What Can I Do to Help Prevent Kidney Stones?

Even if you haven’t had kidney stones yourself, you probably know they can be incredibly painful. In fact, more than 300,000 Americans end up in emergency rooms across the country, looking for pain relief each year. While anyone can develop kidney stones, certain factors can increase your risks of this common urinary tract disorder.

At the Stone Relief Center in Woodlands, Texas, we specialize in treating and eliminating kidney stones. While we can’t always prevent kidney stones, Dr. W. Cooper Bushemeyer says there are some ways to help reduce your chances of going through this painful ordeal.

Here’s a quick look at a few things you can do on your own to prevent kidney stones.

What’s the big deal?

If you’ve had a kidney stone, you can probably skip ahead to the next section while we quickly review what happens when a kidney stone makes its way out.

Kidney stones can from a buildup of several different substances, including:

Once formed, kidney stones can vary in size from tiny grains of sand to small, marble-sized, crystallized formations. You typically start having problems when these stones begin moving into your urinary tract, causing a blockage. As your body struggles to pass the stone, you usually experience intense pain that you’ll never forget. 

While kidney stones generally don’t cause permanent damage, it’s best never to have one form in the first place.

Identifying your risks

The best way to avoid stones is understanding your risk factors, which include:

Unfortunately, there’s little you can do about your family history of kidney stones. However, even if that’s the case, you can still take control of your health. If you have elevated risk of kidney stones, you should take extra care to prevent them.

Taking action 

Now the important part: How you can do your part to prevent kidney stones. The first and most important step is staying properly hydrated. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps keep your kidneys functioning smoothly, and it prevents any buildup from developing in the first place. 

Next, pay attention to your calcium intake. When you don’t get enough calcium, your oxalate levels can rise, which may lead to kidney stones. Our team can help you figure out exactly how much calcium you should include in your diet each day. But, generally speaking, after age 50, men should get 1,000 milligrams and women need 1,200 milligrams.

To help with your hydration and calcium levels, you should also be mindful of your sodium intake. Sodium increases the calcium in your urine and can also dehydrate you, so try using lemon or spices as your go-to flavoring.

You can also tweak your diet to avoid getting kidney stones. To start, try limiting the animal proteins (meat, poultry, eggs) you consume, which raise the level of uric acid in your body. You should also avoid foods linked to the formation of kidney stones, such as:

Several other foods can contribute to kidney stones, which we’re happy to go over with you, but these offer a good starting point.

For more steps you can take to prevent kidney stones, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 281-653-8057. You can also use our online booking tool to request an appointment.

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