Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Kidney stones, also known as renal lithiasis or nephrolithiasis, are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys. Kidney stones affect all ages and both sexes, although older people are more likely to have stones than younger ones.
While the leading cause of kidney stones is lack of water, high sodium intake, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, urinary tract infection can increase the risk. A family history can also increase the risks of developing kidney stones.
Four major types of kidney stones can form: Calcium stones, uric acid stones, struvite stones and cystine stones.
Symptoms of kidney stones may include-
- Severe pain in the groin and lower abdomen
- Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting
- Feeling restless and unable to lie still
- Pain or burning sensation during urination
- Blood in urine
- A urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
- Difficulty passing urine
- Fever and chills if there is an infection
- Persistent urge to urinate
You should call or see a doctor if you have any of the above symptoms.
Besides medications, you can also prevent kidney stones by making some lifestyle changes such as-
- Drinking lots of water or liquid each day to avoid becoming dehydrated. Keeping the urine diluted with water keeps minerals from concentrating and forming stones.
- Cutting down on sodium intake.
- Choosing a diet low in animal protein.
- Avoiding stone-forming foods such as beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and nuts that are rich in oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones.
- Continuing eating calcium-rich foods as getting too little of calcium can cause oxalate levels to rise, resulting in kidney stones.
- Taking natural citrus fruit extract - research suggests citrus fruit extract can inhibit the growth of painful kidney stones and even dissolve the crystals.