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It can be a source of absolutely devastating pain and discomfort. People dread kidney stones. Yet, they are more common than many people realize. If you find yourself with kidney stones, are you doomed to suffer? Read on to find out how to pass a kidney stone!
What is it?
Uric Acid, oxalate, or calcium can gather and settle in the bladder. When these materials reach a high enough concentration, the crystals form. In general, these crystals are mainly composed of calcium(though a smaller percentage can be made mainly of uric acid). As you can imagine, kidney function is a complex and balanced process.
Crystals, once formed, grow into stones. These stones then can dislodge and travel down the urethra, blocking urine, and causing severe pain. As the stones pass down, they can cause frequent urination, pressure, or groin pain.
These stones can take weeks or months to pass! If they become a real problem, there are surgical options. Severe cases require these surgical options. Luckily, there are steps to help prevent and pass kidney stones faster.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drinking enough water is crucial, and beneficial to health for a myriad of reasons. There have been numerous studies done on how much to actually drink, but most scientists agree that drinking 8-10 8 ounce glasses of water a day will produce sufficient urine to clear out the bladder. Materials like calcium can sit and harden without being flushed from the body If you aren’t drinking enough water
Watch Out for Sodium
Diets high in sodium leave higher amounts of calcium in your urine. As such, limiting yourself to lower amounts of sodium, particularly when consuming enough water, can be a huge protection against kidney stones.
Limit Animal Protein
If you are prone to kidney stones, you may want to limit the amount of animal proteins you consume.
Consume Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice is high in citric acid, which can help break down smaller kidney stones and facilitate them passing more easily. Citric Acid is common in many fruits, and binds with calcium to break it down and prevent stones from forming in the first place.
Eat Diuretic Foods
Similar to the above tip about drinking water, eating diuretic foods(foods which increase urination) are great for dealing with kidney stones. More frequent, healthy urination is critical for flushing waste from your body. Common diuretic foods include parsley, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, and watermelon.
Seek Professional Help
If you are already suffering from discomfort, seek out qualified medical help. A health professional will help diagnose a kidney stone, and come up with an appropriate treatment plan. These plans can include any of the above options, as well as over-the-counter medications. They can also ease fears by explaining details of the kidney stones; sometimes the unknown makes fear and pain seem worse!
For any of your urological needs, reach out to Northwoods Urology. Our qualified team of healthcare professionals are ready and able to help you, whether you have kidney stones or any other medical concerns.