Kidney stones are one of the most common urinary tract illnesses. They are hard deposits of minerals, and acids. Insufficient fluid intake allows these minerals to crystalize in the kidneys and bind together, forming stones.
Kidney stones may be as small as a grain, and as large as a pea. Larger stones get stuck, and block the urine flow, causing pain and inability to urinate, and kidney damage.
The single, most important culprit is not drinking enough water. In fact, if everybody drank three quarts of water a day, Urologists might have to retire because they would have nothing else to do. It is truly a problem due to too little fluid intake.
People who should take extra care to drink enough fluids include those who have:
- Had a previous kidney stone
- A family history of kidney stones
- A diet high in animal protein or containing too much salt
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Tips to help you drink more water:
- Set a phone reminder
- Always carry a water bottle with you.
- Eat water-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables.
Another way to prevent kidney stone is by watching your Sodium intake
Most of the sodium in your diet comes from packaged foods, even healthy ones, like whole grain cereals and breads. Excessive sodium in your diet can increase the odds of a kidney stone, so limit sources like fast foods and restaurant meals and sodium-heavy packaged foods. It’s easier to reduce your sodium intake when you focus on eating more whole or minimally processed foods.
Embrace a plant-forward diet. Animal proteins can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. To lower the odds, try making a mix of plant-based foods — such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains — the focus of your meals and eat animal proteins less frequently and in smaller portions.
Be smart with supplements.
While a calcium-rich diet may help you prevent kidney stones from forming, calcium supplements are linked with an increased risk.
Read our article on how to keep your kidney healthy. HERE
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