Kidney stones have become very common ailment and it is on the rise across the country. Kidney stones are small, solid crystals formed in the urinary tract as certain chemical become concentrated. These crystals grow larger and make their way through the urinary tract. It starts to cause pain in the abdomen when it gets stuck and blocks he flow of urine.
What are kidney stones?
When masses of minerals and salt accumulate in the kidney and are passed down the tract through which urine flows it is called Kidney Stones. The size of kidney stones varies from one to another. They can be a small mass or as huge as a tennis ball. The kidney stones originate in the kidneys but they can also be found in the bladder, urethra, ureter and urethra. The scariest thing about these stones is when an individual makes less than a liter of urine each day. Adults who are within the age group of 20 to 50 years often develop such conditions. A family they have a medical condition of kidney stones is bound to pass it down to its generations. The other reasons for kidney stones are,
- A higher level of PTH in the body.
- High salt or protein based diets.
- Surgeries like gastric.
- Diseases related to inflamed bowels.
- Side effects of some medicines.
How are kidney stones caused?
The functions of the kidney are to regulate the minerals, fluids, salts in the body along with other substances. Kidney stones not only vary in size but also differ from one another in the material. Crystine and Uric acid are the main factors that cause these stones in the kidney.
What are the symptoms of having kidney stones?
Sometimes kidney stones are painless unless they start to move. The size of the kidney stones determines the pain that a person will feel while the kidney stone is moving from his/her kidney to the bladder. The excruciating pain is felt in the lower sides of the body and also in the back and abdomen. Sometimes blood is also passed through urine. Chills and fever are some common symptoms too.
What are the types of food you must avoid if you have kidney stones?
Kidney stones are painful and unbearable while passing out of the body. It’s better to avoid getting kidney stones as there are chances for recurring episodes of it. It isn’t a difficult task but rather a slight change in diet should suffice. In most of the occurrences, stones are formed when calcium combines with either oxalates or phosphorus. Stones can also be produced when the body metabolites protein in the diet forming uric acid. Not drinking enough fluids, especially water, is the most common cause of kidney stones. Chances of kidney stones can be lowered with a proper diet followed by an intake of plenty of water. But to prevent kidney stones you can have some kinds of foods while you will have to avoid some food items in your daily diet. Here are few foods that you should not take.
We have formed a list of foods that you must avoid at all costs to keep away from the formation of kidney stones.
Food rich with purine
The food that is brimming with purine cause crystals to form and is found in the form of stones that are made of uric acid. For that reason, one must keep away from anchovies, sardines, the meat of different organs, sweetbreads and gravy. You are supposed to stay away from kidney beans, asparagus, cauliflower, lima beans, spinach, cauliflower and lentils.
Sodium is found mainly in salt. And if there is too much salt in the diet it may lead to kidney stones. So, a low-sodium diet is recommended and it is advised to reduce the daily intake of salt. One way to do so is to avoid processed food and packaged or precooked items as they are packed with sodium for the purpose of preservation. Eating out in the restaurants is also risky as you are not aware of the salt content in the food. It is therefore advised to avoid eating out.
Oxalate is an organic compound commonly found in many edible foods including, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tea and chocolate. It is advisable and necessary for people with calcium oxalate stones to moderate the intake of oxalates in their diet. It’s important to eat and drink calcium and oxalate rich foods together in the same meal, in order for the calcium and oxalate to bind with one another in the digestive process. In this manner, it will be less likely that the calcium and oxalates will reach the kidney and deter it from forming into kidney stones. For this reason it is beneficial to have spinach and nuts in the diet. However, to avoid calcium oxalate stones, a common type of kidney stone, its advised to avoid high oxalate foods such as soy products, chocolate, oats, tomato, nuts, beans, beets, kale and spinach.
