If you have ever passed a kidney stone, you probably remember that excruciating pain, and you don’t ever want to go through it again. If you have never had a stone, trust us, it is a life experience you want to skip. In either case, pay attention to these 7 ways to prevent kidney stones this summer.
Gambling With Kidney Stones
It is important to know that if you have an incident of kidney stones, your risks for another are greatly increased. In fact, you are 50% more likely to pass another one. This could be due to genetics, but it is also a result of patients not following the dietary guidelines provided by McIver Clinic to prevent another one from forming and/or not taking prescribed medications.
Half a million patients go to the emergency room each year with kidney stones. Not only are they painful, but they can become dangerous.
Instead of joining those patients this summer, observe the 7 ways to prevent kidney stones.
You hear that all the time, but in this case it is an essential strategy to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Certain chemicals in our urine become concentrated and form crystals, which in turn grow and move through the urinary tract. They are either a combination of calcium plus oxalates OR phosphorus.
If you become dehydrated, there is less fluid to dissolve salts and other minerals leading to concentrated urine. You can always tell whether you are properly hydrated by checking the color of your urine. It should be very light in color.
Beware of Living In A Hot Climate
If you live in the south, there isn’t much you can do about the warm winters and very hot summers. There are those who call the southeastern part of the US the “Stone Belt” due to the amount of kidney stones treated there.
There are ways to mitigate some of the environmental factors. Sweating lessens the amount of urine you pass, so excessive exercise in a hot climate can be a risk factor. Drinking lots of fluids is imperative. Stay away from saunas and hot yoga or anything that will make you sweat excessively.
Watch Your Sodium Intake
Too much sodium promotes calcium from being reabsorbed from your kidneys to your bloodstream. Lowering urine calcium reduces your risk of kidney stones.
Avoid such products as processed foods, canned soups and veggies, lunch meats, foods with monosodium glutamate.
Avoid Products With Oxalate
Limiting oxalate rich foods can help prevent kidney stones. They include some of the following:
- Sweet potatoes
- Soy products
- Wheat bran
Rather than avoiding all calcium in your diet, instead eat high oxalate rich food together WITH calcium rich foods during a meal.
Eat Less Animal Protein
This would include beef, chicken, shellfish, and pork.
Chronic kidney stones are often treated with potassium citrate, but natural citrate can also help to prevent kidney stones.
Drink lemonade and limeade, but try to avoid the sugar by making it yourself with a sugar substitute.
Drop A Few Pounds
Researchers have found that obesity increases your risk of kidney stones because the extra weight changes the acid levels in your urine making you more susceptible to kidney stones.
Increase your water consumption this summer even if you don’t live in the south.
Contact McIver Clinic if you have had a bout with kidney stones and want to learn more about prevention.