Kidney stones are solid deposits of salts and minerals that crystallized together in the kidneys. Usually, the fluid in urine prevents all waste products from coming into contact with each other. Kidney stones began to form when there is not enough liquid or solid waste content present in urine. Though most kidney stones develop in the kidneys, they can form anywhere in the urinary tract. If the kidney stones are giving you problems, then the only solution is via laser kidney stone surgery . This article will provide you with ways to prevent kidney stones.
Dehydration is considered to be the largest risk factor for kidney stones. They can be caused by certain foods and lifestyle habits that can increase the risk of developing stones. People who think that they are suffering from kidney stones or at a risk of developing kidney stones should consult their doctor. They should determine which foods to avoid. There are many things which a person can do to help prevent kidney stones:
- Staying hydrated: When urine contains more fluid, it’s less likely that salt and minerals will clump together and begin to form stones. If you have a darker urine, this can be a sign of dehydration. So, it’s recommended to drink atleast 12 glasses per day as 8 glasses per day is not enough. A person should take half of their fluid intake as water. Carbonated, sweetened drinks can increase the risk of kidney stones.
- Reduce your salt intake: Sodium can cause water retention in your body which leads to dehydration. For adults the intake of sodium should be below 2300 milligrams or one teaspoon of salt. Here are some examples of foods with high sodium content:
- Most packaged meals
- Potato chips
- Ready to make noodles
- Canned soups
- Maintain your weight: Being overweight can put stress on the kidneys, however it’s important to lose weight safely. Low-carb diets, crash-dieting and high-animal based protein can increase the risk of kidney stones.
- Limiting foods with calcium oxalate: Kidney stones can consist of many different compounds which include struvite, cysteine and uric acid stones. Restricting oxalate intake is recommended for those at a high risk of kidney stones. Consuming calcium with oxalate rich foods can reduce the risk of stones by binding the chemicals before they reach the kidneys.
- Avoid excessive caffeine consumption: Caffeine causes to speed up the metabolism and can cause dehydration. The recommended upper limit for adults is 400 mg of caffeine daily, which is equal to 4 cups of coffee.
- Getting enough dietary calcium: While calcium oxalate is the most common compound in kidney stones, some of the calcium found in food actually helps to reduce the risk of stones. Most dairy products are a good source of calcium. Other foods which are good in calcium are:
- Some cereals
- Canned fish with bones
- Monitor the intake of high-acid foods: Highly acidic urine can increase the risk of kidney stones and make the passing of stones more painful. High amounts of acid present in urine can also encourage kidneys to reabsorb. Citrate is a compound which is shown to help flush out calcium-based stones and impair their growth.
Dr. Rohit Kaushal
Specialty in Urology surgeries with 9+ years of experience