A kidney stone is exactly what it sounds like: A stone in the kidney. This “stone” is generally compromised of calcium, but can also be the result of a different build-up. So, what causes kidney stones? Generally, stones are the result of a urine deficiency, often caused by a poor or strict diet.
Top 4 causes of kidney stones
Kidney stones are common when you’re consuming more of a substance than your body can process. The cause of the kidney stone depends on the type you have. There are 4 main build-ups that result in kidney stones:
- Uric acid
Any of these in excess can lead to health issues. Of course, there are also risk factors that mean you could be at higher risk. Some of these include:
- Family history
- Personal history
- Digestive issues
Other medical conditions
If you’re worried that you might be at risk for the development of a kidney stone, speak to your doctor. For some, the stone comes out during urination and causes severe pain. For others, it’s a surgical procedure that requires a brief hospital stay. Neither of these sounds pleasant, so you should consider prevention methods.
Symptoms of kidney stones
Some of the symptoms include:
- Pain below the ribs (back, front, side)
- Pain in abdomen
- Pain in pelvic area
- Urination issues (smell, color)
- Frequent urination
- Straining to urinate
- Fever or chills
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms outlined and you’re sure there is no other cause, you may want to see your doctor. You may need to be placed on a medication to maintain the stone or try and break the deposits down to pass the stone. The treatment depends on the cause of the stone.
5 ways to prevent kidney stones
There are only a few remedies that will help with kidney stones. You may require a pain reliever or some type of therapy. Prevention is an important step to avoid the discomfort of kidney stones. Below, you’ll see a list of prevention methods that will help to keep you at optimal health.
Drinks lots of water
It’s well-known that dehydration causes a variety of health complications. One of these issues is the development of stones (kidney and other).
Add calcium to your diet
It can be more calcium-rich foods or you can take a calcium supplement. Just remember that too much calcium is bad as well, so monitor your intake.
Enjoy salt & salty foods in moderation
Too much salt can be heavy on your heart and arteries. It can also lead to kidney stones. So watch how much salt you have in your food and read labels carefully to check the sodium levels.
Get vitamin C the right way
Although many believe that supplements are beneficial, Vitamin C supplements can cause your body to have too much of the vitamin. It’s better to get the Vitamin C you need from eating rich foods.
Double check your medications
Many medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) have a side-effect of causing kidney stones or an increase in uric acid. If you’re worried, talk to your doctor or the pharmacist. Asking questions is better than taking risks.