Developing kidney stones is one of the worst nightmares you’ll have. Even if you could eventually get rid of the stones without medical intervention, the pain you’ll experience will definitely leave you wondering if you could somehow prevent developing stones in the first place.
Fortunately, you can. There’s a wide consensus among scientists, researchers, and medical professionals that majority of kidney stone cases can be prevented. If you follow these simple tips, you can reduce the risk of developing stones dramatically.
The top reasons why a person develops stones are:
- Family History
Doctors believe that people who are fond of eating processed foods, high amounts of sodium (salt), or sugary foods and beverages, have a higher risk of developing stones.
Processed foods contain excessive amounts of salt and other minerals for preservation and flavor. The kidneys will attempt to filter these waste products and excrete them from the body through urine, but they can build up in the kidneys over time forming stones.
To reduce the risks of developing stones, you’ll want to avoid processed foods as much as you can. If you can’t totally avoid these products, then reducing your consumption by a third will help prevent these stones from developing.
A lot of people don’t drink enough water. They replace water with other drinks, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, or even alcoholic beverages. It’s important to remember that no other type of drink can replace water when it comes to hydration. To keep your body well hydrated you’ll need to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Other drinks do not count.
When a person is dehydrated, the kidneys are unable to process enough urine to remove the salt and mineral deposits. As such, the minerals will form into stones and if they get large enough, even drinking excessive amounts of water may not be enough to get rid of them.
Obesity has been linked to the development of uric acid stones. When uric acid levels are high, the body is not only at risk of developing gout, but also developing stones in the kidneys. To reduce the chances of forming uric acid stones, you’ll need to ensure that your Body Mass Index is kept at ideal levels. If you have a history of uric acid, make sure you obtain medications that help reduce the levels in your blood.
The risks of developing kidney stones increase if your parents or siblings have already experienced the condition. However, if you apply all the preventive measures described above, then there’s a good possibility that you’ll be able to avoid the condition.
Kidney stone prevention through lifestyle changes
The best way to prevent the formation of kidney stones is to make a few changes in your lifestyle. The first change would be your diet. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will limit the amount of animal proteins, salts, and other minerals that you consume.
As mentioned above, you’ll need to increase your daily water consumption if you’re not drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Keep in mind that if you sweat a lot, you’ll need to drink more water than the recommended 8 glasses.
Simple lifestyle changes can prevent the formation of kidney stones and help you avoid the agony of the stones passing or any surgery that might be required if the stones get too large.