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The Fastest And Least Painful Way To Pass A Kidney Stone
Some people, myself included, get kidney stones every few years and have learned to deal with the unpleasant events on their own terms without having to seek medical attention. Most incidents last only a few hours and in some extreme cases for several days, but it is entirely up to the individual as to how best to manage these situations based on their own pain threshold, tolerance and motivation to avoid associated medical costs. This article is intended for those who wish to treat their kidney stones themselves and is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be medical advice, but rather a description of my own experience with them. We recommend that you consult with a licensed health care provider before attempting to implement anything that may affect your health.
As the body processes food for energy and tissue repair, it takes what it needs and directs all the waste products from the bloodstream to the kidneys for elimination through the urine stream. Kidney stones usually form in people when certain substances in the urine are too concentrated, such as phosphorus, calcium and oxalate. When kidney stones form, people often feel them initially as a pain or pressure in the kidney region of the back that progresses to an ache and eventually becomes severe back pain as the stone moves through the urethra It has often been said that the pain of kidney stones is the closest a man can feel to the pains of labor and delivery, so ladies maybe there is some justice in the world after all.
Basically, there are four main types of kidney stones, according to their chemical composition:
1. Uric acid stones – The body forms these types of stones when the urine is constantly acidic. Diets high in purines, substances found in animal proteins such as fish, meats and shellfish, tend to increase uric acid in the urine. When uric acid builds up in the urine, it can lodge in the kidney to form a stone by itself or with calcium. High uric acid in the urine has also been linked to the cause of gout.
2. Calcium stones – They are the most common type of kidney stones and come in two forms: calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate. Calcium phosphate stones are created by the combination of high urinary calcium and alkaline (high pH) urine. Calcium oxalate stones are much more common. They are usually formed by high calcium excretion and high oxalate excretion. Health care professionals often suggest that people with these types of stones eliminate as many foods high in phosphates and oxalates from their diet.
3. Cystine stones – These types of kidney stones are the result of a genetic disorder that causes cystine to escape through the kidneys and into the urine, forming crystals that accumulate to form stones.
4. Estuvite stones – This type of kidney stones result from kidney infections. People who can remove infected stones from their urinary tract and stay free of infection can usually eliminate or reduce additional cases.
The vast majority of kidney stones are small and can be passed in the urine. Your doctor may recommend reducing the burden on your kidneys by drinking more fluids, especially water. He may also recommend taking a diuretic to increase urine flow. The stones dissolve in the excess fluid and are then easily removed with the urine stream. Drinking a few beers has even been known to help. Generally six to eight glasses of water are needed per day consumed at regular intervals. If your urine is pale yellow in color, it indicates that you are consuming an adequate amount of water.
People with kidney stones are in so much pain that they often lie down and wait for nature to take its course; however, this is not a good idea. Movement and activity are better options to speed up the passage of a kidney stone. I’ve actually gone for walks, used my bike, and used a rowing machine to create extra movement in the back muscles and tissues around the kidney area once I feel it coming on. If the stone is the size of a grain of rice, for example, it will take several hours to pass through the ureter, and any exercise helps speed up the process.
While increasing fluid intake, it is equally important to avoid foods that restrict or decrease urine flow, such as caffeine. Beverages such as coffee tend to dehydrate the body and reduce urine production and flow, while encouraging the formation of new stones due to concentrated urine.
Large kidney stones may require surgery or ultrasound removal, which uses blasts of sound to break them into smaller pieces. Before expensive medical procedures are used, however, many kidney stones can be chemically dissolved with tartaric acid from lemons and grapefruit. Make strong lemonade without sugar or sweetener, using one real lemon per quart. To this mixture, add diet cranberry juice for flavor and drink as much as possible. This drink will break down kidney stones in a few hours and speed up their passage with less pain.
For pain relief, you can take aspirin, acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter pain relievers along with a nice long hot shower every twelve hours. If the shower head has a pulse action setting, use it directly on the kidney area with as much hot water as you can tolerate. Massage the kidneys for at least ten minutes with this procedure and the movement will widen the urethra and relieve some of the pain. After the hot shower, use a vibrating massager on the kidneys for at least thirty minutes, and then apply an electric heat pad to the kidneys for several hours.
It is essential to identify what type of kidney stones you have, in order to be able to develop procedures to prevent the formation of future events. Every time you urinate, be sure to do so through a strainer or filter attached to the toilet. An old pair of stockings wrapped inside a milk jug, or any other wide-mouthed bottle, can also be used for this purpose. Once you’ve caught the kidney stone, put it in a plastic bag or used prescription container and bring it to your doctor. He will be able to send it to a laboratory and analyze its composition and prescribe a treatment to eliminate future kidney stones.
Typical treatment recommendations based on the specific type of kidney stone include the following procedures:
Calcium oxalate stones
- reduce animal proteins, such as processed meats, eggs and fish
- get enough calcium from an adequate diet or take calcium supplements with food. People who form calcium oxalate stones should include 800 mg of calcium in their diet each day, not only to prevent kidney stones, but also to maintain adequate bone density.
- avoid foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, asparagus, grapes, almonds, rhubarb, nuts, wheat bran, and cinnamon apple cider.
- reduce sodium and eat more potassium from bananas. This is a good strategy. Reducing sodium intake from salt is preferable to reducing calcium intake from milk and dairy products.
Calcium phosphate stones
- reduce animal proteins and purines in your diet
- get enough calcium from your diet or take calcium supplements with your food.
- reduce sodium and ingest more potassium as noted above
- According to the US Department of Agriculture, the US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for sodium is 2,300 milligrams (mg), but the average American intake is about 3,400 mg. The risk of kidney stones increases proportionally with the increase in daily sodium consumption.
Uric acid stones
- limit animal protein
- ask your doctor to prescribe medication with allopurinol, or similar
Staying properly hydrated every day is the best strategy to help prevent most types of kidney stone formation. Health professionals and sports coaches generally recommend that people drink 2 to 3 liters of fluid per day, enough to create at least 2 liters of urine per day. People with cystine stones should drink even more. Although water is best, other liquids can also help prevent kidney stones, such as citrus drinks that contain tartaric acid and, surprisingly, beer. Now you can tell people when you’re enjoying your next beer that you’re actually just taking your medicine. it works for me
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