Suffering from kidney stones is a pathetic condition as it causes a lot of physical pain and mental stress. Learn how to prevent kidney stones naturally and stay away from this problem.
Kidney stones are formed due to the accumulation of waste material or hard deposits of minerals in your kidney. These crystals can be as small as a mustard seed and as big as a golf ball. These stones become obstacles in the urinary tract and cause pain.
If the mineral deposits are not identified at the initial stages, the size of kidney stones will increase with time. Delay in treatment can lead to multiple stone formation in the kidney. The reoccurrence of kidney stones is high and it can reappear in a duration of 7-10 years.
It is estimated that men have more chances of developing kidney stones than women. Chances of getting kidney stones for men are 1 in 5, whereas for women it is 1 in 10.
How To Prevent Kidney Stones By Modifying Your Diet And Lifestyle
We have given our best inputs on how to prevent kidney stones naturally. Apply these methods in combination and come up with a routine that best suits you.
1. Drink enough water
Water will dilute urine and help you eliminate excess salts & minerals in your body. Drink 12 glass of water in an entire day to prevent kidney stones formation.
Check the color of your urine to identify your need for more water intake. If your urine is dark in color then you are not drinking enough water. The color of the urine should be light in color.
Drink 2 glass of lemonade or orange juices without adding sugar. Citrate in these fruits will help you prevent kidney stones.
2. Low sodium diet
Too much salt or sodium will increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Salt retains the water and it will not allow calcium to be reabsorbed from urine to blood.
Do not consume more than 3 grams of salt per day. Check the label on packed food to limit your sodium intake. It will be great if you can avoid packed food and stuff more on freshly cooked food.
These ingredients can be used as an alternative to salt
- Lemon juice
Use these alternates in rotation. Each of these ingredients is power-packed with essential nutrients like vitamins & minerals.
3. Animal protein vs. Plant-based protein
Animal protein is one of the culprits as it increases the uric acid level – in turn, high uric acid can lead to kidney stone formation. Limit the intake or avoid red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood.
Plant-based protein can be taken and they will not cause any problem. You can include lentils, peas, and beans to fulfill your daily need for protein.
4. Balance between calcium and oxalate
It is important to balance the intake of calcium and oxalate. Calcium and oxalate bind together before they reach kidneys. Balanced intake of calcium and oxalate food may help you prevent kidney stones.
Limit your consumption of oxalate to 40 mg per day. Check the list of food items and their oxalate content. Click here
The best source of calcium is natural food. As per the research, a high dose of calcium supplements may cause kidney stones. Also, the calcium supplement taken separately from a meal may lead to kidney stones. Fulfill your daily need by eating natural food rather than taking a calcium supplement(take it under expert guidance, if required).
Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D work in synergy. If you take pure calcium supplement, your interstrain may not absorb it properly.
Limit the calcium intake to 500-800 mg per day. Natural sources of calcium are Lentils, Beans, Figs, Almonds, Kale, Amaranth, Broccoli, and Oranges.
Do not avoid calcium as it is required for overall health. A low level of calcium is also a reason for kidney stone formation.
5. Kidney Stone Collection
It is a good practice to collect your kidney stone if you are able to catch one. A kidney stone can be analyzed in the lab to identify its composition.
Analysis of kidney stones will reveal the minerals causing its formation and it will help you avoid those food items in the future. This approach will help your doctor to a greater extent.
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6. Healthy Body Weight
Excess weight will put some extra load on your kidneys. Try to maintain a healthy weight to prevent kidney stones.
Do not lose weight rapidly or follow some freaky protein-based formula. Take the optimum level of carbs, plant-based proteins and good fats (Omega-3 fatty acids) with balanced vitamins & minerals in the process of weight management.
A good weight management program will focus on diet, exercise, adequate rest and few supplements as per the requirement.
7. Balance between sweat and water intake
Keep yourself hydrated at the time of workout and post-workout to regain the water you lose in the form of sweat. You should not take the risk of dehydration if you had a kidney stone incident in the past.
If you want to know how to prevent kidney stones, the first thing anyone will suggest is water intake. Keep a check on your water intake and avoid the risk.
As a thumb rule, if the color of urine is dark you have to drink more water and get your pee diluted. The reason for dehydration can be anything, just keep yourself hydrated.
8. Avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption
You have to limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol to prevent kidney stones. These substances can increase uric acids and uric acid is one of the major reasons for kidney stones.
Kidney has many functions and some of them are filtering the waste material from the blood and maintain the water level in your body. Alcohol will be an extra load to your kidneys and it may cause serious problems.
Alcohol works as a diuretic and it can dry out the water in your body. Once the body is out of water supply it will impact blood pressure. High blood pressure will cause many problems and one of them is kidney-related ailments.
Caffeine is considered to be good for health when taken moderately. If you suspect kidney stones or have suffered previously, good to limit caffeine intake.
Some studies show that caffeine can reduce calcium and vitamin C. Low level of calcium will not match the level of oxalate in your body and the risk of stone formation is high. So, it is good to limit or avoid caffeine from your diet.
