Once you experience the pain of kidney stones, you certainly do not want to ever feel it again especially after undergoing one of the various treatments available to remove them. This article discusses a number of choices that can be made both in diet and how you live which can ensure that kidney stones do not come back. Being aware and informed of certain health benefits is the best type of preventative “medicine.”
Making the Right Nutritional Choices
There are a number of nutritional choices that you can make as part of a kidney stone diet. These include:
Drink a lot of fluids. To keep kidneys clean and functioning properly, frequent urination can help filter out substances. The only way to achieve a higher percentage of urination is to drink a lot of fluids. And the drink of choice for a kidney stone diet is water.
Adding plenty of water to your body on a daily basis will help reduce high levels of calcium that your kidney will have to filter. As part of a kidney stone diet, the recommended daily dose of water is approximately 2.5 liters of water. Those that drink this much and more water per day have experienced nearly a 40% decrease in their chances of developing a kidney stone versus those who drank less.
People who have or previously experienced calcium, cystine or uric acid kidney must consume a minimum of between eight and ten glasses of fluids regularly throughout the day and night. To fulfill this amount would mean having a glass with each meal as well as through the evening hours. All you have to do is take a look at your urine to see if you are drinking enough fluids each day. You know you have had enough to drink if it appears pale and almost watery. If it is dark and yellow, it could indicate that you may need to take in more fluids.
There are specific situations with a kidney stone diet where the fluid intake must be increased from the aforementioned recommended amount. These include people who stay physically active, live in warm climates, and/or suffer from exertion and stress.
And it is not only about the quantity of water in a kidney stone diet; it also involves the quality as well. Compared to bottled water, which is softer, tap water tends to be hard – also depending on where you live – and has a much higher level of calcium. People who drink mineral water as part of their kidney stone diet – despite these having calcium and magnesium – have the ability of possibility reducing their risk for calcium and uric acid kidney stones.
To raise citrate levels in the urine, a protector against calcium stones, a half cup of pure lemon juice taken daily is recommended as part of a kidney stone diet versus orange juice which, although it raises citrate levels as well, also increase oxalate levels and does not lower calcium quantities.
Avoid carbonated beverages. Soft drinks do more harm than good and it is best to exclude them, if possible, from a kidney stone diet regimen. The phosphoric acid in these beverages increases the risk for kidney stones and the other ingredients dramatically decrease citrate in the urine, which the body needs to protect itself from kidney stone formation. Studies have concluded that that even three cans of soda per week could significantly raise their chances.
Eat food rich in fiber. Fiber is an essential component of a kidney stone diet. While both kinds of fiber are important – soluble and insoluble – the second type seems to help reduce calcium in the urine. Found in ingredients, such as rye, wheat, barley and rice, insoluble fiber is known to have phytate, a compound that seems to halt the formation of calcium salt crystals. Insoluble fiber goes tow work in the intestines by combining with calcium and forcing it out of the body as a waste product in the stool. While this type of fiber never comes into contact with the kidney, it does help it by increasing the speed of which substances move through the intestine, offering minimal time for calcium absorption. That way, the calcium has little chance of ever making it to the kidney and slowing down long enough to start forming a kidney stone.
Try fish oil. In addition to the many recommended features of a kidney stone diet previously mentioned, some researchers believe that the fatty acids found in fish oil and supplements made out of it can reduce the probability of forming calcium stones. However, there may not be enough substantial evidence yet to make this claim.