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How to Prevent Kidney Stones?

Published on May 20, 2017 and last reviewed on Dec 17, 2021   -  5 min read

Abstract

A decrease in the urine volume or more stone-forming agents in the urine can lead to kidney stones. This article discusses the ways to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Contents
How to Prevent Kidney Stones?

What Is a Kidney Stone?

A kidney stone is a common condition that affects individuals of all age groups. The majority may experience it because of their lifestyle. However, some people are prone to kidney stones. It is a recurring problem, with approximately 50 % of individuals experiencing a second episode.

kidney stone

What Are the Causes of Kidney Stones?

Certain chemicals in the urine, when getting concentrated enough, can form crystals. These crystals can grow into larger masses (stones) and make their way through the urinary tract. If they get stuck somewhere in the urinary tract, it can block the flow of urine and cause pain. Kidney stones have many causes where some are related to kidney infections, having too many minerals in the system, and genetics.

Genes are involved because 40 percent of people who get kidney stones have relatives who have them.

What Are the Risk Factors for Kidney Stones?

The risk factors for kidney stones include:

What Are the Symptoms Associated With Kidney Stones?

The kidney stones, when they are small, can pass on their own before causing any symptoms, but when the stones become larger can block the urine flow and cause painful symptoms like:

How to Prevent Kidney Stones?

Avoid Dehydration - Drink adequate water according to the climate and lifestyle. Fluid intake should be increased to achieve at least 2.5 liters of urine output daily. Staying hydrated is a sure way to prevent a kidney stone. When you drink more water, you produce a healthy flow of urine. Dehydration can cause low urine, which means it is more concentrated. So, it is advisable to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Lemonade and orange juice, which contains citrate, are good options because they can prevent kidney stones.

Restrict Salt Intake - Avoiding salty food in the diet can increase the chances of preventing calcium-oxalate kidney stones. Avoid foods like chips and crackers, canned soups, condiments, and lunch meats and begin to buy products with less sodium and use less salt to flavor food. Avoid or cut back on foods with high amounts of ingredients like sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Reduce the Intake of Animal Proteins - Foods high in animal protein can increase the chances of forming two types of stones called uric acid and calcium oxalate. So be careful while overeating foods like beef, chicken, fish, pork, poultry, etc.

Increase Intake of Fruits and Vegetables - Fruits and vegetables, in general, are good for health and for preventing kidney stones.

Avoid Vitamin C Supplements - High doses of Vitamin C taken daily can cause calcium oxalate kidney stones, so be careful when taking this supplement. You can still eat food with Vitamin C in it.

Reduce Intake of Oxalate-Rich Foods - Kidney stones are made up of Oxalate. Eating fewer foods that contain Oxalates can help the body to avoid making these stones.

Conclusion:

These are the general lifestyle measures to reduce the occurrence of kidney stones. Remember, once the kidney stone is formed, it is impossible to dissolve it with medications. So, if you have large, symptomatic kidney stones, consult your doctor and get them removed. Once the stone is removed, you can ask your doctor to get a chemical analysis of the stone. Sometimes you may get some unusual findings in the chemical analysis report. Accordingly, your doctor will ask you to modify your dietary habits and start the medication to prevent future recurrence.

The stones which are very small and are detected accidentally during an investigation can be ignored. Stonesless than 5 mm, which is not obstructing the kidney, can be left without treatment. Most of the time, they come out without any treatment. But sometimes, even a 2 mm stone can produce a lot of pain and obstruct your kidney. So, you will require undergoing treatment for that.

Last reviewed at:
17 Dec 2021  -  5 min read

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