>Urinary Tract Health

>Today, because I personally know people who struggle with kidney problems, I will provide some information on the causes, and treatments available.

Kidney stones is a good place to start! Many people have had this problem, and they say it is really painful.
Stones ( calculi) are hard masses that form anywhere in the uninary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, obstruction of the flow of urine, or an infection ( or all of these!)

Tiny stones may cause no symptoms but larger stones can cause excruciating pain in the area between the ribs and hips
How are they Diagnosed?

Usually an imaging test and an analysis of urine are done to diagnose stones
Sometimes, stones formation can be prevented by a change in diet
Stones that do not pass on their own are removed by lithotripsy or an endoscope technique
Depending on where a stone is found it is a kidney stone, uretral stone or bladder stone.

Every year about  1 out of 1,000 adults in the US is hospitalized because of stones!

Stones may form because the urine becomes too saturated with salts that can form stones or because the urine lacks the normal inhibitors of stone formation.

About 80% of people have calcium stones and the remainder are uric acid, cystine and struvite.
Stones are common in people whose diet is high in protein or Vitamin C or do not consume enough water or calcium
People who have a family history of stone formation are likely to have calcium stones and to have them more often.
Drinking large amounts of fluids 8-10 ten ounce glasses a day. (300ml)
Many people have a acondition called  hypercalciuria, in which excess calcium is excreted in the urine. In this case- a diet low in sodium and high in potassium may be the key!

Calcium intake should be normal. ( many people think they should limit their calcium because the stones are made of calcium, this is not true, you should comsume foods that have calcuim)
1,000-1,500 mg day.
Restricting dietary protein may help.  Red meat should be eliminated from the diet to reduce the risk of stone fromation
Thiazide diuretics such as chlorthalidone or indapamide have been used to reduce the concentration of calcium in the urine, and help prevent the formation of of new stones in some people.
Potassium citrate may be give to increase a low unrine leve of citrate, a substance that inhibits calcium stone formation
If a person with calcium stones has a high level of oxalate in their urine, the need to stay away from foods with high oxalate: nuts, cocoa, spinach, rubarb, pepper and tea.
A low oxalate, low fat diet may help to reduce urinary oxalate in some people.
For stones made of uric acid, a diet low in red meat is also recommended.

Taken in part from: The Merck Manual: Home Health Handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ. Merck Research Laboratories