Nobody likes pain. The pain of kidney stones, in particular, can be excruciating. It’s been likened to the pain of childbirth – or described as being repeatedly stabbed in the side and back.
If you’re a kidney stone survivor, you’re well aware of how painful it can be, and you probably already know that you now have an increased risk of having a repeat episode – especially if the root cause of the kidney stones was not identified or addressed the first time around. In addition, kidney stones can sometimes require emergency surgery and may lead to the development of kidney disease.
So, it makes sense that you’ll want to do whatever it takes to avoid kidney stones. Here are six tips to help you do just that:
- Avoid Being Dehydrated. Ensuring you drink enough water each day – at least 8 servings of 12-16 ounces each – is one of the easiest ways to prevent kidney stones. Take into account the temperature, how much you are sweating, your activity level, and other factors that may be affecting your ability to stay hydrated. When you are well hydrated, your urine will be on the lighter side, clear or pale yellow in color. If your urine is dark, it’s likely to be more concentrated and less able to dissolve and dilute the crystal-forming substances that create kidney stones.
- Choose a Low-Sodium, Low-Sugar Diet. Too much salt and sugar can contribute to kidney stones. Common high-sodium culprits include processed foods, including canned soups and vegetables. Using lemon pepper seasoning can trick your tongue into tasting salt in foods – without the harm of ingesting excess salt. Consuming too much fructose is associated with an increased risk of kidney stones, too.
- Consult a Nephrologist. A nephrologist is a kidney specialist. These physicians have the expertise needed to help identify if and why you may be prone to developing kidney stones – and how to address the underlying cause and ensure you don’t have to go through the pain.
- Weight Management. Obesity and weight gain increase your risk of developing kidney stones. This is true for women more so than men. No matter your gender, however, maintaining a healthy weight can help keep you in good health – and help prevent kidney stones.
- Get Adequate Exercise. Too little – and too much – exercise can contribute to the development of kidney stones. Regular exercise improves blood circulation, including the amount of blood that gets to your kidneys. This can, in turn, improve the filtration function of your kidneys and help keep kidney stone formation at bay. On the other hand, too much exercise – especially without adequate hydration – can cause concentration in the urine and increase the risk of kidney stones.
- Do You Take Calcium Supplements? Take With Food. It’s important that you continue to get appropriate calcium through the food you eat. If it’s difficult to do this through food and drink alone, consider taking a calcium supplement – but be sure you do so on a full stomach. This helps reduce the risk of kidney stones, which are more common when calcium supplements are taken on an empty stomach.
Kidney Stone Doctor Near Boston, MA
Are you worried about kidney stones? Why not contact a kidney specialist and get the facts about why you might be susceptible to developing them – and how best to prevent it?
Call Commonwealth Nephrology Associates at (617) 739-2100 or our Massachusetts location nearest you. We have offices in Attleboro, Dorchester, Marlborough, Natick, Norfolk, Norwood, and South Weymouth. You can also use our appointment request form to submit a request right now.