What Causes Kidney Stone Formation and How to Prevent It!

May 26, 2008

Medical history shows that at least 10% of the population suffers from Kidney disorders every year. In India, the number of people referred to the Nephrology department by the GP is not small. A good majority of people frequenting hospitals are bothered by urological disorders like Renal failure, kidney stones etc.

Renal calculus or Kidney stone is one of the most painful urological disorders that have been upsetting millions of people across the world since centuries. Kidney stones are found more commonly in developed countries like America than others. But it is not uncommon in India. It is usually found among people between the ages of 20 and 40.

An Insight into a Kidney Stone

The kidney is a hard worker. Its job is to sift our body’s waste products from the blood and pass it out through urine. While eliminating the waste it also has the responsibility to conserve the body’s proteins, minerals and most importantly water. Kidney’s functions also include maintaining the appropriate haemoglobin, producing red blood cells and regulating blood pressure. A kidney stone occurs when there is a slight imbalance between the first two functions of the kidney, to remove the waste and to conserve water.

A kidney stone is a solid or semi-solid mineral-like substance formed from the chemical crystals in the urine. This occurs in the urinary tract blocking the drainage of the kidney, resulting in urinary obstruction.

It does not happen to all. Somehow, kidney stones are quite common in men. A major cause for a stone is dehydration and the lack of sufficient water. Factors such as recurrent urinary tract infections and blockage of the urinary tract also lead to stones. The excessive consumption of calcium oxalate, uric acid, vitamin C or D, is another relevant cause. What’s more, a person’s age, sex, diet, environment, heredity, certain drugs, Vitamin A deficiency and genetic and metabolic diseases would also contribute to stones.

Interestingly, Kidney stones are racists! They are not common in all human races. Kidney stones are rare in American Indians, Africans and African-Americans while common in Americans. In the case of children, it is rare but not scarce. In India, it is common due to the hot and humid climatic conditions. During summer or in hot environment urine gets concentrated inside as there is more fluid loss through perspiration.

The Symptoms

· Pain! Excruciating pain due to the obstruction in the urinary tract. The pain could be in the abdomen, the lower back or under the ribs.

· Nausea and vomiting

· Hematuria (blood in the urine)

· Infection and Fever in some

· The urge to urinate frequently and a burning sensation while urinating

· Smelly urine

Some stones may be “silent” in nature without showing any external symptoms. Anything that impairs the function of the kidney can cause a Kidney disorder. A neglected kidney stone can lead to chronic kidney diseases like Renal Failure. And the treatment for kidney diseases is expensive in India.

Prevention is Better and Less Expensive Than a Cure.

Don’t get dehydrated! Water is the lifeline of a being. A good preventive measure to any disease is taking sufficient water. Water would purify the body and take away all the waste particles through urine. A small kidney stone can get off through urine.

And if you have kidney stones among your close relatives it is better to take the necessary precautions. Have a total control over your diet and weight. Avoid using too much of calcium rich food items like milk, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, vegetables with seeds like brinjal, ladies finger etc. But diet alone can’t take care of kidney stones.

A good exercise is a contributing to factor to our general health. Having limited activity can also lead to Kidney stone. How? If you are not active your bones tend to release more calcium resulting in calcium deposit which in turn develops into a stone.

Citrate helps in dissolving these stone formations. Hence it is healthier to drink Lemonade or Pineapple juice.

Keep your Pressure under check! Blood pressure is among the risk factors.

Researchers have came out with a possibility that tiny bacteria called Nano bacteria is the cause behind Kidney disorders. These little offenders use protective calcium covering causing calcium deposits. And this study states that since it is caused by bacteria, antibiotics may help treating kidney stones.

In Ayurveda, cumin, coriander and fennel are said to be beneficial in destroying kidney diseases. Maybe this explains why so many spices are present in the Indian diet.

Additional Reading:

Ayurvedic and Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

K-Crush for Kidney Stones

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