Kidney stones are crystallized forms of minerals and elements found in the urine that gets lodged in different sizes in the kidneys or ureter. Formation of stones in the kidney causes excruciating pain in the lower abdomen and back, and it can be further followed by blood-tinged urine, fever, nausea, foul urine odor like symptoms.

The risk of kidney stones is mostly observed in men than women within the age group of 20 years to 50 years. However, recent studies have also shown occurrence of kidney stones in infants and teens. Providentially, by making certain changes in your lifestyle and diet, you can actually keep these awful kidney stone problems at bay? Yes! You read it right!

Explore below 7 easy to incorporate lifestyle modification tips that can help you to stay away from kidney stones

7 Steps Towards Prevention of Kidney Stones

Check out these easy ways to prevent kidney stones:

1. Stay Well Hydrated

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Inadequate fluid intake is one of the main reasons for kidney stones. Studies show that increased fluid intake can eliminate harmful substances causing kidney stones through urine. You can prevent kidney stone formation by consuming adequate amount of water (at least 2 liters per day). Alcohol, carbonated, caffeinated, and sweetened drinks can increase the risk of kidney stones.

2. Follow the DASH Diet

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Eating foods high in phosphorus, potassium, sodium, animal protein or oxalates can cause kidney stones. According to a study, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet comprises of less of these substances along with limited amounts of salt, monosodium glutamate, carbohydrates etc., which can prevent kidney stone formation. The DASH diet has a good proportion of fresh vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish, seeds, beans and nuts that are suitable to avert all forms of kidney stone formations. When you are at risk of developing kidney stones, consult a clinical nutritionist who can guide you through the DASH diet. 

3. Lose Weight

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Increased weight gain or obesity can cause kidney stones. Obesity can result in an overly acidic urinary environment in the kidneys where kidney stones can form easily. Try to lose weight in a healthy manner by implementing a well balanced diet in order to prevent kidney stones.

4. Increase Antioxidant Intake

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Low antioxidant intake can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. A study shows that pomegranate polyphenol extract rich in antioxidants effectively lowers calcium oxalate deposition in the urine, which is one of the key factors for kidney stone formation. Consume bright, colorful fruits and vegetables as these contain natural antioxidants such as polyphenol, flavonoid, vitamin-E, phycocyanin, fucoidin, curcumin etc.

5. Consume Probiotics

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When you have digestive problems such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease etc., the gut bacteria loses its capacity to break down oxalate salts in the gut. Therefore, they get deposited in the kidney forming kidney stones. According to a study, probiotics containing oxalate-degrading bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus strains reduce kidney stone disease in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. Better consult a Gastroenterologist, or an online Nephrologist to find the right probiotic choice for you.

6. Get Enough Calcium in Your Diet

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There is a misconception that consuming calcium-rich food can trigger kidney stones. The fact is that low levels of calcium in the gut actually affect oxalate absorption during digestion, eventually promoting the formation of kidney stones. A study shows that getting enough calcium in your daily diet is a protective factor against kidney stone. For this reason, include calcium-rich foods in your diet and stay away from kidney stones.

7. Include Citrus Foods

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When you avoid dietary sources of citrate, you are likely to develop kidney stones. The presence of citrate salts in urine prevents the chances of forming calcium oxalate stones, the main culprit in kidney stone formation. Studies show that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice extract diluted with water everyday can increase urine citrate and reduce kidney stone formation. Consume foods containing natural citrate such as citrus fruits, viz., lemons, oranges, grapefruit etc.

The above steps are the most simple and inexpensive strategies to prevent kidney stones. In case you are suffering from kidney stones, consult a doctor and get treated at the earliest. Nevertheless, most kidney stones may pass through the urine without any treatment.

Looking for more information related to stones formation and other kidney health concerns? Consult an online Nephrologist now!

About the Author

Sujatha D

Sujatha has a master's degree in biotechnology. She started her career as a technical editor and is now into content editing and writing. She is a blogger and also writes articles covering all kinds of health topics.

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