Kidney stones are not something we expect to experience, and yet 12% of us will. Once this temporary health problem occurs once, there is a strong chance that we will see it again. In fact, research tells us that a person who has one bout of kidney stones has a 50% chance of having another at some point. At UT Urology, we provide care that resolves kidney stones safely and efficiently. We also discuss with patients how they might reduce their risk of recurrence.
Risk Reduction Made Easy
Often, the first line of defense in combating existing kidney stones is to modify dietary and lifestyle habits. Making healthy changes can promote the passing of kidney stones. Therefore, it makes sense to also turn to diet as a method of reducing the potential for recurring stones. Suggestions for risk reduction include:
- Drink more water. Hydration is an integral aspect of optimal physical function. As the kidneys are a filtration system, their need for hydration is high. Every person needs at least8 tall glasses of water a day. For individuals who engage in strenuous exercise, hot yoga, or who use a sauna, water consumption is even more important because they need to replenish what is sweat out.
- Drink less alcohol. Actually, we might also lump coffee into this list. Studies have revealed that both coffee and alcohol deplete the body of water. The diuretic effects of such beverages are compounded by the increased storage of uric acid that results from consumption. With uric acid a prime factor in kidney stone development, this is a compound we want to minimize in the blood.
- Drink your lemon. Research has shown that lemons and limes contain high concentrations of citrate, a natural salt that inhibits calcium crystallization and growth. To get the full benefits of this suggestion, drink two, 5-ounce glasses of lemon juice a day. Dilute this juice with water and add stevia for a refreshing beverage!
- Drink milk. Ok, not everyone can drink milk. The real tip is to get more calcium. This may sound counterintuitive because calcium is a factor in certain types of kidney stones. However, studies also suggest that we need a sufficient amount of calcium to diminish the chance of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Do you have questions about kidney stones? Call our Chattanooga urology office at (423) 778-8765.