Having kidney stones is a painful condition that is potentially dangerous. Though there is no concrete way to prevent kidney stone formation, you can reduce your risk of developing a stone by making dietary changes. Kidney stones can form when either phosphorous or oxalate combines with calcium. They can also form from uric acid. To prevent stones, it’s important to dilute these substances through a number of dietary methods.
Watch Your Caffeine and Animal Protein
Consuming too much caffeine and eating too much animal protein can lead to the formation of stones. If you have frequent meals made up of coffee, meat, eggs and seafood, you can increase the level of uric acid and calcium in your urine. Replace your morning cup of coffee with juice or water, and consume more plant-based food rather than meat-heavy meals.
When you don’t drink enough water, certain substances can build up in your urine that may lead to the formation of stones. Drink water throughout the day to keep those substances diluted. In addition to water, drink juices such as orange juice and lemonade. These citrus drinks contain citrate that can help reduce your risk of kidney stones.
Cut the Salt
Taking in too much sodium can raise the calcium level in your urine. If you regularly eat salty snacks and processed foods that contain high levels of salt, you will increase the likelihood of developing kidney stones.
Get Plenty of Calcium, but Not From Supplements
Though calcium is a major component of most stones, not getting enough calcium can cause the opposite problem that you’d imagine. When you don’t take in enough calcium, your oxalate levels can rise, and this can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Take in plenty of calcium to prevent this problem. Getting your calcium from foods, rather than supplements, is the healthiest way to ingest it. There is some evidence that taking calcium supplements can lead to kidney stones. Dairy products, soybeans, some seafood, and certain leafy greens are good sources of dietary calcium, which will keep your oxalate levels regulated.
Cut Out Foods That Contain Oxalate and Phosphate
Both of these chemicals can contribute to the formation of stones. Oxalate is found in beets, tea, rhubarb, spinach, and unfortunately, chocolate. If you consume these items, do so in moderation. Phosphate can be found in colas. To prevent kidney stones, cut down or eliminate your consumption of these drinks, and opt for water instead.
If you have any questions about kidney stones, contact Dr. Scott Miller or call at (404) 705-5201.