Four out of 100 Americans suffered from kidney stones during 1970s. By 1990s, this became more than 5 per 100 and today as the incidence in rising, one in 10 Americans are at a risk of suffering from kidney stones and the susceptible age group is between 20 and 50 years.
The smaller stones generally get removed but may cause pain. They may sometime cause nausea, low back pain and vomiting as well. The larger stones cannot get eliminated own their own and require surgical intervention. About half a million present to emergency O.T due to kidney stones in America. Kidney stone are notorious for recurrence since 35 to 50 percent cases recur after dealing with the first episode. Kidney stones may lead to Chronic kidney disease which may in turn cause increase risk of pathological fractures.
Now here are a few simple dietary suggestions as recommended by the American College of Physicians (ACP) which will keep the stones away:
- Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water – The wastes products in urine tend to accumulate and form crystals which grow in size to become a stone if there is less liquid in urine. So it is recommended that you drink enough water to form two liters of urine per day. This roughly requires drinking 12 glasses of water daily. Another way to keep a track of enough fluid intake is by seeing urine color. Light yellow color suggests adequate fluid and concentrated urine is dark colored.
- Soda increase the risk- Soda has sugar which if taken in excess increases the risk of stone formation. High fructose food like table sugar is very harmful in this regard. Fructose may get converted to oxalate in some people leading to oxalate stones. A study has shown 15 percent reduction in risk of stone formation by just cutting down on soda intake.
- Excess fluoride might be dangerous- It was seen in a study that in areas with fluoride content of greater than 3.5-4.9 ppm in drinking water accounted for 5times increased risk of getting renal stones.
- Obesity and sedentary lifestyle are two very important risk factors that can easily be avoided. Just 1hour of brisk walking or 20mins of High Intensity Interval Cardio (HIIT) three to four times a week is good enough. As much as 42percent increase risk is seen in women consuming more than 2200kcal per day.
- Magnesium is present in spinach and other green leafy vegetable is very important since it prevent calcium oxalate stone as it prevents calcium from binding to oxalate. Magnesium is also abundantly present in almond, sunflower seed and avocado.
- Calcium in food is important as it binds with oxalate in intestine and prevents its absorption into the blood stream. One important point here is that research has shown calcium supplements tend to increase the risk but not calcium in diet.
- Non fermented soy are present in food like soy milk, soy ice cream, soy burgers and tofu contain high oxalate and can precipitate stone formation but fermented soy products are good for health.
Diet plays a vital role in preventing kidney stones. Proper, balanced diet, plenty of water and fluid intake and enough of physical exercise can keep away kidney stones successfully.