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Why am I having frequent formation of kidney stones?

Q: I am 20 years old and suffering from a kidney problem from the past 7 years. When I was 13, I suffered with severe kidney pain and was diagnosed with a small stone in my left kidney. The stone passed through urine within one month. Even after that I felt pain in both the kidneys several times. But it was not very severe. After 2 years, I observed small stones passing through the urine. And later a big stone passed with terrible pain. From the past 8 months, small stones up to the size of a dot pass through urine every two months. And recently a bigger stone had passed. I take all precautions and drink mineral water. But, even then there is frequent formation of stones. I have been suffering from constipation for the past ten years and I know that this is the reason for my kidney problems. But what is the cause of frequent kidney stones? In the past 4 months I have got 6-7 red (blood like) spots on my body. Are they dangerous or a symptom of some disease?

A:You have tendency to form recurrent stones. This deserves thorough evaluation to determine what kind of stone you tend to form and why are you a stone former? This will include 24 hour urine tests and certain blood tests like serum calcium levels, uric acid, kidney function etc. You must see a stone specialist or kidney specialist for this matter who then will advise you if using certain medications may decrease the chances of having recurrent stones. In the mean time, you can take certain general steps towards preventing kidney stones: Drinking 12 full glasses of water a day (If your kidneys are healthy and your kidney tests are reported normal). Drinking lots of water helps to flush away the substances that form stones in the kidneys. You can also drink ginger ale, lemon-lime sodas, and fruit juices. But water is perhaps best. Having enough water in your body will help to reduce the concentration of calcium in the fluid that your kidney filters. High concentrations of calcium and oxalate, phosphate or other minerals are needed to form stones. Another approach to preventing kidney stones in adults is to eat calcium rich foods and avoid oxalates. This works in two ways 1) Reducing the amount of oxalate available 2) If calcium is present in the diet with oxalate, then calcium and oxalate bind in the intestine. This way, less calcium and oxalate enter the blood so that oxalates are not available to bind with calcium in the kidney. You should not use calcium supplements unless you talk to your doctor. Very high intakes of sodium and protein may increase the tendency of developing kidney stones. You should use little salt in cooking or at the table and avoid many high sodium processed foods. See the low-sodium diet section for more details. Most people should have 2 portions of protein foods per day. The portions should be about the size of a deck of cards. High Oxalate Foods to be Avoided If you avoid the foods listed below you can reduce your oxalate intake. If you eat a large amount of foods on this list, eating less may be helpful. Chocolate, tea, spinach, beet tops, peanuts, almonds and pecans. High Calcium Foods to Choose Many other foods may be good sources of calcium, but those listed below are sources that are commonly available and many people may like to use.

  • Dairy Products
  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese

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