9. Avoid high dose of vitamin C supplements
Natural food is the best source of vitamins, minerals, plant proteins, and fats. Due to some extra need or medical condition, you may opt for supplements to fulfill the gap.
Supplements are not evil, they are well researched and regulated for safety. You have to make the right choice as per your requirements.
The heavy dose of vitamin C is not good if you have suffered from kidney stones in the past. Excess vitamin C will convert to oxalate and an elevated level of oxalate is not good.
This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid vitamin C completely, 50-60 mg per day can be taken.
10. Walking and kidney stones
Walk as much as you can. Walking will help you maintain a good digestive system, urinary system and a regular bowl moment. A healthy diet, good water intake and an active lifestyle will keep your problems at bay.
If you are suffering from kidney stone then walking will help you move it down. We have suggested some supplements in the below section. These supplements will help you reduce the size of kidney stones and walking will move them down to eliminate through pee.
How to prevent kidney stones by taking the best supplements for kidneys
Potassium Magnesium Citrate
Studies show that the intake of Potassium magnesium citrate for 5 weeks with adequate rest and a controlled diet has reduced calcium oxalate secretion significantly. This study concluded that Potassium magnesium citrate is an effective countermeasure to prevent kidney stone formation.
Another study found that the usage of Potassium magnesium citrate for a duration of 3 years can reduce the reoccurrence of renal stone by 85%.
Potassium magnesium citrate can help those who are currently suffering from kidney stones. It will work in synergy with other supplements as it controls calcium oxalate & uric acid levels.
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Chanca Piedra(Phyllanthus Niruri)
Chanca piedra is a well-known herb in Ayurveda. This herb is in use for centuries to cure liver disorders, kidney problems, inflammation, oxidative stress, diabetes, and urinary tract infections. Chanca piedra(Phyllanthus Niruri) is also known as a stone breaker due to its ability to dissolve kidney stones.
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Malic acid is defined under the class of naturally occurring acids(alpha-hydroxy acids) and commonly found in fruits. Malic acid can stop calcium bonding with other substances and stop crystal formation.
Malic acid will not allow crystals to stick to each other and restricts the stone formation. This ability of Malic acid is due to the citrate nature of its ingredient. Malic acid is a precursor to citrate.
As per research, Malic acid can be a potential treatment for calcium oxalate stones.
Malic acid can eliminate kidney stones and can be an alternative to kidney stone surgery. Also, it can help you prevent kidney stones.
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Fish oil may not reduce kidney stone by itself, rather it can control some factors which causes kidney stones. It is been observed that the regular use of fish oil (DHA & EPA) can reduce calcium concentration in urine.
There are many more benefits of taking fish oil and one of them is anti-inflammation property. Inflammation is common in people suffering from kidney stones.
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Types Of Kidney Stones
There are 4 types of kidney stones and the first two types are found in the majority of cases.
- Calcium oxalate stone is the most common type of kidney stone. This stone is formed due to an imbalance of calcium and oxalate intake.
- Uric acid stones are formed when too much acid exist in urine. The major reason could be diet habits. Meat is one of the main sources of uric acid.
- Cystine stones run in families and they are found rarely. It is important to check if your close blood relations have suffered from a kidney stone problem.
- Kidney stones can be formed due to kidney infections. These stones are called Struvite.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Incidents of kidney stones are increasing rapidly and major contributors to this problem are diet & lifestyle. Since you want to know how to prevent kidney stones naturally, it is important to know its causes as well.
There are many factors that can cause kidney stones and what causes kidney stones is huge topic to explore. These are some of the well-known factors to remember.
- Imbalance in calcium intake
- High sodium diet
- Animal protein
- High oxalate diet
- Vitamin C supplements
- Stay up all night on a long term basis
- Genetic diseases
In a healthy individual, the waste materials are filtered by kidneys and eliminated through urine. Whereas the opposite condition is responsible for the crystallization of waste material.
Common Kidney Stones Symptoms In Men And Women
Learn how to prevent kidney stones naturally in the early stages and keep a check on its possible symptoms. Following are the list of common kidney stones symptoms in men and women.
- Pain while passing urine
- Frequent urge for urination
- Burning sensation while peeing
- Passing a small amount of urine repeatedly
- Men may feel pain at the tip of the penis
- Some women describe that the pain is severe than labor pain
- Sharp pain on sides, lower back, and abdomen
- You feel as pain is moving towards lower abdomen or groin
- Sudden pain at a continuous frequency
- Blood in urine
- Bad smell in urine
- Fever and chills
- Vomiting and nausea
The reason for pain and other symptoms is the stone that moves in the urinary tract. Kidneys put some extra pressure and try to eliminate the stones. In this process, the kidney will continuously send pain signals to the brain and it leads to waves of pain.
Consult The Doctor
After reading the full article now you know how to prevent kidney stones and will be much more confident than before. If you experience the following symptoms and signs, please contact the doctor.
- Foul smell in urine and cloudy urine
- Fever and chills
- Unbearable pain on sides, back, and lower abdomen
- Blood in urine
- Seaver burning sensation while peeing
In emergency cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and find the underlying cause of your problem.
Our inputs on how to prevent kidney stones are not medical advice, please contact the doctor if there is an emergency.
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