OUR MODIFIED HOURS ARE: Monday: 8am-6pm | Tuesday: 8am-6pm | Wednesday: 8am-5pm | Thursday: 8am-6pm | Friday: 8am-5pm (719) 630-1006

Millions of people worldwide will experience a kidney stone at some point in their life. This is because they are so common and affect such a large percentage of the population. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about it. In fact, there are many ways to prevent kidney stones from occurring in the first place.

Kidney stones affect 1 in 11 people in the United States and are caused by an accumulation of certain minerals in the kidneys. Understanding what causes kidney stones and what we can do about them is the first step to preventing them.

Avoiding Kidney Stones

The most common type of kidney stones, calcium oxalate crystals, form when urine contains too much calcium or oxalate (a salt) and not enough citrate (an organic acid). The body naturally produces less citrate as people age, leading to an increased risk for kidney stones. Ways to avoid having kidney stones include:

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking lots of water throughout the day is good for a multitude of reasons, and preventing kidney stones is one of them. When you drink plenty of fluids, your kidneys are able to flush out any excess minerals that could lead to the formation of kidney stones. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day.

Consume Less Sodium

A diet high in sodium can also increase your risk for kidney stones. Sodium causes the body to retain water, which increases the number of fluids in the body and the likelihood that excess minerals will accumulate and form crystals. It is recommended that adults limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg a day. That’s the equivalent of about one teaspoon of table salt.

Avoid Foods Rich in Oxalate

Consuming foods high in oxalates may increase the risk of kidney stones. Foods high in oxalates include:

  • Spinach
  • Nuts
  • Beets
  • Chocolate

If you already have kidney stones, it is best to avoid these foods as much as possible. However, if you aren’t currently affected by kidney stones and just want to prevent them from occurring in the future, limiting your intake of oxalate-rich food may be a good place to start.

Eat Less Animal Protein

Animal protein, especially red meat and seafood, is also associated with an increased risk for kidney stones. For this reason, it is recommended that people eat less animal protein in favor of plant-based proteins. In addition, consuming lots of protein creates more acid and toxins in the body, leading to the formation of kidney stones.

Cut Back on Sodas

Drinking soda has been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones mainly because of the fructose content in many sodas. In addition, fructose has been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones due to its ability to increase the urinary excretion of calcium, oxalate, and uric acid.

In fact, one study found that those who drink one or more sugar-sweetened colas a day have a 23% higher risk of developing kidney stones than those who drink cola less than once a week.

Put More Fiber in Your Diet

Fiber is beneficial for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that it can help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Fiber helps to keep things moving through the digestive system and prevents any accumulation of waste that could lead to kidney stones. Try to include plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Eating a diet high in fiber may ensure your kidneys are functioning optimally and help to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Preventing kidney stones is all about limiting the risk factors. If you are at high risk for developing kidney stones because of age, family history, or other medical conditions, it’s important to start taking preventative measures now. Following these tips may help reduce your risk.

Contact Summit Medical Clinic

Summit Medical Clinic is devoted to providing quality primary care and Nephrology services. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with kidney stones or any other renal issues, schedule an appointment today and be on your way to living a healthier life.

Back To Top