Diet for Bladder Stones
Bladder stones can quietly exist for long periods, then suddenly make themselves known with some dramatic, disturbing symptoms. Although they are highly painful, bladder stones are easily treated and do not leave any lasting damage in the bladder. These formations may be caused and prevented by diet and lifestyle.
About Bladder Stones
According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics site, "Bladder stones are crystal masses made from the minerals and proteins found in urine." These stones form while urine is passing through the urinary tract, but remain in the bladder after urine passes through. Any person is capable of having hundreds of stones in their bladder at one time.
In most cases, bladder stones begin as calcium salts. As the salts pass through a constant stream of urine, they collect more molecules and become larger. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics site states that these stones can grow to over an inch in diameter. Bladder stones may be secondary to kidney and urinary tract infections. All of these disorders may be directly caused by diet.
Bladder stones can cause no symptoms whatsoever, but in most cases cause extreme difficulty with urination. Stones can get lodged in the space between the bladder and urethra and effectively block urine from exiting the body. If this blockage is complete, the bladder may swell and overflow. Bladder stones cause pain and stuttering urine streams, as well as blood clots and blood in the urine.
Diet and Bladder Stones
According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics site, diet and fluid intake are the most important factors in causing bladder stones. Diets that are high in calcium and protein may cause bladder stones. Lack of fluid intake also seems to increase the chances of bladder stone formation. Lifestyle factors such as incomplete elimination of urine and holding the urine for extended periods of time also contribute.
Dietary Changes for Prevention
When bladder stones are treated, one of the most important aspects is increased water intake. Anyone prone to bladder stones should drink more fluid. Research shows that bladder stones are more likely in people who are consistently dehydrated. Prevention or treatment of kidney or urinary tract infections with increased amounts of water and supplements such as cranberry juice can also reduce the chance of bladder stones.