Kidney stones are solid masses made up of tiny crystals that form in the kidneys. Its main cause is not drinking enough liquid. In this post, you will be able to discover how to eliminate kidney stones and what are the most effective treatments.
The basics of kidney stones
Kidney stones can have different sizes and be located in various places in the urinary tract, which means that the treatments are different depending on the case.
10% of the population may suffer from stones at some point in their lives, being more frequent in men than in women, approximately in a ratio of 2 to 1.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REMOVE THEM?
In most cases, drinking enough fluid each day is the best way to help prevent most types of kidney stones from forming. Drinking enough fluids keeps the urine dilute and helps flush out minerals that could form stones.
Although water is the best option, other liquids, such as citrus drinks, can also help prevent kidney stones. Some studies show that citrus drinks, such as lemonade and orange juice, protect against kidney stones because they contain citrate, which prevents the crystals from turning into stones.
Unless you have kidney failure, you should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses a day. If you previously had cystine stones, you may need to take even more. Talk to a health professional if you cannot take the recommended amount due to other health problems, such as urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, or kidney failure.
The amount of fluid you need to drink depends on the weather and your activity level. If you live, work, or exercise in hot climates, you may need to drink more fluids to replace what you lose through sweat. A health professional may ask you to collect your urine for 24 hours to determine how much urine you make each day. If the amount of urine is too low, you may be advised to drink more fluid.
- Drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water daily: Do this regularly throughout the day, especially if you live in a hot climate or do a lot of physical exercises. Opt for neutral pH drinks like water or milk.
- Limit your intake of carbonated drinks: These products are high in phosphoric acid, which can contribute to stone formation.
- Try to avoid alcohol: Apart from not being recommended for health, it can also promote the appearance of gout, which is a predisposing factor for the appearance of kidney stones.
- Stay alert with calcium: Make sure your body is getting at least a thousand milligrams a day, but check with your healthcare professional before taking supplements.
- Do not abuse salt: Since kidney stones are associated with high sodium intakes, aim for 3-5 grams a day at most.
- Opt for plant protein over animal protein: That is, try to moderate the consumption of meat, especially the less lean, and, instead, increase the consumption of foods such as avocado, cauliflower, and peas, rich in vegetable protein.
- Control oxalate in your diet: Since it is one of the substances present in many stones, it is advisable to opt for foods in which the oxalate concentration is low (eggs, lentils, white rice, peeled apples, grapes, cauliflower, or zucchini) and avoid others such as spinach, walnuts, rhubarb, and wheat bran.
- Keep in shape: Try to prevent your body mass index (BMI) from exceeding healthy limits (18-25 kg/m2) and watch your weight. Practicing physical exercise on a regular basis will help you achieve it and also, feel better.