Kidneys are one of the most important organs in our body, they purify the blood, secrete hormones, absorb minerals, remove toxins and neutralize the acid.

How do Kidney Stones Form?

Kidney stones form develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys. Then crystals grow into “stones.”

More than 80% of kidney stones are made of calcium. The rest are uric acid stones, which form in people with low urine pH levels.

After stones form in the kidneys, they can dislodge and pass down the ureter, blocking the flow of urine. The result is periods of severe pain, including flank pain (pain in one side of the body between the stomach and the back), sometimes with blood in the urine, nausea, and vomiting, and if you experience any of these symptoms you should visit your doctor to perform a urinalysis and renal ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, or CT scan to confirm kidney stones are the source of your pain and determine their size and number, says Dr. Eisner.

Let kidney stones pass

Stones typically take several weeks to a few months to pass, depending on the number of stones and their size. Over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen, can help you endure the discomfort until the stones pass.

If the pain becomes too severe, or if they are too large to pass, they can be surgically removed with a procedure called a ureteroscopy. Here, a small endoscope (a device with a miniature video camera and tools at the end of a long tube) is passed into the bladder and up the ureter while you are under general anesthesia. A laser breaks up the stones, and then the fragments are removed.

5 Things that can help Dissolve Kidney Stones

Even though kidney stones can be common and recur once you’ve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them. Here are some good tips:

1. Drink a lot of water

The National Kidney Foundation found that individuals who created 2 to 2.5 liters of pee every day were half more averse to create kidney stones than the individuals who delivered less. It takes around 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses (around 2 liters aggregate) of water day by day to deliver that sum.

2. Avoid high-oxalate nourishments

Such sustenances, which incorporate spinach, beets, and almonds, clearly raise oxalate levels in the body. In any case, moderate measures of low-oxalate nourishments, for example, chocolate and berries, are alright.

3. Enjoy some lemons

Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. “Studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk,” says Dr. Eisner.

4. Watch the sodium

A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg). If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.

5. Cut back on animal protein

Eating too much animal protein, such as meat, eggs, and seafood, boosts the level of uric acid. If you’re prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity that is no bigger than a pack of playing cards.

Original Article Source: health.harvard.edu