Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salt that form in your urinary tract. Though kidney stones can affect people of all ages, they’re likeliest to occur at age 30 or older, and your risk increases as you get older. Though age increases your risk of kidney stones, your habits also play a big role, which means that you can take steps to prevent them.
With decades of experience treating urological issues Dr. Craig Herman and the team at Urology Center of Florida can help treat and prevent kidney stones.
What causes kidney stones?
Your urine contains various waste products, including calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. Normally, they leave your body when you urinate. If your urine is too concentrated, meaning there’s not enough liquid to dilute the waste products, they remain in your body and crystallize, forming kidney stones.
The underlying cause of kidney stones is that your body doesn’t have enough liquid to flush out crystal-forming substances. There’s no single cause, but various factors can result in this condition.
What habits increase the risk of kidney stones?
Your habits may be putting you in danger of kidney stones. Here are 5 habits that contribute to kidney stones:
1. Carrying excess weight
There’s a link between obesity and increased risk of kidney stones.
2. Salt and sugar
In addition to causing weight gain, your diet may also involve taking in chemicals that directly contribute to kidney stone formation. Common culprits include fructose, found in table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, as well as salt, which increases the amount of calcium in your kidneys.
3. Eating animal proteins
Red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and seafood can raise your uric acid levels, leading to stone formation.
4. Oxalate-rich foods
It’s not just unhealthy foods that can be problematic. Oxalate, found in many fruits, vegetables, and nuts, can cause crystals to form, so it’s important to know which foods are low in oxalate.
5. Not drinking enough water
Though dehydration may be the result of a medical condition, many people who get kidney stones simply don’t drink enough water. This is especially important if you live in a place with a warm climate, like Florida.
Not all contributing factors to kidney stones are controllable. For example, you’re more likely to develop kidney stones if you have a family history, and as mentioned, your risk increases with age. However, if you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to be extra cautious and take whatever steps you can to prevent kidney stones.
What can I do to prevent kidney stones?
Since your habits are a common contributor to kidney stones, you can reduce your risk of kidney stone by changing your habits for the better.
If you’re overweight or obese, Dr. Herman will likely recommend losing excess weight. Overall, it’s a good idea to eat a healthier diet and drink more water, enough to pass clear or mostly clear urine. However, it’s also important to pay special attention to which foods are high in oxalate, which can lead to kidney stone formation. We can help you follow a diet plan that leaves you feeling full and satisfied while avoiding foods that increase your risk.
To get help preventing or treating kidney stones make an appointment with Dr. Herman at the Urology Center of Florida today.