No one wants to endure the pain and discomfort associated with kidney stones. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people in the U.S. will have a kidney stone in their lifetime, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
But preventing kidney stones isn’t as difficult as you might think.
1. Stay hydrated.
Drinking at least 8 cups of water a day helps prevent the formation of kidney stones by diluting substances in your urine that can lead to stone formation. Take extra care to drink more water after intense workouts or in hot weather to keep fluids moving through your body.
2. Limit your pop intake.
Or better yet, eliminate pop and other sugary drinks from your diet. The fructose and phosphates found in your favorite cola may contribute to kidney stones if consumed in extremely high amounts.
3. Cut back on sodium.
Reducing your sodium intake does more than just reduce your likelihood of developing a kidney stone. It’s also good for your heart health and blood pressure. Most adults should aim to consume 2,300mg or less of sodium per day, unless instructed otherwise.
4. Find your calcium balance.
Too much, or too little, calcium can lead to stones in some individuals. Seek out natural sources of calcium, like dairy products and dark leafy green vegetables, if possible rather than supplements, because these are linked to kidney stone formation. Those between the ages of 19 and 50 are encouraged to consume between 1,000mg and 2,500mg per day. Those 51 and older are encouraged to consume 1,200mg and 2,000mg per day. Before making changes to your diet, be sure to consult with your doctor or dietitian about what an appropriate calcium level looks like for you.
Taking measures now to avoid kidney stones can really pay off in the long run – once you’ve had one kidney stone, your risk of having another could be even higher. At the Nephrology Associates of Greater Cincinnati, we believe in the power of prevention. Learn more about kidney stones and renal stone treatment on our services page.