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Kidney Stones, The Top 6 Things You Should Know About

If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you are in good company. 1 out of 10 people experience kidney stones at least once in their lifetime. If you’ve had it once, the likelihood of getting them again goes up. What causes them and how can we prevent these from forming in our bodies? We’ve compiled a list of crucial information when it comes to dealing with kidney stones.

  1. A kidney stone is a hard deposit that forms in the kidneys. It consists of insoluble calcium compounds and salts. Another term for this is “renal lithiasis or nephrolithiasis”.
  1. Understand the different types and causes:
    • Calcium stones.Most kidney stones are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance found in certain food and is also generated daily by your liver.
    • Struvite stones.Struvite stones form as a result of an infection, such as a urinary tract infection. These stones can grow quickly and become large, sometimes with few symptoms or little warning.
    • Uric acid stones.Uric acid stones can form in people who are very dehydrated or those who have lost too much fluid, people who eat a high-protein diet, and those who have gout. Genetic factors also may increase your risk of uric acid stones.
    • Cystine stones.These stones can form in people with a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids.
  1. Check your symptoms. Be aware if you are experiencing any of the following: Severe pain in the side and back,pain in the lower abdomen, pain that comes in waves and changes in intensity, pain on urination, pink, red or brown urine, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, nausea or vomiting, persistent need to urinate, fever and chills if an infection is present, orurinating small amounts.
  1. Who is susceptible? Males are more likely than females to develop kidney stones. If a family member of yours has had one, your chances of having them increases. Kidney disease, gout and frequent urinary tract infections can also increase chances of developing kidney stones.
  1. The very best way to prevent kidney stones is to stay hydrated. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of fluid per day, water preferably. Another way is to eat more calcium rich foods and consume less sodium (avoid processed foods like chips, canned soup and crackers). Cutting down on animal protein can assist in prevention, as well.
  1. What to do if you think you have one. There are many resources on the web, but make sure you consult a doctor if you think you have kidney stones. He or she can perform a blood test, urine test, or even use imaging to determine if you have kidney stones. From there, you can decide on the best treatment method and pain relief that works well with your body. If your interested in a natural approach to managing your kidney stones click HERE. Note: In some severe cases (and depending on the size), surgery may be required.