Kidney stones more prevalent in men, can be avoided

Kidney stones are twice as common in males than females and although sometimes genetic, they may be avoided through adopting a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Kidney stones develop when urine contains high levels of crystal-forming substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid, resulting in a hard mass known as a kidney stone.

There are four types of kidney stones:

  • Calcium stones
  • Struvite stones
  • Uric acid stones
  • Cystine stones

In some cases, urine may also lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, resulting in kidney stones. A lack of water and an unbalanced diet comprising too little calcium and too much oxalate may also lead to kidney stones.

High oxalate levels are found in a host of common foods which should be consumed in moderation to avoid kidney stones.

Dr GF Duvenage of The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, said kidney stones are treated regularly at the hospital. Treatment includes endoscopic management with laser or conservative management.

He said common symptoms included severe lower back pain, nausea and vomiting, chills and/or fever and frequent urination.

“If you experience these symptoms, consult your doctor or urologist immediately for the appropriate treatment,” he said.

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