Kidney Stone Prevention
Your kidneys are vital in filtering blood and removing waste and unneeded minerals from your body. When they are at normal levels, the minerals and waste are eliminated from your body through urination. However, it does not take much for the mineral levels to exceed what the kidneys can effectively process. When this happens, crystals are formed, creating a “stone.”
There are five main types of kidney stones – calcium, uric acid, struvite, staghorn, and cysteine – each having a primary cause. However, they affect the urinary process in very similar ways and, if severe enough, can lead to extreme pain and even require surgical intervention.
Although some of these types more commonly appear as side effects of other conditions or treatments such as gout and chemotherapy, prevention techniques can help prevent the formation of the stones, regardless of the type.
Strenuous exercise without adequate water intake can significantly increase the imbalance of calcium and other minerals in the blood. Not only can this lead to painful cramping, but calcium stones may also form if this occurs frequently.
In general, stones form when there is an excessive amount of minerals in the blood and not enough water to balance and dilute them.
A diet high in sodium without adequate water intake can have the same effect. This sort of diet, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, can slow the normal metabolic process that would remove these minerals, raising the likelihood of stones.
Fluids such as alcohol and soda, or foods with large amounts of sweetener, tend to increase dehydration and cause a mineral imbalance. One of the best ways to prevent the formation of kidney stones is to maintain a high water intake and minimize the sodium from your diet. This will keep the level of minerals in the blood at a low enough level for your body to naturally remove them.
If you are suffering from kidney stones or would like to learn about ways to prevent them from occurring, contact Dr. Shridharani in Chattanooga, TN, at 423-778-4636 or visit www.drshrid.com to schedule a consultation.