Kidney stones are waste filtered out by the kidneys from our blood. The waste should be flushed out in the urine, but it forms crystals when there is too much waste and not enough water to dissolve the waste. If there’s still not enough water, it forms a stone.
Genetics plays a part in stone formation, and one Kentucky urologist claims kidney stones should be part of the “metabolic syndrome,” because they so commonly occur with this diagnosis. Also, people living in warmer climates, who may be more prone to dehydration, have a higher incidence.
How Do We Prevent Them?
- Stay well hydrated.
- Since most kidney stones are calcium oxalate, avoid high oxalic acid foods, such as chocolate, because they can cause calcium to precipitate out and form crystals.
- Consume normal amounts of calcium from foods, and if you take supplements, use calcium citrate supplements. Women who take calcium supplements have more kidney stones, yet women who consumed normal amounts of calcium-rich food have 34 percent fewer kidney stones.
- Limit acid forming foods, including meats and other animal protein, which raises the level of calcium secreted in our urine. A diet low in animal protein significantly decreases frequency of kidney stones. Studies show that reducing calcium intake is not nearly as effective in reducing kidney stones as limiting meat and salt.
- Reduce your sodium intake.
- Eat alkaline-forming foods. These include vegetables and fruits.
- Eat foods rich in magnesium, potassium and citric acid. They all play a part in preventing the formation of calcium-oxalate crystals in the urine.
- Try drinking orange juice. It is a good source of water, potassium and citric acid.
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