Preventing Kidney Stones – Urology Care Foundation

Kidney stone disease is one of the most common problems of the urinary tract. Kidney stones have become more common over the past few decades among both men and
women. About 1 in 10 Americans will have a kidney stone during his or her
lifetime. Over half the people who get a stone will get another one within 5
years. So, it’s important you do what you can to prevent getting kidney stones in
the first place or if you’ve had a stone before prevent getting another one. If you’ve had kidney stones before a big part of preventing future stones is finding out why you get them in the first place. Your
healthcare provider will get your medical history and may perform a few
tests such as blood and urine tests, imaging tests like an x-ray, stone
analysis testing a stone that you have passed or had surgically removed. Changing your diet and taking certain
medications have been shown to be the best at preventing a stone from forming
in the first place and keeping you from getting another one in the future. Here
are some things you can do to prevent future kidney stones. Drink enough fluids each day. You should get at least 2 to 3 liters of water or low-calorie drinks
each day which is about 8 to 10 ten ounce glasses. Additionally you may need to
drink even more if you’re exposed to high ambient temperatures or exercise
frequently that causes excessive sweating. Eat plenty of fruits and
vegetables. Eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies every day. A serving
means one piece of fruit or a half cup of cooked vegetables. Eat foods with low
oxalate levels if you have high urine oxalate. Nearly all plant foods have
oxalate but some foods contain a lot of it. These include beets, spinach, and almonds.
limit your daily meat intake this Limit your daily meat intake. This includes all types of meat: beef, chicken,
pork, and fish. This may mean eating meat only once per
day versus two to three times, eat meat fewer times during the week, or eat
smaller portions when you do eat meat. Portions should be eight ounces or less,
size of a deck of cards. If protein intake is needed, try and get
it from non-animal sources such as beans, quinoa, hummus, etc. Eat the right amount
of calcium. It’s important that you do not have too little or too much calcium.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your calcium intake and what they
recommend. If you need calcium supplements take them with your meals. Reduce the amount of salt in your diet. This tip is for people with high sodium
intake and high urine calcium or cystine. Sodium can cause both urine
calcium and cystine to be too high. Your healthcare provider may advise you to
avoid adding salt to your food and avoid foods with lots of salt such as cheese,
deli meats, canned soups and veggies Remember your healthcare provider will
recommend you do what is best for you and the type of stone you have. Not every
tip will work for every stone former. The recommendations are not
one-size-fits-all. If you feel that lifestyle and dietary changes aren’t
helping, talk to your healthcare provider to see if there’s a medication you can
take to prevent the type of stones you form. If you’d like more information on
kidney stones, visit The Urology Care Foundation is the official foundation of the American Urological Association.

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