Diet Dos and Don’ts to Prevent Kidney Stones

Whenever I travel long distances, I used to hold the passing of urine as much as I could until the next stop. I have done the same while working on an important projects that I didn’t want to leave. Some of my friends though have told me that this habit might cause me to develop kidney stones. I wondered what do kidney stones feel like because I was not quite sure if I already have them.

I was becoming curious about the topic on kidney stones and I read an article online that there is a way to prevent them through your diet. I thought that this article might be helpful to us since kidney stones can affect anyone in any age group.

If you have kidney stones in the past, there is a greater risk that you will have them again in the future. But through your diet, you may be able to prevent the formation of new stones. The same is true for people who were never diagnosed to have kidney stones but are prone to developing them.

Here are some diet dos and don’t that can help you prevent kidney stones:

Dos

  1. Drink more water. Keep yourself hydrated at all times by drinking plenty of water. Whenever you are doing physical activities like when playing sports or exercising, be sure to have a bottle of water handy. Not drinking enough fluid will cause the urine to become too concentrated, allowing the minerals to stick together and form into stones. Drinking water or other hydrating fluids can help in diluting the urine. Ideally, you should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. You will know that you have enough fluid in your urine if it is light yellow or clear in color.
  2. Get your calcium needs from foods. Instead of taking calcium supplements, eat more calcium-rich foods such as cheese, milk and yogurt. This applies if you are prone to calcium stones.
  3. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods. Foods that are a good source of dietary fibers include wheat cereals, whole wheat breads, oat bran, carrots and cabbage.
  4. Drink lemon juice from real lemons as they are high in citrate which can help prevent stones in the kidney.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t eat too much salt or salty food. If possible, eat less or even eliminate processed foods and junk foods from your diet. Also, avoid eating out so you can control how much salt you put in your food.
  2. Avoid foods that are high in oxalate. If you are prone to developing oxalate kidney stones, lower you consumption of nuts, chocolates and dark green vegetables as they are high in oxalate.
  3. Avoid foods that have high animal protein content. That means you have to reduce consumption of pork, chicken, beef, fish and eggs. You don’t have to completely avoid these foods. You could talk to your dietician on how much animal protein is right for you.
  4. Avoid the consumption of apple and grapefruit juice. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows the increased risk of developing kidney stones with regular consumption of these juices, though it is not clear as to why.

If you take these diet dos and don’t into account, you have a big chance of preventing kidney stones. Of course, they should not substitute whatever advice your doctor may give you regarding your condition. As for my habit of holding urine, I have since stopped doing that and am glad that I do not have a serious case of kidney stones.