One of the most common urinary tract disorders in India is the formation of kidney stones that originate from the accumulation of concentrated waste in the urinary canal. There are four different types of kidney stones; namely, Calcium, Uric acid, Struvite and Cystine that lodge in either of the two ureters, bladder or the urethra, and cause scanty urine flow and acute pain.
Common Symptoms Related to Kidney Stones:
Kidney stones may or may not come with vivid symptoms and therefore difficult to diagnose at an early stage. However, below mentioned are few of the general symptoms associated to kidney stones:
- Sharp pain on one side of the back or lower abdomen
- Fluctuating pain that disappears only to return after a short while
- Pain during urination only
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine smells differently than normal
- Constant urge to urinate
- Urine that appears reddish or brown in color due to presence of blood
- Nausea, vomiting, chills and fever
- Difficulty in changing postures
- Pain that is severe early in the morning or late at night
Kidney stones are not a life threatening situation and can be easily managed with early diagnosis, proper medication and treatments that are widely available in most hospitals in India. However, as this ailment primarily relates to lack of water and improper diet, knowing a perfect diet plan can greatly improve the situation and accelerate the treatment method. Below provided is a list of food items to be avoided or included while suffering from this physical condition.
Foods to Avoid:
Spinach: Although spinach is highly nutritious and useful for various health conditions, it is disastrous when comes to kidney stones. During urine formation within kidneys, Oxalate that is richly available in spinach, binds with calcium to form calcium oxalate crystals or stones. Therefore, any person with this prevailing condition only aggravates the condition, making it worse by consuming excess spinach. However, small amount of consumption is allowed and advisable.
Tomatoes: For reasons similar to that of spinach, tomatoes are also said to cause devastating effects on people suffering from kidney stones. However, complete elimination from an Indian diet is perhaps not possible and not advisable as well. Therefore, it is always suggested that tomatoes need to be consumed without the seeds, especially while suffering from this urinary tract problem.
Chocolates: As with many other health conditions, chocolates need to be a strict No-No for people suffering from this kidney ailment. Patients need to abstain from oxalate rich chocolates throughout their life. And for those who have a sweet tooth, replacing chocolates with some other sweet items is always advised.
Tea: Kick starting your morning with a cup of tea is the usual ritual in most Indian families. However, if there’s someone suffering from kidney stones, it is time to change this daily ritual. Green tea is supposed to bring number of health benefits; however, they do not prove beneficial and rather cause complications in case of kidney stones.
Seafood: Fish, meat and protein rich products contain purines that accelerate uric acid production and cause uric acid stones.
Salt and salty foods: Salt is rich in sodium that causes over production of calcium within kidneys. As already mentioned, too much calcium can lead to stone formation and therefore needs to be avoided. Excess salt has different ill effects on the body and hence needs to be restricted in all circumstances.
What Needs to Be Included in the Diet?
Most of our health issues can be treated and managed with proper eating habits and healthy lifestyle changes. Similar to the above mentioned foods to be avoided, here is a list of items that need to be avoided:
Keep Yourself Hydrated:
Kidney stone formation relate to lack of drinking water in the body. Therefore, if you are to fight back the condition, drinking 8-10 liters of water is crucial. Other forms of natural fluid can also be included from time to time; however, aerated drinks may not prove highly beneficial and therefore can be avoided. Again, many are of the opinion that beer can dilute stones in the kidneys; however, this has not been proven and rather too much alcohol may lead to dehydration and cause acute stone formation.
Lemons and Oranges:
Citrate in food prevents stone formation and therefore high intake of lemons, oranges and similar products is always highly suggested by doctors.
Multiple Meals in Small Amount:
Doctors are always of the opinion that every individual, irrespective of any health issue need to eat in small multiple meals that do not pressurize the digestive tract and keeps you healthy. Individuals suffering from kidney stones are always suggested to eat in small amounts with sufficient water as the food is easily digested and there are lesser chances of accumulation and thus stone formation.
Individuals who have once suffered from kidney stones need to be more cautious regarding their diet and lifestyle, as stones once formed and treated can reoccur again. Therefore, a diet plan and constant checkups or follow ups with the doctor is crucial to avoid recurrence of the ailment. This was all about kidney stones and the diet to be followed while suffering from the condition.