BY DR. KHOOBSURAT NAJMA
Recent studies have shown that kidney stone rates are on the rise. But did you know that kidney stones are easily preventable? Let’s start by understanding,
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid than the fluid in your urine can dilute Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones. Other types include calcium phosphate stones, uric acid stones, struvite stones and cysteine stones.
How to prevent Kidney Stones?
Here are some simple ways by which you can prevent kidney stones naturally:
1 . Take plenty of fluids
Drinking enough fluids each day is the best way to help prevent most types of kidney stones.
– Doctors recommend around 2 to 3 liters of fluid a day
– You can tell how diluted your urine is by looking at its color. The darker your urine is, the more concentrated it is
– Make sure that you drink more when it is hot or when you are exercising to replenish fluids lost through sweating
2 . Restrict Sodium/Salt Intake
Sodium, often from salt, causes the kidneys to excrete more calcium into the urine. High concentrations of calcium in the urine combine with oxalate and phosphorus to form stones. Limiting salt intake can help prevent kidney stones.
3 . Avoid Oxalate Forming Foods
People prone to forming kidney stones should avoid consuming foods rich in oxalates. These include spinach, rhubarb, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, chocolates.
4 . Continue Taking Calcium Rich Foods
Calcium from food does not increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones. In fact, a diet low in calcium actually increases one’s risk of developing kidney stones. It prevents oxalate from entering the blood, and then the urinary tract, where it can form stones.
– Work to pair calcium-rich foods with oxalate-rich foods. Besides calcium is essential for bone health
– Calcium supplements however should be used with caution and only after doctor’s approval
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5 . Limit Animal Protein
Red meats contain purines, which break down into uric acid in the urine. Foods especially rich in purines include organ meats, such as liver. People who are prone to form uric acid stones should limit their meat consumption.
6 . Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
You’re more prone to kidney stones if you stay sedentary for a long period of time.
– Limited activity can cause your bones to release more calcium.
– Exercise will also help you to regulate your blood pressure which if raised may double your risk for kidney stones