing excess minerals out of the body. If there is no sufficient intake of water, it causes minerals to build in the kidneys, leading to stones. Drink at least two litres of fluids a day.
Limit sodium intake: A high-salt diet will increase risk of kidney stones, as it increases the level of sodium in the urine and prevents calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine to the blood. This leads to high urine calcium, which may result in kidney stones. Avoid processed foods and include a lot of vegetables might help.
Reduce meat consumption: Meats are acidic and raise uric acid levels. High levels of uric acid combines with calcium oxalate to form kidney stones. Limit the intake of meat and dairy.
Consume calcium and oxalate rich food: By including foods like spinach, the risk of kidney stones can be lowered. When the food contains both sufficient levels of calcium and oxalate, they mix together in the intestines, preventing kidney stones.
Limiting caffeine or aerated drinks: They increase your metabolism and causes dehydration, which leads to stones. Aerated drinks are highly sweetened, which could also lead to the same.
Balanced diet: An
adequate amount of protein will lower risk of kidney stones. But it is also advised to consume plant-based
protein rather than animal-based and avoid following any crash diet.
(The author is senior consultant - urology at Apollo Spectra Hospital Koramangala)