Kidney stones cause pain in the back, side of abdomen or groin – renal colic. Nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and infection can also occur. With symptoms like these, it would be a blessing to prevent these stones from forming in the first place.
Who might develop kidney stones?
It is no consolation but kidney stones are quite common and their incidence is increasing, especially among women. There may be a genetic link and some medical conditions can also lead to susceptibility to kidney stones.
However scientists agree that the Western diet and lack of appropriate hydration are two main factors. Dehydration affects not only people living in hot countries, but also those exposed to high temperatures through exercise, work conditions, central heating and so on (Reference 1).
Types of kidney stone:
- Calcium stones (calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate): the most common type of stone.
- Uric acid stones (formed from waste products).
- Struvite stones consisting of magnesium ammonium phosphate, commonly occur after infections such as Urinary Tract Infections.
- Cysteine crystals, (often hereditary).
Can our diet help prevent kidney stones?
If our ‘poor’ diet (high in animal fats and low in vegetables) can be blamed for the formation of kidney stones then it logically follows that by amending or positively using our diet we can prevent or reverse the formation of stones.
Firstly, keeping well hydrated prevents high concentrations of crystals being excreted into the urine. So drink plenty of water and eat plenty of vegetables with their high water content, not to mention the fibre which also aids excretion of waste from the body.
And secondly, limiting ‘acid forming’ foods (animal proteins) and salt will avoid excessive amounts of uric acid in urine (high acidic pH levels).
Of course these are very general rules and nothing beats having a tailor-made nutritional program determined by a scientific analysis of your own constitution and overseen by a qualified nutritionist.
So whether your problem is kidney stones or not find out about available testing and discuss your own specific dietary needs, Contact us at Nutripanda – we will be glad to help.