Monitor the intake of proteins in your diet, especially the diet which is high on animal proteins. High purine (a type of protein mainly found in meat products) in the diet can lead to higher production of uric acid. The more the amount of acid in the body, the more work for the kidneys to process and excrete it. The more the uric acid excretion, the lower is the overall pH in the urine, making the urine highly acidic. The concentrated urine makes it prone for uric acid stones to take form.
Cold beverages and aerated drinks such as Coca-cola are very high on fructose and phosphate content. These compounds can assist in the crystallisation process of acids and, thus, it may lead to kidney stones. Consumption of alcohol can lead to increase in uric acid levels in the body which can lead to uric acid stones. Therefore, alcohol consumption should be limited.
Alcohol does not directly cause kidney stones but it increases the chances of thestone formation when there is ashortage of liquid to expel waste in the kidneys. Alcohol creates stress on the kidney cells and makes the situation worse. Most types of alcohol such as beer contain high purine count. Purines are a type of chemical compounds that play a role in the formation of uric acid. Excess purine in the urine accumulates to form kidney stones.
This is an ever-going debate,do artificial sweeteners cause kidney stones? Consuming the ones having calcium as an ingredient regularly poses the risk of stone formation in the kidneys. In case you are in taking artificial sweeteners to cut down calories or you are suffering from diabetics, make sure you drink sufficient amount of water to flush the residue. Also, you can use natural sweeteners such as stevia and honey instead of artificial sweeteners.
Non – Fermented Soy
Non-Fermented Soybeans and soy-based derivatives are rich in the oxalates. These oxalates deposit in the kidney over time and form calcium stones. If you are dependent on soy-based foods in your diet, use fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso. Avoid unfermented and genetically modified soy products such as tofu and soy milk. These have anti-nutrients that are bad for your kidney health.
Sardines contain high amounts of purine which eventually forms into uric acid and then stones. Like animal meat, sardines and many other fish because of the presence of purine result into hyperuricosuria and hyperuricemia. This causes the formation of oxalate calcium stones. So along with avoiding the intake of animal protein foods such as scallops, bacon, shrimp, anchovies, organ meat, and baker’s yeast, reduce eating sardines. One can limit the intake of sardines to once a week.
Refined carbohydrates are difficult to breakdown and need more amount of insulin for their conversion into energy. High levels of insulin can result in the formation of oxalate calcium kidney stones. Also, complex carbohydrates create a spike in insulin and blood glucose levels which can lead to diabetics. To reduce the risk, avoid the intake of foods made of refined flour, refined sugar, rice, etc.
Nuts are often quoted as great for overall health, but in case of kidney stones, depending on the type of nuts it can be reversed. For example, almonds having acopious amount of calcium and protein can aid in the formation of stones. So one must look into the nutritional value of theparticular type of nuts before consuming them. Avoid or greatly reduce the intake of almonds, Hazelnuts, Cashews, Pine nuts, Pistachios, and walnuts.
Chocolate has more than one kidney stone causing ingredient. A typical chocolate contains high quantities of processed fat, sugar, protein and calcium. All of these ingredients pose the risk of stone formation in the kidney. The calcium and sugar can combine to form uric acid and in turn, this creates oxalate stone that produces excruciating pain during their expulsion.
What are you allowed to eat freely without the fear of forming kidney stones?
Horsetail has the ability of increasing the flow of urine to assist you in flushing out your kidney stones. It is also useful for curing the inflammation and swelling. Horsetail plant contains antioxidant and antibacterial potential, which works for keeping up the health of the urinary system. However, the researchers have warned that you must not continue using horsetail juice for over 6 weeks. It can cause the risk of seizures.
Cook these beans and make broth of it. This broth has the power of improving the health of kidney and urinary system. It helps you by dissolving all your kidney stones. Cook your beans and start straining the liquid. Drink this juice every day.
It is another natural drink that removes all the toxic elements, causing the formation of stones in kidney. This works as a type of medication by flushing out your body to remove the stone. Blend some stalks of celery, and add water to them. Sip this juice at any time of a day. However, you must not have this juice while you have bleeding issues and lower blood pressure.
