Kidney stones—yikes! When you hear about them from someone who has experienced them, they sound extremely unpleasant. They cause lots of pain and discomfort, and oftentimes it’s really a tough waiting game before they go away.
Do you know much else about them, though, like how they’re caused or what they’re even made of? Our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team provides some helpful info about kidney stones below, so keep reading!
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard objects that are made up of chemicals found in urine.
Many types of bodily wastes dissolve in urine, and when there’s too much waste in too little urine, crystals begin to form. Those crystals then attract more waste, which ultimately ends up becoming a kidney stone that will need to be passed out of the body with urine. We’ve listed the most common kidney stone symptoms below.
Common Kidney Stone Symptoms
- Severe pain on either side of your lower back
- More vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
- Blood in the urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
Are Kidney Stones Preventable?
Yes, they are. The best way to prevent kidney stones is to stay adequately hydrated. Drinking lots of water—usually, enough to keep urine clear throughout the day—helps the urinary system filter out waste and lower the risk of developing crystals that turn into kidney stones.
We’ve listed a few more effective prevention tactics below.
Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
- Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods. Oxalates can be bad for the urinary system, due to the fact that they can bind to minerals in the gut and prevent the body from absorbing them. This, in turn, can cause kidney stones. If you are more susceptible to urinary tract problems, consider limiting foods rich in oxalates. These include rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, chocolate, black pepper and soy products.
- Choose a diet low in salt. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Eating healthy fruits and veggies makes urine less acidic, which makes stones less able to form.
We’re here for you seven days a week! Don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC center today if you need non-emergency care.