Don’t go diagnosing yourself if you have an unpleasant pain down there, especially if it burns when you have to urinate. Kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTI) can mimic similar unpleasant symptoms in your body.
So if you have been dreading and struggling to head to the bathroom here’s what you need to know about kidney stones. Researchers estimate that 1 in 10 people will get kidney stones in their lifetime and they can affect both men and women. Kidney stones are stone-like masses that form in one or both of the kidneys. They form when the urine contains crystal-like substances (such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid) that fail to dilute themselves.
If you have kidney stones, you may experience severe back, stomach, side pain or blood may appear within your urine. The blood in your urine can vary in color and you may see pink, red or brown. You may also experience fever or chills or feel like you want to vomit and when you do go use the bathroom you may experience a soul-burning sensation that would make you believe you are going to meet your maker soon.
Don’t battle kidney stones alone! If you prolong not seeing a physician and if they are left untreated, you may continue to have them and it ultimately could lead to a UTI and kidney failure. Don’t be embarrassed, get help because your condition will only get worse and not better. If you feel like you’re about to literally die when your urine is flowing, seek medical attention immediately.
Your doctor may do blood, urine and imaging tests along with an analysis of the already passed stones to diagnose you with kidney stones. Once you have received your diagnosis, your physician may prescribe medication, antibiotics or perform surgery to remove the kidney stones depending on the severity of your situation.
Now let’s talk about how you can prevent these soul burning, “Oh, my goodness it burns really bad down there,” kidney stones from recurring! I cannot stress enough the importance of drinking plenty of water. You have to make sure you’re getting water in your body and the amount you drink is determined by where you live especially if you reside in an area where it is hot, humid or dry. The temperature or season, your weight, lifestyle, diet, how active you are, your health and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding may also have an influence on how much water you need.
Many of these lifestyle factors come into play and if you need guidance on how much water you should be drinking to stay healthy speak with your doctor and they can advise you on what is an acceptable amount. But let’s just be honest, almost everyone can drink more water and a simple self-observation can reveal if you need more.
After you have increased your water intake to prevent kidney stones, take notice of what you’re eating and limit the amount of sodium, animal proteins and oxalates-rich foods within your diet. Low oxalate foods are leafy greens and legumes. But if you are prone to get kidney stones when you eat the rich oxalate foods, substitute your diet for low oxalate alternatives instead such as: