Large Kidney Stones – Diet Control
Stones formed in the kidneys are due to crystallization of minerals and acids found in urine solution. They originally start as small solidified masses that usually cause no symptoms and get expelled out in urine. A few, though, can remain in the kidneys, or get stuck anywhere in the urinary tract and grow to a size large enough to cause urinary obstruction, marked by plenty of physical uneasiness.
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Large kidney stones will require external interventions for them to be successfully eliminated. Drug therapy or medical interventions like lithotripsy, either using sound waves or laser beams, will need to be performed to treat the condition effectively. Sometimes, even surgical interventions may be required.
It is only after the stone is removed and its composition determined that dietary restrictions should be put in place. Exercising control over diet will only help in reducing the incidence of kidney stones, not in curing the condition.
Most kidney stones can be prevented from developing again by taking in plenty of water. Water consumed in excess will ensure that there is constant urine flow, by which almost all mineral matters are forced out. When there is less chance for a build-up of minerals in urine, crystal formation and stone development does not occur. The sufferer should make a conscious effort to drink at least two to three liters of water in a 24-hour period.
Along with water intake, include fruit juices and vegetable soups. Take in natural fluids that have high potassium content, like orange juice, lemons, pineapple, tender coconut water, since they are capable of inhibiting kidney stone formation.
If the individual is prone to developing ‘infection’ stones, the intention should be to increase urine acidity. This can be realized by consuming sufficient amounts of fresh cranberry juice; cranberries produce more acids. The concentrate can be less appetizing. In order to make it more palatable, dilute it in few spoons of lemon juice, some water, and add honey to enhance its flavor. Also, plums and prunes are known to keep the urine acidic and can be eaten as whole. Starches obtained from whole grains also increases urine acidity. Include whole wheat products and brown rice into the daily diet to serve this purpose.
To prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones, a good dietary intake of calcium rich foods should be maintained. Consumption of yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, and the like do not contribute to calcium oxalate stones. Decreasing dietary intake of oxalate rich foods should be exercised, since this is considered the stone contributor. Hence, cut out spinach, beets, parsley, okra, eggplant, almost all berry varieties with the exception of cranberries, products made out of chocolate and cocoa, and peanuts especially peanut butter, from the diet.
Also, reduce salt consumption to decrease the amount of calcium in urine. Salt contains sodium, which when filtered by the kidneys, removes calcium from the body stores (bones) and adds it in urine, increasing the risk of forming calcium stones. Processed foods, fast foods, canned foods, and pickled items contain more of sodium since this functions as a preservative too.
A diet rich in proteins, more of animal proteins, will encourage uric acid kidney stone formation. Limit meat consumption, specifically organ meats, to once a week and that too in small portion sizes only.
Avoid drinks that are caffeinated, carbonated, or that contain alcohol. These are dehydrating agents and popular kidney stone forming beverages.
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