These small spawns lurk caution until they strike, often without warning. They are kidney stones: crystalline fragments that form in the kidneys and sometimes get stuck and cause pain when we expel them in the urine.
According to experts, the symptoms vary. Some people pass stones without realizing it, while others feel an increased need to urinate, have blood in their urine, or have back or groin pain ranging from mild to severe.
Regardless of the symptoms, kidney stones are surprisingly common. According to the NIDDK, about 11% of men and 6% of women have kidney stones. Genetic factors, certain medications, and the type of job can increase the propensity for these benign-looking lumps to form. But your diet can also play a crucial role.
If your kidney has a stone, your doctor may recommend a few tips to change your dietary items depending on the type of kidney stones you have to prevent. To be very clear, people have four types of kidney stones. They are calcium, uric acid, struvite, and cystine stones. Since the risk of repeat stones is considerable, changing the food items you consume can prevent them from recurring.
With this in mind, experts recommended eight tips to dietary changes that can help you prevent these dreaded kidney stones.
Tips To Prevent Kidney Stones
1. Reduce The Consumption Of Foods With High Salt Content
People with high urinary calcium should moderate their sodium intake since high salt increases urinary calcium excretion.
Current US dietary guidelines recommend consuming less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily. However, the Food and Drug Administration indicates that most consume well more than that amount: up to 3,400 mg. Limit processed foods, such as chips, crackers, and frozen and precooked meals, loaded with these ingredients.
2. Drink A lot Of Water
Water is often our main and best line of defense against kidney stones. To start, we should drink 60 to 80 ounces of water daily, keeping in mind that you may need more depending on your risk profile.
The American Urological Association recommends that a person maintain a urine volume of at least @2.5 liters daily. However, we need to figure out how to measure its volume. Experts have a simple rule: urine should be clear, not yellow, orange, or brown.
3. Add Lemon And Lime Juice To Drinks
Let us know why lemon and lime juice are added to drinks. Our answer is that they contain citrate, a natural stone inhibitor. It produces calcium chelation, which prevents it from adhering to another element. Some doctors prescribe potassium citrate pills to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
4. Eat A Lot Of Fruit
Fruits are generally effective in fighting kidney stones because they are high in water and fiber. It provides high magnesium and citrate levels and is more alkaline, all of which help prevent kidney stones. For some patients, experts prescribe a magnesium oxide supplement to prevent stone formation.
5. Avoid Calcium Supplements
It may seem counterintuitive to eat foods high in calcium to avoid calcium stones, the most common type of kidney stones.
However, according to the NIDDK, dietary calcium is really good for you. It is helpful to regulate the digestive tract function by blocking other substances which can cause stones. Your healthcare provider will be helpful to you in choosing the best calcium-rich foods for your condition.
In contrast, ‘calcium supplements’ may enhance the possibility of ‘developing stones.’ Vitamin-D helps the body absorb the calcium component, and the vitamin-C facilitates to convert to oxalates.
Previously, patients had to follow diets very low in calcium, which increased the risk of osteoporosis. Therefore you can expand your calcium intake. You must aim to have 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium daily.
6. Reduce The Consumption Of Animal Proteins
People with uric acid or calcium stones and a relatively high uric acid level in their urine should limit their intake of non-dairy animal protein. Animal proteins have high levels of compounds known as ‘purines.’ It is because they can increase uric acid excretion and the propensity for uric acid stone formation. Experts recommend limiting protein intake to 6 ounces a day. Plus, lean meats are better than fatty meats. The consumption of fatty foods produces a response in the intestine that increases oxalate absorption.
7. Be Careful When Eating Green Leafy Vegetables
A healthy diet to maintain here is the use of ‘vegetables.’ It is indeed to say that they are part of a heart-healthy diet. However they are, we find high oxalate doses in them. We know that oxalates also have natural-mix linked to the formation of kidney stones. However, there is a solution. According to experts, one strategy is to ensure you eat low-fat dairy while eating high-oxalate food because dairy provides calcium. It binds to oxalate and remains in the stool instead of being absorbed into the blood and passing into the urine.
8. Limit Consumption Of Drinks
A study revealed that drinking a lot of iced tea can contribute to kidney stone formation due to its high oxalate content. Neither should fizzy drinks be consumed. The bubbles in soft drinks—especially dark-colored ones—are produced because they contain phosphoric acid, which increases the risk of kidney stone formation.
Experts add that it is best to stick with light-colored fizzy drinks, like ginger ale. However, we must remember that they are high in sugar. Sugars increase the level of calcium in the urine. Moreover, they cause metabolic syndrome, bad cholesterol, and diabetes. All these things have a tendency to spring a more acidic environment in the body. Dairy substitutes, such as almond and soy milk, are also high in oxalates.
However, there may be good news for coffee drinkers. An observational study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases analyzed data from 571,657 people with kidney stones and found a link between increased coffee consumption and decreased risk of kidney stones.