Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of kidney stones or you’re at risk of becoming initiated into this painful world, prevention is by far the best way to deal with the condition. By knowing your risk factors and making a few changes to your lifestyle, you can stay one step ahead of kidney stones.
At the Urology Center of Florida in Pompano Beach, our goal is to give you the tools you need to sidestep some of the serious conditions that can crop up in your urinary system, including painful kidney stones. While we can’t always prevent kidney stones, there are some effective ways we can increase your chances of avoiding this painful ordeal.
Here’s a quick look at some of the things you can do on your own to prevent kidney stones.
Why the fuss?
If you’ve already passed a kidney stone, you may want to skip ahead to the next section as we briefly review what happens when a kidney stone makes it way out.
Kidney stones are the result of a buildup of a number of different substances, including:
- Uric acid
These crystalized formations can range in size from a small grain of sand to something as large as a small marble. The problem arises when these stones make their way into your urinary tract, creating a blockage. As your body struggles to pass the stone, the resulting pain is not one you will soon forget.
While they generally don’t cause any permanent damage, the best kind of kidney stone is one that doesn’t form in the first place.
Know your risks
If you’d like to avoid kidney stones, the first step is to understand your risk factors, which include:
- A previous kidney stone
- Diet and water intake
- Digestive issues
There’s not much you can do about a family history of kidney stones. Just be aware that you may be more at risk of developing the condition. That’s a crucial step that allows you to take preventive action.
Prevention is key
So now let’s get down to how you can do your part to prevent kidney stones. One of the first, and most important, steps you can take is to ensure that you’re properly hydrated. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps your kidneys function smoothly and prevent buildup in the first place.
The next step is to monitor your calcium intake. If you’re not getting enough calcium into your system, your oxalate levels can rise, which may lead to kidney stones. We can help you figure out how much calcium you should incorporate into your diet each day, but to give you an idea of the numbers, men over the age of 50 should get 1,000 milligrams a day.
To help with your calcium levels and hydration, be mindful of your sodium intake. Sodium increases the levels of calcium in your urine and also dehydrates you, so grab some lemon or spices as your go-to flavoring.
When it comes to your diet, there are a few things you can tweak to avoid kidney stones. To start, limit your animal proteins (meat, poultry, eggs), which raise the level of uric acid in your body. You should also avoid some of these foods, which have been linked to the formation of kidney stones:
There are other foods that you’d do well to avoid, which we’re happy to go over with you, but these represent a good start.
If you’d like more information on what you can do on your own to prevent kidney stones, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Or you can use the online booking tool on this website to set up an appointment.