Kidney stones are very painful. Even the smallest stone can be agonising as it passes through your urinary tract. The worst news is that if you get it once, then you are at risk of getting it again. The best news is that you can reduce your risk and even prevent kidney stones with some simple measures. Here are a few.
Drink plenty of fluids
Water is the best cure for kidney stones. When you are dehydrated, your urine becomes concentrated. The salts in the urine will crystalise to form kidney stones. You should aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluids. It can be water or juices. If your urine is clear or pale yellow, you are in the clear. If it is dark, you have to increase your fluid intake.
Don’t reduce calcium intake
Kidney stones are usually calcium oxalate and so people tend to think cutting down on calcium will prevent stones from forming. This is not true. Too little calcium may increase your risk of getting kidney stones. This may also increase your risk of bone disease.
Eat oxalate rich foods and calcium rich foods together
Oxalate and calcium bind together in the digestive tract when eaten together. When they are eaten separately, they combine to form calcium oxalate when the kidney processes them. This will lead to formation of kidney stones. To prevent this always eat calcium rich and oxalate rich foods together.
Oxalate rich foods include spinach, beets, soy products, sweet potatoes, chocolate, coffee and peanuts.
Limit sodium intake
Too much salt in the urine hinders calcium reabsorption. This will lead to high levels of calcium in the urine which can lead to kidney stones. So, reduce common salt and processed foods loaded with salt. Read the labels of food items and limit those with sodium nitrate and sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.
Limit animal protein
Animal protein such as red meat and shell fish make your urine acidic. High acid level in urine will lead to formation of uric acid stones. Poultry, fish, pork and beef increase your risk of uric acid stones, so you should limit eating them.
Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of kidney stones. If you suspect you have kidney stone, consult our experts for advanced treatment options.