Kidney stone is a condition in which the minerals and salts gets accumulated in an individual’s urine and crystallizes. The stones found in the kidneys are usually calcium stones. There are other types of stones that contain struvite, uric acid and cysteine stones.
If a person has a kidney stone, then he/she will experience mild to severe pain. The symptoms of a kidney stone are similar to that of indigestion and urinary tract infection. Hence, it’s common to confuse mild stomach pain with that of a kidney stone.
The following are 9 common myths associated with kidney stones:
- Poor quality of water
If an individual stays hydrated, then the chances of developing kidney stones are comparatively less. But it is also important to make sure that the patient does not have any other metabolic abnormality related to stone disease. Drinking mineral water can be beneficial due to the calcium and magnesium particles present in it. Filtered water at home is also a good source of water, as it shows an effect on preventing stone formation.
- Prolonged immobility
Prolonged immobility may or may not be the cause of a kidney stone. If a person is bedridden and immobile for a long time, then the chances of stone formation are higher. There are other cases where the patient is physically active to a large extent, but fails to stay sufficiently hydrated. This also increases the risk of stone formation. Hence, physical activity to a limited extent and maintaining a hydrated body can drastically reduce the level of risk.
- Removal of kidney stones should be done
Not all kidney stones are required to be removed. A kidney stone can be removed after taking into consideration its size, composition, anatomical location, symptoms and lab parameters of the patient. Generally, physicians will be able to tell if treatment is required for kidney stones. Usually, small stones come out naturally, or with the help of medications. Intervention is required if the stone is larger, obstructive, or causes changes in renal parameters or infection. The treatment is determined by several factors. Some stones can be crushed using non-surgical treatments such as ESWL, in which an ultrasound ray is directed towards the kidney stone to crush it. The rest of the stones can be removed via endoscopy, which is a less invasive procedure.
- Milk or milk products should be avoided
Oxalates that found in dairy products can lead to the development of certain types of kidney stones that may increase if dietary calcium is fully stopped or reduced. As a result, milk or milk products should be consumed in moderation to neutralize dietary oxalates.
- Kidney stones cause Stomach Pain
Kidney stones are more like a contraction, and the pain can be more severe than child labor for some people. Though the discomfort might range from a stabbing sensation to menstrual cramp-like pain, it is not the same as a “stomach ache.”
- Kidney stones Are caused by drinking soda
The phosphoric acid in some sodas may be the cause of kidney stones, but not all sodas contain this acid. Therefore, this statement is only partially true. Another problem with soda is that it contains caffeine, which acts as a diuretic. This raises the salt concentration of the urine, which encourages kidney stones to form. So, drinking a soda is good, but following it up with an equal amount of water to reduce the concentration is also important.
- The source of pain is in the lower back
After the stone enters the ureter, the discomfort will usually be felt just below the abdomen. The ureter is funnel-shaped, but it narrows as it approaches the bladder. The pain due to a kidney stone is similar to getting a rock through a straw, which is why it hurts so much. An organ with a large number of nerve endings causes intense pain when it is irritated. The stones obstruct urine flow, causing urine to back up in the kidney and spill out. This results in nausea and pain beyond anything else.
- Cranberry juice is good for kidney stones
Cranberry juice is an excellent choice for patients who want to avoid a urinary tract infection. It thickens the urine and flushes out accumulated particles, preventing the onset of infections. However, a kidney stone always makes the situation worse. Cranberries are high in oxalate, which can cause kidney stones. Skipping cranberry juice is the best choice to avoid kidney stone symptoms.
- Olive oil can help in passing a stone
Consuming olive oil and lemon juice will assist the kidney stone to pass more quickly and painlessly. Olive oil is thought to have lubricating properties. There is no scientific evidence to back up this traditional treatment. However, some drugs can help to clear the stone.
What are the diet recommendations for kidney stones?
For the kidney stones to dissolve or disappear on their own, the following kidney stone diet can prove to be helpful:
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
- Consume limited foods that contain high oxalate content
- Avoid extra calcium supplements
- Have a small amount of protein
- Avoid high salt intake
- Try not to consume too many Vitamins C supplements