Kidneys are one of the essential parts of our body. Kidney’s most crucial function is to remove wastes. It maintains the level of minerals and electrolytes in the body. For this process to take place smoothly, our body needs the right amount of water intake. Too less water or excess water, both can cause disbalance in its functioning. A common saying is that our body needs 2 liters of water every day. But one should not stick to that because everyone’s body, the surrounding temperature, level of physical activity is different. For example, an athlete sweats more, so the amount of water eliminating from his body is more than a normal person who works in an office. Similarly, people living in warm regions would need more water than those who live in colder areas as their perspiration levels are different.
Water helps our body to function properly. It dissolves all the waste and kidney filters it to form urine which is thrown out of the body. Dehydration disturbs the working of kidneys. Frequent dehydration can damage the kidneys permanently. It concentrates the urine hence making the urine yellowish. Whenever one notices yellowness, they should increase their water intake. On the concentration of urine, the minerals present in the urine, like Calcium, oxalate, and uric acid get accumulated and start crystalizing, leading to the formation of “stones.” These stones block the outlet of kidney making it difficult and painful to pass urine. Usually, these stone can be removed from the body along with the urine with the help of some medicines. It is a painful process. Some bigger stones may not pass along with the urine. This can result in urinary tract infection as well. To remove the bigger stones, surgery might be required.
How To Prevent the Formation Of Kidney Stones
- The most recognized and accepted way of preventing the formation of stones is drinking an adequate amount of water. Drinking water keeps the levels of minerals balanced in the urine, maintain their concentration, resulting in regular elimination from the body. Drinking clean water is also essential because the presence of unwanted pollutants in water can cause dangerous diseases. So, installing an effective water purification system at home and workplace is as necessary as drinking water!
- Most kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones. Oxalate is naturally found in food that we eat. Consuming foods that have high oxalate content and dietary supplement with high levels of vitamin D can cause a concentration of Calcium and oxalate in the urine. So, people who have a family history of kidneys stones should have these foods in a limited amount. If a person develops kidney stones once, then the tendency to have it again increases. They should be careful with their diet and water intake.
- Less fluid intake, high amount of protein in the diet, and genetic factors can lead to high uric acid levels in the body. Red meat, organ meat, and shellfish have a high concentration of purines, which results in the production of uric acid. It makes the urine more acidic hence disturbing the pH balance of urine. High uric acid can become one of the reasons for the formation of stones in the kidney. These stones are called uric acid stones. Uric acid levels should be periodically checked and kept under control. Obesity and diabetes also tend to increase the uric acid level in the body.
- In some cases, certain infections in the body, like urinary tract infection, give rise to Struvite kidney stones. They are usually formed by a kind of bacteria which is formed during this kind of infection in the tract. These bacteria break down urea present in the urine to form ammonia which crystallizes to form a stone. These stones usually grow very quickly in size. They are dangerous because they are generally asymptomatic and come without any warning. So urinary tract infection should not be taken lightly and should be adequately treated.
- Digestive diseases, chronic diarrhea, or surgeries related to gastric issues can cause a change in the natural digestion process. They can reduce the body’s capacity to absorb minerals like Calcium and oxalate. And the deposition of these two minerals causes the formation of stones. People with this kind of history should be careful and take measures to keep their kidney healthy.
Drinking too much water causes dilution of sodium level in one’s body and leading to “hyponatremia.” Abnormally low level of sodium in the body leads to this condition. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it regulates the level of water around our cells. In this case, the cells absorb more water and swell up. This is a dangerous situation. It is essential to drink water to keep our kidneys healthy, but drinking too much water can land us up into worse situation.
Eating right and staying active keeps our kidneys healthy as they don’t let us become obese. Practices like smoking and consumption of alcohol are not good for kidneys. Avoiding frequent intake of over the counter medicines is also recommended for maintaining the well being of our kidneys.
Kidneys are an essential part of our body. They should be taken care of for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.