(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Stone disease affects about nine per cent of the population worldwide, says Dr Anil Ramachandran, Specialist Urologist, Zulekha Hospital, Dubai.
According to studies, someone who has had one stone episode has an almost 50 per cent chance of developing another stone within five years. In recurrent stone formation, many patients suffer from multiple colic episodes and may have been on long term medications, some even undergoing multiple surgical procedures.
Although numerous studies have been conducted to find out why some people tend to form recurrent stones, there is so much individual variation and so many factors responsible that it remains difficult to find one cure that will benefit all.
"We, however, do have options now to assess each person for possible causes for recurrence and treat them individually," he added. First and most important, as you would have probably heard enough, is to ensure an adequate intake of water. Note: it is water, not fluids since some fluids like cola and tea can actually increase your risk.
Also, more important is the actual amount of urine which you pass. "You may be drinking what you think is adequate water but as long as your urine is high-coloured or the volume is low, it's still not enough. You need to take enough water to be passing about two to 2 liters of urine a day."
Dietary oxalates should be reduced since the most common stone is a combination of calcium with oxalate. Oxalate is found in large amounts in chocolate, nuts, spinach, beets and tea so it will be worthwhile to cut down or avoid these altogether.
Reducing your salt intake helps to reduce calcium levels in the urine. Reducing animal protein in the diet reduces the risk of the two commonest stone forms - calcium oxalate as well as uric acid. Other helpful hints include maintaining a healthy weight and reducing fat intake, since obesity is linked to increased stone disease.
Importantly, do not restrict your calcium intake since calcium in the diet is important to prevent the absorption of oxalate from your intestine.
If you have adhered to all these and still ended up with a stone, then you may need to go in for further tests to identify some conditions in the kidney as well as other organs responsible for stone recurrence.
Do not get too worried even if you do form small recurrent stones. Most of these are harmless, do not cause any significant damage to the kidney and usually pass out by themselves.