5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones

As anyone who’s had one can attest, kidney stones are painful (think childbirth painful, according to many sufferers). Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing them.

At Seskin Urology in Aventura, Florida, Dr. Floyd Seskin and our highly trained staff provide personalized state-of-the-art urologic care for a wide range of issues including treating existing kidney stones and helping to prevent further occurrences. Here are five ways to decrease your risk of developing them.

1. Know the type of stone

While kidney stones are made up of a variety of minerals and salts that form together, not all stones are the same. Because of this, it's important to know which type you tend to develop so you know the best steps you can take to reduce your risk. 

For example, calcium oxalate stones are the most common and may be linked to foods like chocolate and tea, which are high in oxalates. If you’re suffering from kidney stones, Dr. Seskin and our team not only can provide treatment but also can analyze your stone content and devise an individualized treatment plan that aims to prevent further occurrences.

2. Limit your salt

If you eat a diet that’s too high in sodium, you may be increasing the amount of both sodium and calcium in your urine. This, in turn, can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Aim for a daily sodium intake of 1500 mg or less if you’ve had previous stones that could be linked to high levels of sodium. Keep in mind that salt can be found in many more places than just the salt shaker — be mindful of sodium content in pre-packaged foods and even some beverages.

3. Keep up with your calcium

Although calcium plays a role in creating kidney stones by clumping together with oxalate during urine production to form calcium-oxalate stones, do not try to circumvent this by decreasing your calcium intake. Consuming less calcium can increase your chances of other serious health issues and, ironically, may even boost your chances of developing kidney stones.

4. Consume less animal and more plant protein

Uric acid levels are higher with the consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, and these higher levels may increase your likelihood of developing kidney stones. This type of diet also lowers levels of citrate, a chemical in urine that prevents the formation of stones.

Plant proteins are a good alternative that can help you reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. You also can limit animal proteins to one meal with a serving size equal to that of a pack of playing cards.

5. Remember to stay hydrated

Drinking approximately eight 8-ounce cups of water helps dilute the substances that encourage kidney stone formation. In addition, beverages like orange juice and lemonade contain citrate, which works to prevent stones from forming. Don't forget that you may need additional hydration if you're sweating through exercise or for other reasons during the day.

Whether you’re suffering from a kidney stone currently or are looking for ways to avoid a future episode, call Seskin Urology today to make an appointment.

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