How to Prevent Kidney Stones
Having a kidney stone is an unforgettable experience because the pain associated with urinating can be really unbearable. Just imagine passing the stone from your kidneys through your narrow ureters and to your urethra. Some people who have had kidney stones are likely to have it again.
Preventing kidney stones from developing is easy but you have to be dedicated if you really want your kidneys to be healthy.
Some chemicals in our diet become too concentrated that they form to become crystals, which can develop into bigger stones. These stones can get stuck in the urinary tract and block the normal flow of urine. This causes pain and discomfort.
Stones develop when the calcium mixes with either phosphorous or oxalate. They need to be removed because these stones can also result to the formation of uric acid and eventually gout.
So for you to prevent kidney stone formation, you must put a stop to the conditions that support its development.
You can do so by following these tips:
Drink Lots of Water
By drinking plenty of water, you dilute the chemicals in the urine that forms stones. Make it a habit to consume at least 2 liters of water. You can alternate water with orange juice or lemonade as the citrate in these drinks helps in blocking the formation of stones.
Get Enough Calcium
When your diet has only a little calcium in it, it can lead to high levels of oxalate in your urine and promote kidney stone formation. To avoid this, it would be best to know your dietary calcium requirement for your age.
Generally, you can acquire calcium from your diet but if this is not possible, you can take calcium supplements. Just make sure that you also get 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption. Calcium must be fully absorbed your body because calcium supplements have been shown to be associated with kidney stone formation.
Slow Down on Sodium Intake
If you are prone to have kidney stones, it is best to adhere to a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to increased levels of calcium in the urine. Guidelines recommend that daily sodium intake must be limited to 2,300 milligrams. If you have had sodium-related kidney stones before, limit your intake to 1,500 milligrams per day.
Cut Down on Animal Protein
Red meats, seafood, poultry and eggs contribute to increased levels of uric acid that may lead to stone formation. Studies have also shown that consumption of high-protein diet results to reduced levels of citrate.
If you cannot absolutely avoid animal proteins, try to consume less of it. If possible, it should be only about the size of a standard playing card. By doing this, you are not only preventing kidney stone formation but you are also promoting a healthy heart.
Stop Consuming Stone-Forming Foods
This is something basic. You don’t want stones to form so stop consuming food items that would form it. Chocolates, tea, beets, spinach, nuts and rhubarb are all food items rich in phosphate. If you have had stones in the past, your physician would most likely advise you to stay away from these foods.
If you have no history of kidney stones, you can limit your intake of the said items. Recent studies claim that men have higher risk of developing kidney stones if they consume high doses of vitamin C supplements. This is due to the body’s natural process of converting the vitamin to oxalate that triggers stone formation.
If you believe you are suffering from kidney stones, it is highly suggested to visit your physician so you can be screened and advised accordingly.