A kidney stone is solid piece of material formed in the kidney from substances in the urine. It may be small or large. Sometimes, they pass out of the body freely while sometimes it will not go away. Kidney stones may get struck in the urinary tract or block the flow of urine. It usually causes great pain.

How do kidney stones form?

Kidney stones are formed when normal balance of water, salts, minerals and other substances formed in the urine such as calcium, oxalate and sometimes uric acid crystallize,change and join together to form a kidney stone. How this balance changes determines the type of kidney stone that will be formed.

Causes of kidney stone

  •  The most common cause of kidney stone is not drinking enough water. When enough water is not drunk, the salts, minerals and other substances in the urine stick together and form a stone.
  •      Kidney stones run in some families and often occur in family members over the generations.
  •      Some of the medical conditions that can affect the normal balance substances formed in the urine and cause stones to form include;

1.  Gout

2.   Inflammatory bowel disease such as crohn’s disease.

Signs and symptoms of kidney stone

  • ·    Extreme pain in the back or side that will not go away
  •     Urine that smells bad or look cloudy
  •     Blood in the urine
  •     A burning smell during urination
  •    Vomiting
  • Fever and chills    

Prevention of kidney stones

Kidney stones can be prevented through  combination of lifestyle changes and medications such as;

  •   Drinking water throughout the dayPeople with a history of kidney stones are usually recommended to pass about 2.5L of urine a day. The urine output should be measured to ensure that enough water is being drunk. Enough water should be drunk when in a hot dry climate or when frequent exercise is being done. When enough water is drunk, the urine becomes light and clear.
  •     Eating few oxalate rich food

One who tends to form calcium oxalate stones is advised to restrict food rich in oxalate.These include rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, sweet potatoes, nuts tea, chocolates, soya products. These fore-mentioned foods must be avoided.

  •     Choosing a diet low in salt and and animal protein

The amount of salt eaten should be reduced and non animal protein sources such as legumes should be chosen.

  • Eating calcium rich foods but use calcium supplements with caution

Calcium in food does not have any effect on the risk of kidney stones but calcium supplements have been linked to increase the risk of kidney stones. The risk may be reduced by taking supplements with meals.

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