Apple cider vinegar
The acetic acid, present in this vinegar, helps with the dissolution of stones. It not only flushes out your kidney but also reduce the ache, caused from stones. Blend this vinegar with water and consume this solution with no issue. However, you must not drink more than one glass of this solution.
Intake of high concentration of calcium is to be taken by those who want to stay away from kidney stones. When an individual consumes oxalate then the consumption of a high amount of calcium will prevent the formation of kidney stones. Calcium not only protects the bones but also reduces the absorption of oxalates.
Fruits and vegetables with a high amount of water content
It prevents components to accumulate together to form stones in the kidney. A research showed how some fruits and vegetables maintain the level of acid in the body. Have more of watermelons.
Keep in mind the below-discussed points
- Cut down purine-rich diets.
- Consume fruits and vegetables which will bring the acidic level in the urine with their water content. Cucumbers and melons.
- Have a diet that is not high on sugar. Natural and artificial both.
- Having diets that are taken for a short period of time to reduce a lot of weight must be avoided.
Some other things to keep in mind
- In order to understand how much sodium, you’re consuming on a daily basis write it down.
- When you buy processed food, or eat in a dinner check or ask the amount of sodium in the food.
- Have meals made at home without the use of processed food? They have a high amount of salt in them which act as preservatives.
- Avoid food that has – mono sodium glutamate, baking soda, sodium nitrate, disodium phosphate and sodium alginate.
These are the few ways one can stay away from food that can cause kidney stones and have food that will help them fight it.
These are the various ways you can prevent kidney stones from forming. If you have had kidney stones in the past, it is highly likely that you may get them again. To avoid such recurrent episodes of kidney stones, follow a balanced diet that is rich in fibre. Have citric fruits, such as lemon, because the citrate in the urine prevents the calcium to bind with other compounds that may lead to formation of the stones. The citrate also helps prevent crystals that are already present to become larger.
Talk to your doctor and get proper suggestions. Follow the dietician’s advice and also consume vitamin supplements that can aid in preventing kidney stones.
Here are the foods that will help you recover and prevent the formation of kidney stones
Bananas are known to be a good source of carbohydrates and Vitamin C but it’s a less known fact that these also contain magnesium and potassium which makes it a good food for people suffering from kidney stones. These minerals inhibit the formation of stones. A banana roughly contains 10% of the daily mineral requirement. So regular consumption of bananas along with other fruits such as pineapple and oranges helps the body to reduce the risk of stone formation.
Pomegranates have astringent properties which tend to dissolve kidney stones and prevent their formation. The vitamins and antioxidants present in pomegranate fruit cleanse uric acid from the body. Also, drinking a glass of fresh pomegranate juice has shown to freshen the urinary tract. Grinding the seeds into a smooth paste and consuming it twice daily will strengthen the kidney cells.
The Lemon juice contains citric acid which disintegrates the oxalate compounds and destroys the kidney stones. Consuming a squeeze of lemon in a glass of water in the morning prevents the formation of kidney stones. If your kidney stone problem is severe seek doctor’s advice and know if Lemon would ease the problem. For small stones, olive oil mixed with lemon juice works great to get rid of the stones.
Wheat grass is known to be a great detoxing agent. It is rich in fiber and creatinine lowering compounds. Wheat grass is also rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins that prevent the occurrence of kidney stones. Consume basil leaves with lemon juice to get the maximum benefit of wheat grass.
Gooseberries are abundant in Vitamin C which treats infections in the urinary tract and dissolves kidney stones. The diuretic property of Indian gooseberry freshens the kidneys and eases the removal of waste from the kidneys. Drinking mixture of carrot juice, apple juice and Indian gooseberries on empty stomach helps the body.
Bell peppers are rich in Vitamin C and B6 which break down oxalate stones. Also, potassium, vitamin E, Vitamin B2 in bell peppers help to maintain electrolyte balance in the body by reducing the sodium level.