8 natural ways you had no idea you could prevent a kidney stone

Kidney stones are extremely common these days, and anyone who has experienced them is likely to get them again. As a matter of fact, 12 percent of US men and 5 percent of US women will develop a kidney stone at certain point of their lifetime, and they are 50 percent more likely to get another one within 5-10 years.

The good news is that there are few things which can be done to cut down this risk. Read on to learn more about kidney stones and the 8 ways to combat them.

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are made up of hard, solid waste which accumulates in the kidneys and forms crystals.  Smaller stones are not a problem, but larger ones may block the urinary system while leaving the body, which in turn causes bleeding, vomiting, and pain.

8 Natural Ways To Reduce The Risk of Forming Kidney Stones


1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking a lot of liquids is generally useful when it comes to kidney stone prevention.  The reason is very simple: fluids dilute the stone-forming compounds in the urine and prevent them from crystallizing.

Of course, not all fluids are beneficial for this particular purpose. For instance, high water intake is associated with lower risk of kidney stones as well as drinks like beer, tea, orange juice, coffee, and wine.

To the contrary, high soda intake, including both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened sodas is linked to kidney stone formation. What`s more, it has been scientifically shown that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened cola leads to an elevated risk of kidney stones.

2. Increase Your Citric Acid Content

Citric acid is naturally found in many fruits and veggies, especially citrus fruits like lemons.  This acid prevents kidney stones in two different ways. The first one is preventing they formation by binding with calcium in the urine and the second one is preventing their enlargement by binding to already existing oxalate crystals.

To include more citric acid in your diet you need to eat more citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, or grapefruit or add lime or lemon juice to your water.

3. Limit Foods High in Oxalates

Oxalic acid, also known as oxalate, is an anti-nutrient found in foods like fruits, veggies, and cocoa.  High oxalate intake is associated with higher oxalate excretion in the urine, which can be a problem for those who are prone to formation of calcium oxalate stones.

However, a strict low-oxalate die isn’t recommended for anyone prone to forming kidney stones.  Such diet is recommended only for patients with hyperoxaluria, a condition in which the individual has high oxalate levels in the urine.

4. Don’t Take High Doses of Vitamin C

It has been scientifically shown that supplementing with vitamin C is linked to an elevated risk of forming kidney stones.  Taking vitamin C supplements in excess may increase the excretion of oxalate n the urine,  given that some vitamin C may be turned into oxalate within the body.

According to a study done on middle-aged Swedish men, those taking vitamin C supplements may be at higher risk of developing kidney stones when compared to those who don’t take them.  But, note that this applies to supplements only, not to vitamin C from food sources.

5. Get Enough Calcium

Contrary to popular belief, deprivation of calcium doesn’t lower the risk of forming calcium-containing stones.  As a matter of fact, a diet high in this mineral has been linked to a lower risk of developing kidney stones.  According to a study in which men who had earlier formed calcium-containing kidney stones were placed on a diet with higher calcium intake, they had up to 50 percent lower risk of getting another kidney stone over the next 5 years.

Dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese are good sources of calcium. For an average adult, the RDI of calcium is 1,000 mg daily.

6. Cut Back on Salt

High salt intake is associated with an increased risk of kidney stones in some people,  as it tends to increase calcium excretion through the urine, which is one of the key reasons for kidney stone formation in the first place.

The current recommendation for sodium intake is 2.300 mg daily.  Given that most people consume much more than that, try to cut back on processed foods to decrease the high sodium intake.

7. Increase Magnesium Intake

It is believed that magnesium can help prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones; already the way it works is not fully understood.  Researchers suggest that it may reduce oxalate absorption in the gut, though.

The RDI for magnesium is 400 mg daily. To boost your magnesium intake, eat more tofu, legumes, and avocados.  For optimal results, consume magnesium with foods that are high in oxalate.  If not possible, take the magnesium source within 12 hours.

8. Eat Less Animal Protein

Diet high in animal protein, such as dairy, meat, and fish, is linked to a higher risk of kidney stones as it increases calcium excretion while decreasing citrate levels.  Additionally, animal protein sources are high in purines, compounds which increase the risk of forming uric acid stones.

All foods contain purines in different amounts.  Plant foods have the lowest amount while kidney, liver, and other organ meats have the highest amount of these compounds.


source: http://besthealthyguide.com

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