Can kidney stones be prevented?
Rather than having to go for treatment, it is best to avoid kidney stones in the first place when possible. It is be especially helpful to drink more water, since low fluid intake or dehydration are major risk factors for kidney stones formation.
5 steps for preventing kidney stones
If you have ever had a kidney stones, you surely remember it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the tiny kidney stones pass through the urinary plumbing and out of the body. For many people, kidney stones are not a one-time thing, rather in about half of people who have had one; another appears within 7 years without preventive measures.
Preventing kidney stones is not that complicated, but it does take some determination. Kidney stones are formed, when certain chemicals gets concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. The crystals grow into larger mass (stones), which can make way through the urinary tract. It causes pain, if the stone gets stuck somewhere and blocks the flow of urine.
Most kidney stones occur when calcium combines with one of two substances: either oxalate or phosphorous. Kidney stones can also form from uric acid, which are formed as the body metabolizes protein.
Kidney stones prevention means preventing the conditions that support their formation. Here are the recommendations:
Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra amount of water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to kidney stones formation. Strive to drink fluids to pass 2 liters of urine per day, which is roughly 8 – ounce cups. It helps to include some citrus beverages (lemonade and orange juice). The citrate in these beverages helps in blocking kidney stones formation.
Get the calcium you need: Getting little calcium in your diet can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause kidney stones. To prevent this, take appropriate amount of it as pe your age. Ideally, obtain calcium from foods, as some studies have linked taking calcium supplements to kidney stones formation. Men 50 and older should get 1,000 mgs of calcium daily, along with 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium.
Reduce sodium intake: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones, as it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. So, a low-sodium diet is beneficial for the kidney stones prone (limit total per day sodium intake to 2,300 mg). If sodium has been a cause for kidney stones in the past, then try to reduce per day intake to 1,500 mg, which is also good for your blood pressure and heart.
Limiting animal protein: Excess eating of animal protein (red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood), boosts the level of uric acid which could lead to kidney stones. A high-protein diet reduces levels of citrate, the urine chemical that helps prevent kidney stones from forming. Kidney stones prone people must limit the daily meat intake to a quantity, no bigger than a pack of playing cards, which is also a heart-healthy portion.
Avoid kidney stones-forming food: Beets, chocolate, spinach and most nuts are all rich in oxalate and colas are rich in phosphate, all of which can contribute to kidney stones. If a person suffers from kidney stones, the doctor may advise to avoid these foods or to consume them in small amounts.
Everyone else, the particular foods and drinks are unlikely to trigger kidney stones formation, unless consumed in extremely high amounts. Studies have shown that men who consume high doses of vitamin C supplements are at slightly higher risk of kidney stones.