prevent kidney stones

Kidney stones are like unwelcome guests crashing the body’s internal party, causing excruciating pain and discomfort. These tiny, hard mineral deposits can form in the kidneys when certain substances in urine become highly concentrated. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place. 

Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 11 percent of men and 6 percent of women in the United States have kidney stones at least once during their lifetime. While genetics and underlying medical conditions play a role, lifestyle factors also significantly contribute to their formation. Here at Alliance Urology, we have put together seven effective ways to prevent kidney stones from forming.

1. Stay Hydrated

Water plays a crucial role in kidney stone prevention. Adequate hydration helps dilute urine, preventing minerals and salts from crystallizing and forming stones, which can help prevent kidney stones. The general recommendation is to drink at least eight glasses (64 ounces) of water per day, but individual needs may vary based on factors like climate, activity level, and health status. Those prone to kidney stones should aim to maintain clear or light yellow urine as a sign of proper hydration.

2. Watch Your Diet

What you eat can either promote or hinder kidney stone formation. Foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, beets, nuts, and chocolate, can contribute to stone formation in susceptible individuals. Limiting intake of these oxalate-rich foods can help reduce the risk. Additionally, reducing sodium intake can lower calcium levels in the urine, decreasing the likelihood of calcium-based stones. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while moderating animal protein and salt consumption is key to prevent kidney stones.

3. Moderate Protein Intake

While protein is essential for muscle building and repair, excessive consumption, especially from animal sources like red meat, poultry, and fish, can increase uric acid and calcium levels in the urine, leading to stone formation. Striking a balance by incorporating plant-based protein sources like legumes, tofu, and nuts can help prevent kidney stones while still meeting dietary protein needs.

4. Limit Soda and Sugary Beverages

Excessive consumption of sugary sodas and beverages, including fruit juices and energy drinks, can raise the risk of kidney stones. High fructose corn syrup, commonly found in these drinks, increases urinary excretion of calcium and oxalates, contributing to stone formation. Opting for water or herbal teas as primary beverages and limiting sugary drinks can significantly reduce this risk.

5. Monitor Calcium Intake

Calcium is a double-edged sword when it comes to kidney stone prevention. While adequate calcium intake can bind with oxalates in the intestines, preventing their absorption and subsequent excretion in the urine, excessive or deficient calcium supplementation can increase the risk of calcium-based stones. It’s important to meet daily calcium needs through dietary sources like dairy products or fortified plant-based alternatives rather than relying solely on supplements.

6. Maintain A Healthy Weight

Obesity is a significant risk factor for kidney stone formation. Excess body weight can alter the urinary chemical composition and increase the excretion of stone-forming substances like calcium and uric acid. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of kidney stones, along with numerous other health benefits.

7. Regular Medical Check-ups And Monitoring

Prevention is always better than cure. Regular medical check-ups, especially for individuals with a family history of kidney stones or underlying medical conditions predisposing them to stone formation, are crucial. Routine urine and blood tests can help detect early signs of kidney stone formation, allowing for timely intervention and in order to prevent kidney stones.

Make An Appointment Today

For individuals experiencing multiple kidney stone occurrences, consulting with a healthcare professional is the crucial first step toward a diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. Alliance Urology Specialists is home to an expert team of urologists who are committed to providing comprehensive care to adults with urologic disorders, as well as other men’s health issues. If you have more questions on ways to prevent kidney stones, contact us today at (336) 274-1114 to make an appointment.