3 Ways to Reduce Your Risk For Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are relatively common, and their prevalence has been growing over the past two decades. According to the National Kidney Foundation, nearly 1 in 10 Americans will have a kidney stone in their lifetime. And each year, more than half a million people seek emergency care for kidney stone problems.
You may reduce your risk of kidney stones by following these 3 tips.
1. Drink More Water
Keep a glass of water or travel cup with you, and drink water throughout the day. If you have a history of kidney stones, your physician will usually recommend passing about 2.6 quarts of urine a day. Your doctor may ask that you measure your urine output to make sure that you're drinking enough water.
If you live in a hot, dry climate or you exercise frequently, you may need to drink even more water to produce enough urine.
You will know if you are drinking enough water by the color of your urine. If it is light and clear, you're likely drinking enough water.
2. Adjust Your Diet
Calcium in food doesn't have an effect on your risk of kidney stones. You can continue to eat calcium-rich foods, but be careful with calcium supplements. Diets low in calcium can increase kidney stone formation in some people. A few calcium rich foods include cheese, yogurt, milk, spinach, kale, turnips, fortified cereals (corn flakes/raisin bran/total), fortified orange juice and soybeans.
Make sure your food choices are low in salt and animal protein. Try to reduce the amount of salt you eat and choose non-animal protein sources, such as legumes like peas, beans, and alfalfa. You can also consider using a salt substitute.
If you tend to form calcium oxalate stones, your doctor may restrict foods rich in oxalates. Eat fewer foods that are oxalate-rich, these include rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, chocolate and soy products.
Medications can control the amount of minerals and acid in your urine and may be helpful for people who form certain kinds of stones. The type of medication your doctor prescribes will depend on the kind of kidney stones you have. Talk to your physician to see if medication would be appropriate for you.
If you continue to struggle with kidney stones, or need to schedule an appointment with an urologist, call 630-790-1221.