water a day may keep the kidney stones away. The new guidelines issued by the
American College of Physicians advocate drinking at least 2 liters of water per
day so as to prevent recurrence of kidney stones.
Life is provided "as is" and without any
warranties, so you have to incur damages arising from use or misuse. Problems
like kidney stones could arise at any time; may seem serious and encompassing
in the heat of the moment, but it will eventually pass. For some patients, the
pain is mild and generally comes and goes, however in others the intense pain
makes their legs go weak and their stomach buckle over!
What is a kidney
Kidney stones generally occur when there is
accumulation of certain crystals or solid materials, usually of calcium oxalate
in the kidney. They
vary in size from a fraction of an inch to several inches. Small kidney stones
can generally pass through the urinary tract
and out of the body with minimal pain. However, when the larger stones are lodged in the urinary tract, they cause intense
pain, blockage or infection. Other problems such as bleeding and damage to the
kidneys may also occur. Kidney stones made of calcium are the most common
It is believed that about 13% of
men and 7% of women in the US will develop a kidney stone at some point during
their life. And the worst part is that once you have one, you are more prone to
develop another one. Studies have shown that there is a 35 to 50% chance of
patients having another kidney stone within 5 years of the first one.
guidelines for prevention and treatment of kidney stones
American College of Physicians (ACP) conducted a
review of all scientific evidences which were published between the years 1948
and 2014, taking into account the benefits and risks of drugs and dietary
treatments to prevent recurring kidney stones. They came up with the new guidelines which were published in
the Annals of Internal Medicine
, along with a patient summary. It simply
states to drink plenty of water (at least 2 liters in a day) to prevent
recurrence of kidney stones. On a hot and humid day, it is recommended you
should drink 3 liters of water.
It has been well established in many scientific
studies that drinking lot of fluids could potentially cut the risk of
developing recurrent kidney stones by at least half. The stipulated theory
behind this is that increasing fluid intake reduces the concentration of solids
in the urine, thus reducing the formation of stones.
Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, an
urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital said, "The reason that water
is supposedly helpful is that it is a mechanical
flushing process so that stone fragments can pass but also so the urine doesn't
sediment in the kidney and collect."
The study authors also observed that reducing intake of cola
, particularly the sweetened variety could also possibly help
prevent further kidney stones. Studies have shown that subjects who change
their beverage habits and abstain from soda, particularly the sodas acidified
with phosphoric acid could reduce their risk of recurrence of kidney stones by
about 15 percent. They however, did not find any evidence suggesting tap water
to be any better or worse than a particular brand of mineral water.
Dr. Kavaler further added that
soda has oxalates and phosphoric acid, which could be major factors in the
formation of kidney stones. In addition, soda can be a diuretic so it has a
fluids does not always resolve the issue for some patients; these patients
could resort to drug therapy and try diuretics (also known as "water pills") to
reduce stone formation. Citrates or allopurinol also effectively reduces
recurrence of kidney stones made of calcium.
The ACP reviewers also advised patients about making changes in their
diet by reducing intake of foods containing oxalate, such as beets, rhubarb,
spinach, strawberries, nuts, chocolate, tea and wheat bran.
The guidelines suggest minimizing intake of
animal protein and purines (compounds that break down into uric acid) in their
diet. Patients are also advised to maintain their normal dietary calcium
The ACP researchers also want us to note that "the quality of
available research varies, and studies comparing one treatment with another are
Tips to prevent kidney stones
plenty of fluids:
Drinking enough fluid
is vital to prevent kidney stones. People who have had a kidney stone in the past
should make it a point to drink enough water and other fluids to make at least
2 liters of urine a day. Keep
yourself well hydrated at all times, especially when engaging in exercise or
activities that cause a lot of sweating.
Consider adding lemon to water:
Citric acid in lemon binds with calcium in the
urine, thus decreasing the amount of calcium available to form calcium oxalate
stones. It makes the urine less acidic, consequently inhibits the development
of both calcium oxalate and uric acid stones.
Limit intake of sodium:
It is believed that sodium,
which comes most often from salt we ingest, causes the kidneys to excrete more
calcium into the urine. High concentrations of calcium combine with oxalate and
phosphorus in the urine leading to formation of stones. Limit sodium intake.
Cut down in foods rich in purines:
Cut down on
high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats and shellfish to prevent
formation of uric acid stones. Eating less of animal-based protein will help
decrease urine acidity and help reduce possibility of kidney stone formation.
Eat a balanced healthy meal consisting of plenty of vegetables and fruits,
whole grains, and low fat dairy products.
Continue eating calcium-rich
It is a
myth that calcium from food increases the risk of calcium oxalate stones. In
fact, calcium is known to bind to oxalate from food and thus prevents it from
entering the blood and eventually the urinary tract, where it could form
stones. Thus, getting too little calcium in your diet
can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause kidney stones. Make sure to get the
recommended amount of calcium in your daily diet.
is believed that you are more prone to kidney stones if you have a sedentary
lifestyle, because limited activity could cause your bones to release more
calcium. So get up, be on your toes as much as possible and exercise. Exercise
will also help control high blood pressure, a condition that is thought to
double your risk for kidney stones.
Remember, kidney stones aren't a one-time thing,
they can come back. With some lifestyle modifications and a big determination,
you surely can keep kidney stones at bay!!!!