Health

6 eating tips to help prevent kidney stones


Breaking the habit of binge eating, drinking enough water, reducing salt intake are ways to help prevent kidney stones.

The kidneys are organs located in the upper abdomen, below the ribs, toward the back. The function of the kidneys is to filter the blood by removing waste products, balance fluid levels, and keep electrolyte levels under control. Kidney stones are formed when the amount of urine is too little or the concentration of minerals in the urine is increased, deposited, and over time, coalesce to form stones.

Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball, although large stones are rare. When present in the kidneys, stones increase the risk of infection. When these stones pass through a relatively narrow ureter, they can cause pain, bleeding, infection, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. Small kidney stones can pass on their own in the urine, but larger stones often require surgery to remove.

Kidney stone disease is quite common, a person after being diagnosed with a kidney stone for the first time is at risk of having another kidney stone again. However, kidney stones can be easily prevented by paying attention to the diet, providing enough water for the body.

Drink enough water

Adequate fluid intake is very important to prevent stones. Without enough water, urine will become concentrated leading to a higher chance of stone formation. On the other hand, sugary drinks, such as sodas and sugary juices, can increase the risk of stone formation. Carbonated soft drinks promote the formation of kidney stones because they contain phosphoric acid.

Experts recommend that people drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Increase your water intake if you are active, sweat more, or live in a hotter climate. People at risk of kidney stones should limit coffee or other caffeinated beverages to 3 cups a day, as too much caffeine can quickly dehydrate the body.

Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to prevent stone formation. Image: Freepik

Balance protein with fruits and vegetables

Studies show that people with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a lower incidence of kidney stones than people who do not eat vegetables and fruits. The reason could be because animal protein makes urine more acidic, which contributes to stone formation. However, it is not for this reason that people eliminate meat from their daily menu. Instead, balance the acidity in your body by eating more fruits and vegetables to create an alkalinity.

Moderate calcium intake

Although most kidney stones occur from an excess of calcium oxalate, this does not mean that people should avoid calcium. Calcium is important for bone health, so get the recommended daily amount of calcium.

Reduce oxalate-rich foods

Reducing the amount of foods high in oxalates can help reduce the amount of oxalate in the kidneys. Foods high in oxalates include spinach, rice bran, almonds, cashews, cocoa powder, black tea, tofu, and sweet potatoes.

Reduce salt

High amounts of sodium in the diet can increase the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, when there is a risk of kidney stones, people should limit their sodium intake by limiting processed foods, eating more whole, unprocessed foods.

Fried, processed foods are high in sodium.  Photo: Freepik

Fried, processed foods are high in sodium. Image: Freepik

Diet

Large meals and binge eating, especially at night, can lead to concentrated urine. Moreover, unscientific eating breaks down fat stores in the body, creating by-products that must be filtered by the kidneys. These byproducts tend to make the urine more acidic, which can lead to stones.

Mr. Chi (Follow VeryWellHealth)

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