If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you know the excruciating discomfort hat can accompany these mineral deposits when they try to pass through the urinary tract. Unfortunately, it is common for individuals to suffer from recurring kidney stones. In fact, once you’ve had one kidney stone, you are 50% more likely to get another within the next 10 years!
While there is not a guaranteed way to prevent kidney stones, there are some things you can do to lessen your risk. Beyond medications and lifestyle changes, there are certain dietary habits that can help you avoid the dreaded discomfort of a kidney stone.
The following simple adjustments to your diet are an excellent way to prevent kidney stones naturally:
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! When you drink more water, your urine becomes less concentrated. This makes it easier to dissolve the urine salts that cause kidney stones. In addition to extra glasses of water each day, consider beverages with citrates, such as lemonade and orange juice. Stay away from soft drinks and sweet tea.
Get More Calcium. Many kidney stones are called calcium stones. However, this isn’t because you’ve consumed too much calcium. In fact, you’ll need to increase your calcium intake to help prevent these types of kidney stones. In addition to calcium supplements, you may want to add low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese to your diet.
Lighten Up on Sodium. It is proven that a high-salt diet can contribute to kidney stones. Large amounts of sodium can inhibit calcium from being reabsorbed from your urine to your blood, which leads to high urine calcium and kidney stones. Watch your sodium intake carefully, especially when it comes to processed foods.
Limit Oxalate-Rich Foods. Oxalate is a compound that binds with calcium in the urine to form a kidney stone. Therefore, it is important to eat fewer amounts of the foods and drinks that contain oxalate, which include spinach, chocolate, sweet potatoes, coffee, peanuts and wheat bran.
Reduce Animal Protein. It is helpful to keep your urine acids low if you want to prevent kidney stones. Animal proteins, such as those from beef, poultry, fish and pork, can increase the acidity of the urine and contribute to both uric acid and calcium oxalate kidney stones.
At the office of Dr. Brent Michael, we want to help you avoid the unbearable discomfort of having a kidney stone. Kidney stones can often be treated at home, but surgical treatment is sometimes necessary. Most importantly, we work with patients to establish lifestyle and dietary habits that reduce the risk of kidney stones. If these changes are not enough, we can also recommend preventative medication depending on the specific type of kidney stones that you are prone to. Call our Santa Monica clinic today to learn more.