More than three million people seek medical attention yearly for kidney stone problems. These small, hard deposits can cause severe pain and discomfort in your lower back, abdomen, and groin. If you have ever experienced a kidney stone, you surely remember how agonizingly painful it can be. However, there are ways to prevent Mount Vernon kidney stones from forming in the first place.
Here are easy ways that can help you prevent kidney stones and keep your kidneys healthy.
Drink plenty of water
One of the best measures you can take to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of water. Water is essential for keeping your kidneys functioning properly and flushing out any toxins or waste that may be present. When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes concentrated, and minerals like calcium and oxalate can build up and form stones. Strive to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to help prevent kidney stones from forming. Also, it is important to note that other beverages like soda and coffee can increase your risk of developing kidney stones, so stick to water as much as possible.
Regular exercise is not only great for your overall health but can also help prevent kidney stones. When you exercise, you sweat, which helps flush out any toxins or waste that may be present in your body. Exercise also helps maintain a healthy weight, which is important for kidney health. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing kidney stones, so exercise regularly to keep your weight in check.
Limit sodium and animal protein intake
Eating a diet high in sodium and animal protein can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Sodium can cause your kidneys to excrete more calcium into your urine, leading to stones forming. Animal protein, such as meat, poultry, and fish, contains purines that can be broken down into uric acid, contributing to stone formation.
Try to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce your sodium and animal protein intake. Avoid processed foods, which are often high in sodium, and opt for low-sodium alternatives when possible. If you eat meat, limit your intake to a few servings per week and choose lean cuts, such as chicken breast or sirloin steak. You can also try plant-based protein sources, such as legumes and tofu.
Get enough calcium
Contrary to popular belief, getting enough calcium in your diet can help prevent kidney stones. Calcium binds to oxalate, a mineral that can contribute to stone formation, in your digestive tract, preventing it from being absorbed into your bloodstream and excreted in your urine. Thus, getting enough calcium can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.
Aim for three servings of dairy or calcium-fortified foods daily to get enough calcium. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified breakfast cereals. If you are lactose intolerant or don’t consume dairy products, you can get calcium from other sources, such as leafy green vegetables, almonds, and fortified plant milk.
Call Bellingham Urology Group to book your appointment for treatment of kidney stones.