Are Kidney Stones Preventable?

Are Kidney Stones Preventable?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Kidney stones are hard deposits made up of minerals and salts that may form when urine is produced by the kidneys. The stones can cause a lot of pain, changes in urinary patterns, and other unpleasant symptoms. There are a variety of ways to get rid of kidney stones ranging from medications to surgery – and there are many things you can do to prevent kidney stones from developing.

Kidney stones are created when there are too many crystal-forming minerals in the urine than there is fluid to dilute them. A variety of factors can increase your chances of developing kidney stones. There isn’t a single cause but rather many factors that play a role in kidney stone formation. 

Are Kidney Stones Preventable?

While it is impossible to completely prevent kidney stones from ever developing, there are many things you can do to significantly reduce your risk. Here are some tips on how to prevent kidney stones from developing: 

  • Stay Hydrated – Drinking water is a great way to flush out the bladder and prevent kidney stones from forming. When there is less fluid in your urine, it becomes more concentrated, which can foster the development of kidney stones. Adequate hydration should leave your urine pale yellow; if it’s dark in color, you’ll want to drink more water. 
  • Eat Calcium, Oxalate-Rich Foods Together - To help prevent kidney stones, make sure to include adequate calcium in your diet. Even better, try to consume calcium and oxalate-rich foods – like peanuts, spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, and chocolate – together to increase the opportunity for them to bind together in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys even begin processing. If they bind later, when the kidneys are producing urine, that’s when kidney stones may form.
  • Enjoy Citrus – Lemons, oranges, and other natural sources of citrate appear to inhibit kidney stone formation.
  • Reduce Sodium Intake – Salt increases the chances of kidney stone formation because it increases the amount of calcium in the urine, increasing the chance of kidney stone formation. To help prevent kidney stones, eat a low-sodium diet.
  • Avoid Junk Foods – Junk foods are often high in chemicals like sucrose, fructose, and phosphate. These chemicals increase the chances of kidney stone formation. Avoiding junk foods that contain these chemicals can reduce your chances of developing kidney stones.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight – A healthy body mass index can help reduce your chances of kidney stones. Obesity is linked to a higher risk of kidney stones and if you want to reduce your risk, you should look into losing some weight.

If you are experiencing kidney stones or another urological health problem, it’s important to have a reliable and experienced team of medical professionals by your side. The Urology Specialists of Milford are experts in treating a variety of urological conditions including kidney stones. Call (508) 473-6333 to make an appointment today.