Kidney stones are small hard deposits of mineral and acid salts inside the kidneys. They can cause debilitating pain in the stomach, flank or groin besides blood in the urine. Kidney stones occur when the minerals start to crystallize due to the concentrated urine.
In a recent case in China, doctors removed 420 kidney stones from a man's body. The high concentration of gypsum tofu, a popular local food in the man’s diet, was said to be the reason for unusually high number of stones. Tofu contains calcium sulphate in substantial quantity and cannot be expelled from the body without enough intake of water.
Most kidney stones are commonly formed of combination of calcium with oxalate or phosphate. Chemical compounds such as uric acid, magnesium ammonium phosphate and amino acid cysteine along with dehydration increase the risk of development of kidney stones.
Kidney stones do not show any symptoms until it moves around in the kidney or pass into the ureter. The following are the warning signs of kidney stones.
Smaller kidney stones may go unnoticed as they may pass easily from the urine while larger stones may cause irritation by stretching the ureter when they move into the bladder. The larger stones may even block the urine flow causing excruciating pain or sometimes may remain lodged in the kidney.
The risk factors for kidney stones that you should be wary of are as follows.
Avoid sugar: A diet high in sugar can interfere with calcium and magnesium absorption. The consumption of unhealthy sugars and soda is one of the reasons behind formation of kidney stones. Moreover, sugar can cause pathological changes in your kidney, and might contribute to kidney problems such as the formation of kidney stones.
Avoid non-fermented soy: Soybeans and soy-based foods may promote kidney stones owing to the high levels of oxalates which bind with calcium in your kidney to form kidney stones. Unfermented soy foods such as soy milk, soy burgers, soy ice-cream and even tofu increase the risk for kidney stones.
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