Have you ever had a kidney stone? Then it is obvious that you would do just about anything to prevent the pain and discomfort from ever happening again. Kidney stone prevention involves understanding the causes of kidney stones, identifying the type that you have, using various treatments to dissolve them, and then making lifestyle changes. This article summarizes a variety of measures designed for the prevention of kidney stones.
The More Water the Better
A large quantity of water – at least two to three liters per day – is a leading solution for kidney stone prevention. This amount of fluid can help dilute excess substances in your urine that can lead to the formation of kidney stones. These substances include minerals, such as calcium, and various types of salts.
For people who have already experienced kidney stones, the recommended consumption of water is at least twelve 8-ounce glasses per day, which should lead to two quarts of urine over a 24-period – enough to flush out large quantities of any excess substances that increase your risk. Your urine should appear pale and clear almost like water. If it is a dark yellow, this may be an indication that fluid intake should be increased.
In certain instances, more than the aforementioned quantity is necessary. These situations include working and living in warm climates, remaining highly physically active and experiencing any periods of exertion and stress.
When consuming all of these glasses of water each day, try to make it bottled water rather than the tap. That is because tap water tends to be “hard,” which is known to contain too much calcium. Your other alternative is to look for mineral water, which researchers believe may possibly reduce the risk of calcium and uric acid kidney stones.
It’s All in the Diet
When considering the best measures for kidney stone prevention, it is all about a person’s diet. Following the adage, “you are what you eat,” should help you determine what items should be reduced or even restricted from regular consumption.
Prevent calcium stones. To avoid calcium kidney stones, there are certain foods that have high levels of calcium and oxalate that need to be minimized. Chocolate, carbonated and sugary drinks, cooked spinach and asparagus, peanuts, rhubarb and tea have high levels of both substances. Do not take anything that has been enriched with Vitamin D and skip antacids that say they have a calcium base.
In contrast, many studies indicate that dietary calcium found in dairy products works to ensure that oxalate from the food does not get absorbed into the bloodstream and then end up in urine. Therefore, calcium found in many dairy products is recommended as a component of any diet for kidney stones. One of these studies indicated that those who had moderate levels of calcium with reduced protein and salt intakes showed less signs that their kidney stones would return than those focused on strictly a low-calcium diet.
Stop sturvite stones. These types of stones are commonly linked with urinary tract infections. Long-term prevention may require constant use of antibiotics. However, one homeopathic method again emphasizes a significant intake of fluids, especially water. Cranberry juice is also your ally when it comes to getting rid of impurities in the urine – a key defense for kidney stone prevention.
Block uric acid stones. Try to avoid diet fads like the recent low-carbohydrate diet which emphasized large quantities of protein that can raise uric acid levels in the urine. Fish is preferred over red meat and poultry, which has purines, a substance that also contributes to these types of stones.
It is also good to avoid other foods with this substance, including alcohol, sardines and anchovies, yeast, organ meat (liver and kidney), legumes (peas, dried beans, and soybeans), and some vegetables (mushrooms, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus). In severe cases, medicine may be needed as treatment to combat high uric acid levels.
Halt cystine stones. To prevent these types of stones, you may have to drink an incredible amount of water to flush out your body. If you can believe it, this means more than one gallon of water each day with a third of that taken in the nighttime hours. Fluids are the only way to get rid of excess mounts of amino acids, including cystine, ornithine, lysine, and arginine, that are responsible for the formation of these types of stones.