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Insurance Article

Lifestyle Changes to Keep Kidney Stones Away

February 16 2017
Kidney stones

Ways to avoid deposits in the kidney and prevent excruciating pain

Kidney stones are solid deposits which originate in the kidney. The initial microscopic deposits grow into large stones when certain chemicals become concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. They result in excruciating pain, coming in waves until the tiny stone passes through the urinary plumbing and out of the body. In some cases, kidney stones become lodged in the ureter and block the flow of urine.

Most stones are formed when calcium combines with either of two substances: oxalate or phosphorous. Stones can also form from uric acid, which forms as the body metabolises protein. Also, it is not a one-time problem: in about half of people suffering with kidney stones, another appears within seven years if there are no preventive measures taken.

Studies show that kidney stones appear to be more common in people with Asian and Caucasian backgrounds. Preventing kidney stones means preventing the conditions which support and instigate their formation.

Lifestyle changes

The deposits in the kidney form when urine contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in the urine can dilute. It may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for stone formation.

  • Drink Your Way

Living in a hot and dry climate necessitates drinking more water and produces more urine, about 2.5 litres a day. Dehydration often causes low urine volume and less fluid to grab calcium and other compounds in the urinary system. Unless the urine is light and clear, keep drinking enough water.

  • Avoid Sugar

Diets high in sugar can increase urinary calcium excretion and increase the risk of kidney stone formation. Soft drinks and sweets are the biggest dietary causes as they often contain high levels of fructose and phosphoric acid. Natural sweeteners, like stevia, have the unique ability to regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Avoid Oxalate-rich Foods

If you tend to form calcium oxalate stones, it is recommended restricting foods rich in oxalates. These include rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, chocolate, and soy products.

  • Add Rice Bran to Your Diet

It has been observed that high-fibre diets reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. In fact, a study found that when patients took 10 grams of rice bran twice daily, their recurrence rate for kidney stones was reduced by almost 80 percent.

  • Avoid High Sodium Intake

Too much of sodium intake can create mineral imbalances in the body. If you are on a moderate-high carbohydrate diet, the body will naturally retain sodium and can cause more problems with mineral balance. Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets excrete sodium and therefore need more good salts.

Stay away from processed salts and processed sodium-rich foods, and consume natural foods. Stick to a low-moderate carbohydrate, high-good fat diet and consume unprocessed sea salts and pink salts.

  • Create A Calcium-rich Diet

Diets low in calcium can increase kidney stone formation in some people. A daily glass of orange juice can help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade.

Medically managing recurrent kidney stones requires dietary and lifestyle changes as well as treatment such as the addition of potassium citrate, which lowers the rate of new stone formation in patients with kidney stones.

Treatment of kidney stones is a costly affair these days. You need to undergo several blood and urine tests followed by CT scans, specialist visits, lab analysis of kidney stone and antibiotics prescription. The entire process can be financially draining. A comprehensive health insurance is a smart way to cover yourself against these expenses. With free health check-ups and cashless hospitalisation facilities, you can always rest assured in times of hardships.

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