I have a friend who suffered from kidney stones. From his description of the unbearable pain and the Ureteroscopy treatment video he shared, I would say it is really scary. If people around you has kidney stones experience, i believe you would have heard similar story describing the pain as well.
Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. Each year in the United States, people make more than a million visits to health care providers and more than 300,000 people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems.
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances that are normally found in the urine become highly concentrated. Kidney stones can form when substances in the urine—such as calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus—become highly concentrated. The concentration of minerals and chemicals within the urine are all factors that can begin the formation of a stone.
A stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract. Kidney stones vary in size. A small stone may pass on its own, causing little or no pain. A larger stone may get stuck along the urinary tract and can block the flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding. People may experience nausea and vomiting with the pain.
Causes of kidney stones can come from certain foods we eat, not drinking enough fluids, as a result from a urinary tract infection, and metabolic disorders.
People can help prevent kidney stones by:
1. Most importantly, keeping well hydrated and drinking adequate amounts of water, to produce at least 2 litres of urine per day. It is very important to keep your urine diluted to avoid waste products forming into kidney stones.
You can tell how diluted your urine is by looking at its colour. The darker your urine is, the more concentrated it is. Your urine is usually a dark yellow colour in the morning because it contains a build-up of waste products that your body has produced overnight.
Tips: Add lemon to your water. This is a natural treatment that conventional nephrologists have gotten right. While lemon water is often touted as a cleansing or alkalizing drink, the main reason it is helpful in reducing stone formation is its citric acid content.
2. Reduce and limit salt intake (to 6g/day), as high sodium excretion also leads to a higher level of calcium excretion in the urine. Evidence on this topic is mixed, but it has been demonstrated that excess sodium intake is associated with increased urinary excretion of sodium and calcium, and subjects who consumed the highest levels of sodium tended to have the greatest urinary calcium excretion. Higher calcium excretion may lead to kidney stone formation, particularly if fluid intake is inadequate.
3. Reduce intake of animal protein. Meats and other animal proteins (eg. eggs) contain purines, which break down into uric acid in the urine. Foods that are especially rich in purines include organ meats, such as liver. People who form uric acid stones should limit their meat consumption to 6 ounces each day.
4. Eat more fiber. Adding more fiber to the daily diet can prevent kidney stone formation. A wide variety of high-fiber plant foods contain a compound called phytate (also called inositol hexaphosphate, InsP6, or IP6), which appears to help prevent crystallization of calcium salts, both oxalate and phosphate. Phytate is found in legumes and wheat and rice bran.
Do you have experience or story to share on kidney stones? Please leave comments in below.