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Diet tips to avoid kidney stones

Cover Media logo Cover Media 19/04/2017
Eating fruit and veggies can prevent stones.  © Provided by Cover Media Eating fruit and veggies can prevent stones. 

Kidney Stones sound like a mythical illness but in reality they affect many people aged between 30 and 60. The proper medical term for stones in the kidneys is nephrolithiasis and they can sometimes cause a lot of pain, referred to as renal colic.

They're formed when waste products in the blood form crystals in the kidneys, which eventually build up to form stones. A few reasons behind them are not drinking enough water, taking particular medications or having a condition which affects different levels in your urine.

Your body's natural instinct is to pass the stones through urine, resulting in them travelling through the kidneys, kidney tubes and eventually the bladder.

To sum this up simply; kidney stones aren't the most pleasant things to have building up inside your body. If you want to prevent them read on for some diet recommendations.

Shape.com suggest eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre will immediately lower your risks of getting kidney stones, which is backed up by a study featured in The Journal of Urology. Women who tucked into the above are up to 22 per cent less likely to develop the culprits and you too can jump on board by adding around 12 grams of fibre and two portions of fruits and vegetables to your plate every day. You can find fibre in foods such as seeds, pulses and black beans.

That's not to say ALL fruits and vegetables will help though. Some are full of oxalates, compounds which can form what are known as calcium oxalate kidney stones when joined with calcium. These include spinach, rhubarb and beetroot, as well as other foods such as nuts, chocolate and tea. This doesn't mean you should cut them out entirely but definitely reduce your intake, especially if you've suffered from kidney stones before. Remember you can always talk to your doctor about any diet queries you have regarding kidney stones.

Protein is a great way to strengthen your body, but overdoing it can increase the amount of acid in your urine and encourage the growth of kidney stones. This was discovered from an experiment at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and while researchers didn't note how much was too much, it's better to be safe than sorry. Protein powder is something you should definitely keep at a low level if you use it.

And finally, as mentioned above, kidney stones can be caused by dehydration so keep your water levels high. Whether you drink it in its natural form or with cordial, just keep gulping. It's not guaranteed you will avoid kidney stones entirely if you do so, some people are just more prone than others, but it will certainly reduce your chances.

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