Kidney stones are hard, crystalline deposits that form in kidneys and can be found in the urinary tract as well.
The most common cause of kidney stones stems from dehydration; causing urine to become concentrated with stone-forming minerals. The minerals crystallize and lump together to form stones.
Other causes of kidney stones include conditions such as obesity, gout, diet, hereditary factors, certain medicine and supplements.
Common signs of presence of kidney stones include abdominal and groin pain, blood in urine, urinating more frequently than usual, whitish and smelly urine.
Kidney stones usually do not cause any permanent damage if discovered early and eliminated.
To prevent onset of kidney stones:
1. Take plenty of water
Drink a lot of water to help flush the kidney stones out of your body. drinking enough water also prevents the stones from forming.
2. Avoid stone-forming foods
Some foods have high concentrations of substances that cause kidney stones. These foods include beets, spinach, tea, chocolate, sweet potatoes, black pepper and most nuts.
You can resort to eating small portions of the abovementioned foods if avoiding them altogether is not practical.
3. Reduce salt
High salt intake is one of the common causes of kidney stones. Embrace a low-salt diet or opt for salt substitutes.
4. Eat calcium-rich foods
Insufficient amounts of calcium leads to increased oxalate levels, leading to formation of kidney stones. Avoid calcium supplements as these have been found to cause kidney stones.
5. Limit consumption of animal protein
Excessive consumption of animal proteins such as poultry, eggs, seafood and red meat leads to increased levels of uric acid, which in turn causes kidney stones.
Remember, seek the intervention of a medical professional when symptoms become extreme.