In the U.S., one in 10 men and women will develop a kidney stone. About 70% of men and women who have one kidney stone will develop a recurrent stone. This blog will discuss preventive measures to decrease the risk of recurrence.
Dilution is the Solution
The single most effective step to prevent recurrence is to increase your fluid intake. By drinking eight to ten glasses of liquid a day, you will dilute your urine, making it less concentrated. This will keep crystals from forming and reduce the likelihood of stone formation. Men and women who drink more than 8 glasses of water a day were less likely to have a kidney stone recurrence.
At least half of your fluid intake should be water. Although one cup of coffee or tea per day may slightly decrease the risk of stone formation, excessive intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or soda has been shown to increase the risk of stone recurrence.
Pay attention to your urine’s color. Dark urine usually indicates you are not getting enough fluid. The goal is consume enough fluids to turn your urine white or pale yellow.
Reduce Your Protein Intake
Diets high in animal protein (meat, eggs, cheese, etc) can increase levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, all of which can increase the risk of calcium stone formation. Diets lower in animal protein and salt have been shown to lower calcium and oxalate in the urine. Low carb diets, generally high in protein and fat are not recommended for individuals with a history of calcium kidney stones. To help reduce your risk of calcium stone formation, eat less meat, and substitute a vegetarian meal a few times a week.
Deep Six the Salt
Studies have consistently shown that higher sodium (salt) intakes lead to increased calcium in the urine. Reducing sodium in the diet decreases urinary calcium levels. Many experts believe restricting sodium to 2000 mg\day while increasing fluid intake is one of the best ways of reducing calcium stone recurrence. High levels of sodium, however, are found in many prepared foods, and not just in the saltshaker. Try to reduce your intake of canned or processed foods, look for reduced sodium products, and avoid adding extra salt to food.
Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
The calcium we get from eating calcium rich foods, such as low fat milt and yogurt is not a problem for calcium kidney stone formers. Moderate intake of calcium-containing foods actually protects against stone formation by binding dietary oxalate and reducing oxalate levels in the urine. So do not eliminate calcium-rick foods from your diet.
Taking high does of some calcium supplements may increase your risk of stone formation. If your doctor has recommended you take a calcium supplement for bone health, chose one with calcium citrate. Calcium citrate helps inhibit stone formation.
Hesitate on the Oxalate
Your doctor may suggest that you decrease the amount of oxalate in your diet. Try to limit the amount of oxalate-rich foods particularly chocolate, cocoa, spinach (and other leafy greens) beets, strawberries, wheat germ, pecans, and soy.
See That You Don’t Take Too Much Vitamin C
Avoid high doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements. Generally, the amount of vitamin C found in a multivitamin is safe, but higher amounts (more than 500mg) from supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones by increasing the oxalate levels.
Don’t Inhibit Inhibitors
Citrate and magnesium are considered kidney stone inhibitors. Lemon juice has been found to increase the level of citrate in the urine. Nutritional supplements containing magnesium, potassium, and citrate may also help increase the concentrations of stone inhibitors in the urine.
Be good about Vitamin B6
Vitamin B 6 is effective in decreeing oxalate production, and therefore, vitamin B6 supplements are helpful to decrease the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Kidney stones are a common affliction and the solution to preventing recurrent kidney stones can often be accomplished naturally without medications. Best solution of all is to drink lots of water.