When the doctor informs you that you have stones in your kidney or gallbladder, the typical reaction it evokes is panic. Though you have been suffering from excruciating and unbearable pain for a long time, the idea of having stones inside your body is not exactly a happy feeling.
Stones are small crystallized formation which mainly occurs in the kidney, along with urinary tract in the urethra, bladder, and urethra or in gallbladder. The common causes of stones in the body are-
1. Drinking less water
2. High cholesterol levels in your liver
3. Overconcentration of bile in the gallbladder
About 30% of the world population suffers from kidney stones and about 10% have stones in their gallbladder.
Myths vs Facts-
1. Drinking cranberry juice will help eliminate kidney stones: Doctors say that though cranberry juice helps cure urinary tract infections, it will certainly make the condition of kidney stones worse. Cranberry is high in oxalate and stimulates the growth of further stones. The correct treatment is drinking six to eight glasses of water every day to increase urine flow for the stones to pass out from your system. Also drinking citrus juice every day can prevent stone formation.
2. Prolonged immobility increases the risk of stone formation: This is true as more physically active you are, the lower your chances are of having stones. One should always engage in moderate physical activity and keep in mind to replace the fluid loss that happens through sweating by drinking water and juices.
3. Calcium intake aggravates the problem of renal stones: A commonly believed rumor, that stone formation in the body and high levels of calcium in the body are inter-related. This is mostly because, most of the stones that are removed from the body and analyzed contain 75% calcium. However, this is not the reality. Drinking a glass of milk or yogurt with food intake rich in magnesium helps bind the oxalate in the digestive tract and prevents stone formation. Lower levels of oxalate increase the risk of stone formation.
4. Apple cider vinegar helps you dissolve bladder stones: It is a high source of calcium, potassium, malic and acetic acid, but it does not control the pH level of the body. Rather it causes an imbalance in the acid formation in the body. A common misconception is that most people who have gallstones suffer from acidity. However, this is not true. Gallstones occur when you don’t eat properly or take high fat containing diet. Over 95% people who have stones in the gallbladder have a minimum of 2-hour gap between the time they wake up and do breakfast. Over 40% of people with gallstones skip breakfast and over 60% eat a very late dinner. As this routine continues until the next day, the body starts releasing acids in your stomach, causing headaches.
5. Stone formation is entirely hereditary: This myth has propagated from the false notion that the probability of developing stones inside the body is hereditary. Stones formation in the bladder and kidney is largely based on dietary and lifestyle habits of an individual. This myth makes people more ignorant about this disease and it has also compounded the fact that those with family history of stones have a 2.5% more risk.
6. Medicines can break or dissolve the renal stones: There is no medicine which can break or dissolve the renal stones. Medicines only help in flushing the stone out from the system.
7. Misconceptions about certain foods as cause of stone formation: Balanced diet is more important in preventing stone formation than avoidance of any particular food item. Plenty of oral fluids, help in diluting and washing away of early stone formations, resulting in prevention of stone.