What Can You Do To Reduce The Risk of Having Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard, crystallized minerals that form in the kidneys that may spread to other organs in the urinary tract such as the bladder and the ureter. They form when urine becomes so concentrated with minerals that the minerals crystallize and harden. Often stones are formed from a fusion of calcium and oxalate or phosphorus. Symptoms of kidney stones include trouble passing urine, excruciating pain when passing urine, pain in the groin, below the ribs and in the abdomen, blood in the urine and frequent urination. While reports indicate that the prevalence of kidney stones has grown in modern times, the condition still remains a preventable one.

Ways of preventing Kidney Stones

1. Cut down on sodium intake
A heavy sodium intake causes a proportionate increase in the amount of calcium in urine, creating a good chance of kidney stone formation. Processed and canned foods are known to contain high amounts of sodium. It is advisable to reduce one’s consumption of such foods.

2. Staying hydrated
Drinking enough water and other fluids is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent kidney stones. Water dilutes urine, making it less concentrated. A shortage of fluid in the body translates into just a little concentrated urine. Urine salts are more likely to crystallize and form stones because there is insufficient water to dissolve them.

3. Consumption of foods rich in calcium
Even if most stones have aspects of calcium, calcium rich foods such as milk and cheese prevent the likelihood of kidney stone recurrence. This is because the levels of oxalate, which is a stone forming mineral, increase with decreasing levels of calcium. Calcium should be maintained at a good level.

4. Cut down on the intake of animal proteins and fructose
Organ meats, red meat, seafood and poultry contain a compound known as purine which contributes to the formation of kidney stones, specifically uric acid stones. The same goes for foods with high fructose, with corn syrup specifically being one to avoid. Managing the intake of these foods should go a long way in preventing stones from forming.

In addition to watching one’s diet, medical professionals advise that people should obtain a good amount of exercise to prevent weight related disorders such as obesity.

Kidney stones are very painful and, in this instance, there is no question that prevention is much better than cure. If you discover that you have kidney stones, you should seek medical attention immediately. For those interested in prevention only, reading up on the subject can offer practical ways to avoid having kidney stones. The staff of specialists at St. Pete Urology also are able to help with diagnosis, prevention and treatment of kidney stones. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

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St Pete Urology is a team of medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urological diseases and conditions. We offer quality care with compassion. For an appointment, call us at (727) 478-1172