Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of crystallised minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys. There are several factors that contribute development of kidney stones, the most common being the presence of crystal-forming substances in the urine like oxalate, calcium and uric acid, in high quantities. Kidney stones also occurs in people with family history of this problem.
- Kidney stones are formed when there is a significant decrease in the volume of urine that your body produces.
- Reduction in daily fluid intake or undergoing strenuous exercise without properly hydrating your body catalysts the risk of kidney stones.
- People living in hot and dry climatic conditions are more likely to be susceptible to stone formation due to dehydration.
- An infection in the urinary tract can also result in Kidney stones; known as struvite or infection stones.
- Metabolic abnormalities, including inherited disorders of metabolism, can alter the composition of the urine and increase an individual’s risk of stone formation.
- It is also caused by chronic dehydration and certain medical conditions (such as gout, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease)
Though kidney stones do not cause permanent damage, the jagged crystal formation is known to cause deep pain. The three main methods of treatment are:
- Prescribed medication and drinking plenty of water causes the stones to pass out of the body naturally through urination.
- Shock-wave Lithotripsy (also known as ESWL), which blows the stones to bits.
- Through surgery.
- Constant Hydration: Generous intake of water, especially during hot weather and while exercising.
- Increasing intake of lemon/ lime juice:These two fruits have high amounts of citrate, whic retard the development of kidney stones.
- Keeping a watch on the urine colour:Urine should be pale yellow in colour. If the colour is getting darker, it is most likely getting concentrated, which in turn can lead to kidney stones.
- Avoid foods linked to stone formation: Foods containing high amount of oxalates should be avoided- especially those that are high on fat and salt.