Kidney stones are becoming more common as America gains weight, and more than one third of Americans are obese. A sedentary lifestyle aggravates the formation of kidney stones, and many doctors state that stones can be avoided if preventative measures are taken earlier, like weight loss.
Signs of stones:
- Flank pain (posterior lower portion of your back)
- Difficulty urinating
- Painful urination
- Frequent desire to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profuse sweating or the chills
When the urine becomes highly concentrated with calcium, oxalate and phosphorus, it sets the stage for stone development. The body uses these minerals as fuel, but when the body is done using the minerals it needs, the rest are carried out in the bloodstream to be filtered through the kidneys.
Other factors that cause stone formation
- Genes, hereditary
- Body weight
- Fluid intake
Tips to avoid kidney stones:
- Drink plenty of fluids: You've heard this one before, but it is so important. Drinking water is one of the best ways to help prevent most types of stones. If you have a history of passing stones, it is recommended that you drink enough water to pass two liters of urine a day.
- Cut the meat: Curb your intake of animal protein. Meats and animal proteins have purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. The acid in animal protein also reduces citrate, which prevents the formation of kidney stones. No need to go vegetarian, just limit your intake of meat to six ounces a day.
- Cut back the salt: Sodium will cause the kidneys to excrete more calcium. Reducing salt has other benefits, including lowering your blood pressure.
- Avoid processed foods: Treat processed foods like poison. Soft drinks, corn syrup, white sugars and flour promote the formation of stones.
- Get on the treadmill: Exercise and managing your weight will help you prevent the formation of stones and provide a long list of other healthy benefits for the body.
Usually, if you are passing a kidney stone, a visit to the emergency room will help you manage the pain until the stone passes. For long-term care and advice, visit your Atlanta physician to set up a diet plan.