An Ounce of Prevention: How to Keep Kidney Stones From Taking Over

According to the Kidney Organization, kidney stone rates are on the rise across the globe. Currently, 1 in 10 people has kidney stone over the course of their life. This is just unacceptable considering that the stones are very much preventable.

The following are five tips on how to take better care of yourself to prevent the condition;

Make sure you’re not sweating too much

While sweating is good for the skin and our health in general, too much sweating can lead to kidney stones. The reason is that loss of water through sweating – whether naturally or as a result of intense physical exercises – leads to less urine production. When you sweat more, you will urinate less, which allows for stone-causing minerals to settle in your kidneys.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids

In addition to taking steps to reduce your sweating, you should also drink plenty of water, especially when engaging in physical activities. Drinking plenty of water will help you replenish the water you lose through sweating and also help in the formation of urine. Lemonade and orange juice are also good options. Plus, the two contain citrate which is known to prevent some types of stones from forming. To find out if you’re drinking enough water, check your urine. It should be clear or pale yellow.

Eat less sodium

Sodium is another thing that is critical to our health, but at the same time, a catalyst for the formation of kidney stones. According to United Kidney Stone Research Foundation, when there is too much salt in your diet, your body won’t be able to re-absorb calcium from the urine to your blood. This causes high urine calcium, which is a predisposing factor for kidney stones. To reduce your sodium intake, minimize your intake of sodium-rich foods such as condiments, processed foods, and canned foods.

It takes more than eating fewer oxalate-rich foods

There is a common myth that cutting oxalate-rich foods alone can reduce your chances of getting oxalate calcium kidney stones – one of the most common types of kidney stones. While this is true to some extent, just cutting your oxalate intake won’t keep you completely safe from kidney stones. The better approach is to drink and eat oxalate and calcium-rich foods together during meals. This way, oxalate and calcium are likely to bind together in your stomach before reaching the kidneys, minimizing the risk of kidney stone formation.

Talk to your doctor about the medications you’re taking

Certain over-the-counter medications can also cause kidney stones. Common culprits include decongestants, diuretics, protease inhibitors, anticonvulsants, steroids, chemotherapy drugs, and uricosuric drugs. While you may seriously need these drugs, the longer you take them, the higher your risk of getting kidney stones. So, the best idea is to talk to your doctor first and see if you can get alternative prescriptions.

There are many other steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting kidney stones. But these five would be a great starting point.

 

Image courtesy of [hywards] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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