Potassium Citrate and Kidney Stones
Crystallization of chemical materials normally found suspended in urine at the end of the body’s metabolic process result in kidney stones.These stones get formed generally when the urine is highly concentrated occurring from lack of proper fluid intake, and can also form when the urine is either increasingly acidic or alkaline though the type of kidney stone formed differs. Very small stones formed are capable of being expelled out of the body via urine painlessly. It is only when these stones cluster together to form bigger ones do they obstruct normal flow of urine and cause a lot of pain in the individual. These stones commonly obstruct at the upper ureters where it meets the kidneys or lower end where it enters into the bladder, or even in mid portion of the ureters.
General symptoms that the individual may experience when stones get formed in the kidney are pain around the lower back and abdominal area, either sides, or around the pelvic area that can either be excruciating in nature or a dull achiness. Pain while urinating, frequent urination, or discoloration of urine produced may also be noticed. In case there is urinary tract infection, the individual may develop fever, chills, and foul smelling urine due to the bacteria present that causes the infection.Stones formed may have a smooth contour to it or form with sharp edges.When these edges brush against the urinary tract walls during its movement, blood may ooze out from the abraded areas of tissue that further tinges the urine.
Existing types of kidney stones are calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, struvite, uric acid, and cystine varieties. Calcium phosphate and struvite kidney stones are produced when the urine pH is more basic while the rest get formed in highly acidic urine. Thus it is initially important to determine the urine pH levels to differentiate the type of kidney stones formed in a person. The presence of kidney stones are detected on non-contrast spiral computed tomography, ultrasound, and x-rays. Urine samples also need to be obtained of the individual for microscopic testing to confirm the type of kidney stone the person may be suffering from.
When there is pain or urinary infection accompanying kidney stones, pain relief measures and administration of medications to treat urinary tract infections is done first. Then, kidney stone inhibitory substances like citrate are introduced into the system.Potassium citrate is judged to be a urine pH modifier. It works towards reducing the acidity levels in urine, prevents crystallization of minerals found in urine, and discourages clustering of crystals even if they do get formed. Naturally, potassium citrate is found in high amounts in certain raw fruits and vegetable; raw works better than cooked for most of it can be lost or reduced in quality when cooked.Citrus fruits especially oranges and grapefruit have high potassium citrate content.Other fruits that are high in this mineral are banana, melons, and apricots. Vegetables containing this mineral are tomatoes, green leafy varieties as in spinach, lettuce, broccoli, collard greens, and turnip greens.Fish varieties like salmon, tuna, sardines, and cod are high in potassium citrate. Whole grain breads and cereals as well as yogurt are also popular sources of potassium citrate.These should be part of the individual’s daily diet for when consumed, they get easily absorbed by the body.