How to Naturally Prevent Kidney Stones

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Thursday August 6, 2020

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Whether or not you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you probably know some who has, and just how painful they can be. Kidney stones are mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys, causing intense pain when they pass through the urinary tract. While your likelihood of getting kidney stones is somewhat based on your family history, there are plenty of diet and lifestyle changes that can prevent kidney stones naturally.

1. Drink Enough Water

We all need to drink more water! Drinking enough water every day is the easiest way to prevent kidney stones. Low concentrated urine is more likely to dissolve urine salts, limiting the chance that stones can form. If you or your family has a history of kidney stones, you can also try lemonade or orange juice. Fruit juices containing citrate may help prevent stones, in addition to drinking enough water.

2. Pay Attention to Oxalates

You may be thinking — what on earth is an oxalate? Oxalates are a natural substance in several foods. They are found in many vegetables and nuts. Most of the time, our bodies remove oxalates during digestion, but sometimes they can build up and cause kidney stones. 

Being conscious of high-oxalate foods, including peanuts, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes, can help you decrease your risk of kidney stones. You can also balance your diet with low-oxalate foods, such as bananas, cucumbers, bacon, beef, cabbage and lemons.

3. Eat High-Calcium Foods

Did you know there are different types of kidney stones? The most common form are calcium oxalate kidney stones. However, the name can be misleading. Recent studies indicate that boosting your calcium intake when you consume high-oxalate foods may help your body absorb them more efficiently. 

Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, like whole milk, probiotic yogurt and cheese. However certain legumes, vegetables and fish can also provide adequate amounts of calcium. Look for foods such as broccoli, kale, kidney beans, chickpeas, sardines and salmon. 

4. Cut Back on Salt

Reducing your sodium intake is a good idea for several reasons. Unless you have a health condition that requires higher salt intake, reducing sodium in your diet can help lower blood pressure, along with the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

When it comes to kidney stones, eating too much salt can prevent calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine to the blood. Try to limit or avoid foods that are high in sodium, including most processed foods, deli meats, canned soups and condiments.

5. Talk To Your Doctor

If you are at a higher risk of kidney stones, whether due to family history or having had them before, you may want to speak with your doctor regarding additional options to reduce your risk.

There are several supplements that your doctor may recommend, including potassium citrate, vitamin B6, vitamin D and fish oil. Your doctor may also recommend that you reduce your vitamin C intake, as some studies show that supplementing with vitamin C can increase your risk of kidney stones.

Reducing Your Risk 

Depending on you and your family’s health history, you may be at a higher risk of kidney stones. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to naturally prevent them. Regardless of your health history, making small changes to your diet and lifestyle can have a huge influence. 

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