Kidney stones affect one in ten people over the course of a lifetime, and can even occur multiple times. Recent studies have shown that kidney stone rates are on the rise across the US, particularly among women ages 18 to 39. Knowing how kidney stones form and how to prevent them is the first step you can take to avoid this painful condition. To help you stay stone-free, here are some food and diet tips for preventing kidney stones.
Drinking enough water is the most important thing you can do to prevent kidney stones, with many healthcare professionals recommending that you drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of it every day. Staying hydrated allows your kidneys to function smoothly at full capacity. Other studies have shown that being overweight can increase your risk of kidney stones. Maintaining a healthy balance of hydration and proper nutrition is key to keeping your kidneys healthy.
Understand the Types of Kidney Stones
If you have already had kidney stones, be sure to ask your healthcare provider which type of kidney stones you had. Based on your kidney stone history, you may be able to prevent the development of additional stones by making some simple diet changes.
Calcium Oxalate Stones
If you have previously had calcium oxalate stones, you may want to avoid foods high in oxalate. Foods containing nuts, peanuts, spinach, and wheat bran are all particularly high in oxalate. Try to avoid foods high in sodium as well, as your chance of developing kidney stones increases with a high sodium intake. Limiting animal protein may also decrease your chances of developing kidney stones. Beef, chicken, pork, eggs, milk, cheese, and other animal products should be replaced with plant-based proteins found in beans or lentils.
Calcium Phosphate Stones
Despite the identical names, the mineral calcium does not cause calcium phosphate kidney stones. When the right amount is available in your body, calcium keeps your blood and digestive tract in order. For calcium phosphate stones, it may be best to get calcium from plant-based foods, such as calcium-rich juice blends, cereal, and certain kinds of vegetables.
Uric Acid Stones
Uric acid stones are similar to calcium oxalate stones as both are directly affected by sodium and animal proteins. To supplement your diet after limiting these foods, try to eat more soy-based foods such as soy milk or tofu. Increasing your intake of legumes and nuts can also provide you with more natural proteins.
Drinking more liquid, particularly water, is the most important lifestyle adjustment you can make to prevent development of cystine stones. While staying hydrated is necessary to prevent cystine stones from forming, water is only half the battle. Chronic kidney stones are often treated with potassium citrate and fruits or juices high in natural citrate. It is believed that citrate in the urine may prevent calcium from binding and forming stones. Increasing liquid intake of drinks similar to lemonade or limeade can also help, but be aware of your daily sugar intake.
Kidney Stone Treatment in New Jersey
Kidney stones are a painful condition that many people will encounter in their lives. Fortunately, we know that diet can be an effective tool in managing and preventing kidney stone development. Staying hydrated and avoiding certain foods that are high in salt are great places to start improving your diet. For more information and tips about regulating kidney stones, as well as comprehensive treatment, please feel free to give Dr. Ron S. Israeli a call. With over 25 years of experience in the field, Dr. Israeli is board-certified and dedicated to providing treatment for a variety of conditions, including kidney stones. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 973-251-2055 today!