Nutrition Tips for Preventing Kidney Stones
If you or someone close to you has ever experienced kidney stones you know the discomfort associated with this condition can be quite troublesome. When kidney stones begin to interfere with day-to-day activities and affect quality of life, it’s time to take action.
Kidney stones are hard pebble-like clusters that develop in the kidneys when urine becomes highly concentrated with certain salts and chemicals. Kidney stones vary in type, shape and size. It’s when the stones begin to move through the kidneys and urinary tract that they can become very painful. However, in some cases, kidney stones may go unnoticed. You may be wondering how to prevent kidney stones or how can you decrease your risk of developing them in the first place.
Diet plays a major role in kidney health and prevention of stones. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases shares a few nutritional tips to help prevent and manage kidney stones:
Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough fluid is one of the most important things you can do to prevent kidney stones. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 ounces of water at least six to eight times a day. Citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice, are also recommended as helpful additions to water.
Reduce your sodium intake
Salt contains sodium, as do many packaged foods, fast foods, condiments, meats and seasonings. The chances of developing kidney stones increase with increased sodium intake.
Limit animal protein
Animal proteins are found in foods such as beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese and other dairy products. Consider replacing these items in your diet with foods like beans, peas, some nuts and soy products.
Plan healthy meals for weight control
Maintaining a healthy weight can also decrease the chance of developing kidney stones. Eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended.
It‘s important to talk with your health care provider about kidney stones, especially if you have a personal or family history of developing them. In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, there are various treatments options available to improve your kidney health.
The Kidney Stone Center at Hillcrest Hospital Cushing is dedicated to treating and alleviating symptoms associated with kidney stones. Through the use of advanced technology, our physicians are able to discover problematic kidney stones and determine a treatment plan that’s best for you. For information about our Kidney Stone Center, please click here.