By- Dr. Deepanshu Gupta
Kidneys are two bean shaped organs in our body which are tasked to remove waste and extra water from the blood (as urine) and help keep chemicals (such as sodium, potassium, calcium and others) balanced in our body.
One of the most common disease of kidney are the stones. These are hard mineral deposits that form in different parts of the kidney which can cause severe symptoms and may also lead to its functional loss.
Although it can happen to people of any age or sex but middle-aged men are most likely to get kidney stones. If a person is diagnosed with kidney stone for the first time, then he is 50 percent more likely to get another within the next 10 years.
There’s no one sure way to prevent kidney stones, especially if one is having a family history of the condition but making small adjustments to the current diet and nutrition plan with lifestyle changes may go a long way toward preventing kidney stones.
Here are some tips which one can follow to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.
Keep Yourself hydrated
There can be nothing more natural in this world than water. 70 Percent of our body weight is due to water. We need to keep ourselves hydrated enough to reverse the process of mineral deposition in our kidney and to keep them in dissolved state.
Now the most important question is how much we should take to prevent kidney stones. To prevent recurrent episodes, we need to focus on our urine output, which should be higher than 2 litres. One can tell regarding hydration status by looking at the colour of urine – it should be clear or pale yellow. If it’s dark, we need to drink more.
Modification of the diet
Decrease the amount of salt in your diet (too much salt increases the amount of calcium which is lost in the urine leading to more formation of stones.)
Decrease the amount of oxalate rich foods like beans, nuts, spinach, cocca containing products like chocolates and coffee, sweet potato, cola drinks (Oxalate being one of the most common ingredients for stone formation will lead to increase in stone episodes).
Decrease the amount of animal proteins (These after digestion increase the stone forming salts in body like uric acid, oxalates phosphates which favour stone formation)
Eat citrus fruits (Lemons and limes are high in citrate, which don’t allow the stone forming salts to deposit in kidney preventing its recurrence).
Don’t cut on calcium (Most people think that restricting the calcium intake will decrease their stone formation but as the calcium is one of the most important ions in our body, it should not be restricted which may lead serious adverse health effects, also restricting calcium not associated with decreased calcium stones as only 30 percent of dietary calcium is absorbed in the bowel).
Say no to obesity (Maintain BMI)
People who are obese are having more chances of kidney stone formation as they are having higher levels of stone forming salts (like uric acid, oxalates phosphates) in their body which increase the stone episodes.
Get your stone analysis done
If you are someone who has passed a stone or had it removed after surgery then it should be checked for its composition which gives a very clear idea which are the culprit salts causing it,a check on these may decrease the recurrent episodes.
Get your metabolic evaluation done
These are a series of tests which your doctor requires to know which are the possible offending abnormalities with the various salts metabolism in the body which are leading to recurrent stone episodes.
These are some of the measures which usually apply to all kinds of kidney stones regardless of the composition of stone, but different types of the stone require specific precautions which should be taken care of while managing these different types.
And last but not the least, one should always consult the doctor after the diagnosis of kidney stone, so that all aspects of stone management can be taken care of for better outcomes.
About the Author:
Dr. Deepanshu Gupta has more than 10 years of experience within his areas of expertise, which includes Endourology, Andrology and Renal Transplant. He brings a patient centred approach that is a natural fit with the ethical values. Dr. Gupta prides himself in personalised care and carefully listening to the patient’s main concerns and treatment goals prior to embarking on diagnostic testing or surgical intervention. He received his post-graduation (MS) from PGIMS Rohtak, Haryana, India and further did super specialisation (MCh) in Urology from RML and PGIMER New Delhi India. Dr. Gupta has actively participated as an active member in USI and NZUSI conferences, presented scientific papers, videos in live workshops.He has been an active member of various eminent organisations Association Surgeons of India, Asian Congress of Urology, Urological Society of India, North Zone Urological Society of India, Delhi Urological Society, American Urological Association.
Some of the services provided by the doctor are: Kidney Stones Treatment (RIRS, PCNL, ESWL and Ureteroscopy),Transurethral Incision of The Prostate (TUIP),Varicocele Surgery and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate), Circumcision, etc.