Dietary Changes That Reduce Kidney Stones Risk

Dietary Changes That Reduce Kidney Stones Risk

Though kidney stones have been around for centuries, there has been a definite increase in the incidence in recent years, especially in America. Many physicians agree that this is mainly due to the American diet, which tends to be high in sugar and fats and low in fiber and nutrition.

Our bodies take the foods and drinks we consume each day and use them to provide adequate fuel and then the excess is carried to the kidneys and excreted as urine. Certain foods have been found to encourage the formation of kidney stones while others have been shown to decrease it. Of course, there are many factors to consider such as age, weight, genes and fluid intake, but we can change our diet and decrease the likelihood that kidney stones will form.

What Are Kidney Stones?

How To Prevent Kidney Stones

By Andrew Comings (Flickr: Lemons) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In certain situations, minerals in your urine can crystallize and form a “stone.” Normally, there are compounds in urine that inhibit them from forming, but those whose urine is highly alkaline or highly acidic do not have sufficient compounds to handle the excess. In some cases, a metabolic disorder, certain drugs and kidney disease can be a factor.

How To Prevent Kidney Stones

More often, it’s a simple matter of diet.  Drink plenty of water and add some lemon to it because lemon has a high citric acid content. If you live in a hot, dry climate, do strenuous physical labor or exercise regularly, then you’ll need to drink even more water than others.

Make sure you eat foods rich in magnesium, such as spinach, beans, nuts and avocadoes. Most doctors recommended avoiding sugar and high-fructose drinks. Soybeans and soy-rich foods should also be avoided because they contain high levels of oxalates.  Avoid consuming too much salt. This can be harmful for many reasons so limit daily salt intake.

Each year, 3 million people go to their doctor with kidney stones and over half a million visit an emergency room annually because of the pain and discomfort. Once you’ve had an attack, your chances of recurrence are around 70 to 80 percent. As with many health issues these days, prevention is the best route.

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