Concentrated urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones. The tiny, hard deposits of mineral and acid salt are normally not a serious condition but if ignored can lead to pain and other kidney-related problems. In the initial stages, the crystals may just be tiny, sand-like particles. But as the condition progresses, they begin to stick to each other and form larger stones that can become an obstruction to the passage of urine. Moderate to excruciating pain is associated with kidney stones and it has been observed that it is commonly prevalent among men rather than women. If your family has a high incidence of kidney stones, the best thing to do is to be educated and ensure that diet and lifestyle are regulated to prevent their occurrence. Here are some simple tips that can help prevent kidney stones.
Cut down on Meat & Seafood
Meat and seafood lovers had better watch out, especially if there exists a predisposition for getting kidney stones in the family. Organ meats, cured meat as well as certain seafood contribute to high levels of uric acid which in turn disturbs the pH balance of the urine, making it more acidic in nature. This can often lead to the formation of crystals that further join together to form a harder and bigger mass. Avoid eating large quantities of meat or seafood in order to maintain normal pH levels in the urine.
Drink Adequate Water
The higher the acidity in the urine, the greater the chances of developing kidney stones. To prevent this from happening, keep well hydrated at all times. This might mean moving around with a water bottle in your backpack or hand to ensure that you are getting adequate fluids even when you are on the go. When you perspire, water is flushed out of your system. While this is good for the body, it is not healthy if you don’t replenish the fluids you lose. Be sure to drink plenty of water while working out or engaging in activities that cause excessive sweating. This is one of the simplest ways of ensuring that the chemicals and minerals in the urine break down and pass out of the body normally.
Limit the Intake of Salt
Too much of anything is bad for you. Too much of salt is worse than bad. It not only plays havoc with your blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease, it also elevates the calcium levels in your body. The body will only absorb as much calcium as it needs and everything in excess of that will pass into your urine. If there is nothing to bind to, calcium oxalate kidney stones can form. The best way to regulate this is to limit the intake of high-sodium foods and drinks.
Avoid Soda & Sugary Drinks
When doctors tell you to drink plenty of fluids to keep kidney stones at bay, they are not including sodas and sugary beverages. There is nothing good in soda or sugar that requires either to be a part of your diet. Sugar causes nothing but trouble and is at the center or periphery of nearly most diseases today. Chocolates and sodas are notorious for the high amounts of phosphates in them. Increased levels of calcium, oxalate and phosphates in time can lead to severe kidney stones. Avoid sodas and sugary drinks completely as they add no value to your diet. Eat dark chocolate in very small quantities if you must or avoid it altogether if you are highly prone to kidney stones.
Add Lemon to Food & Drink
The citric content of lemon makes it an invaluable addition to every meal. Studies have shown that citrate is effective in diluting oxalate and calcium levels in the urine. Doctors often prescribe potassium citrate in the form of pills to be administered in kidney stone patients. Adding two tablespoons of undiluted, fresh lemon juice to water, salads or juices is a great way to maintain the pH balance in the urine. Citrate is also known to break down existing calcium oxalate kidney stones which is why medical experts recommend it for kidney stone patients.