If you have ever known someone who has passed a kidney stone, you have probably heard it can be one of the most painful things you ever experience. Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form inside of your kidneys when your urine has high levels of certain minerals such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. There are some ways to help prevent kidney stones without using medication! Here are 4 easy things you can do to prevent kidney stones naturally:
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the best ways to prevent kidney stones naturally is to stay hydrated at all times! The best thing to drink is water, but lemonade and orange juice are also good options. When you don’t drink enough, your urine output is low. Your urine is less likely to dissolve urine salts that cause stones because it is more concentrated. An easy way to tell if you are hydrated is to look at the color of your urine and make sure that it is clear or pale yellow, otherwise you need to drink more! Try to drink at least 8 glasses of fluids daily, but add even more fluids if you exercise or sweat frequently.
2. Eat Less Sodium
If your current diet is high in salt, this can increase your risk of calcium kidney stones. This is because excessive salt in urine prevents calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine to the blood, resulting in high urine calcium and possible kidney stones. Therefore, if you eat less salt, you keep your urine calcium levels low. Some of the foods with the highest sodium include canned soups, canned vegetables, processed foods, lunch meat, and condiments, so try to reduce or eliminate these food products from your diet. If you prefer to add some flavor to your food, try using fresh herbs as an alternative to using salt.
3. Eat More Foods Rich in Calcium
The most common form of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, so you are probably thinking you need to avoid calcium in your diet when diets low in calcium actually can increase your risk of kidney stones! Seek out food options with high calcium levels such as low fat yogurt, low fat milk, and low fat cheese.
4. Reduce Your Intake of Oxalate-Rich Foods
There are some kidney stones made of oxalate, which is a natural compound in foods that joins with calcium in the urine. Since these elements bind together in your digestive tract before reaching your kidneys, you can prevent kidney stones from forming by reducing your intake of oxalate-rich foods. Some foods high in oxalates include peanuts, chocolate, spinach, sweet potatoes, coffee, rhubarb, and soy products.
While there is no sure way to prevent kidney stones, you can help reduce your risk of getting them with these diet and lifestyle changes! At Mac’s Pharmacy, we are dedicated to improving your health and well-being. Learn more about how we can assist you with all of your pharmaceutical needs.