5 Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Kidney Stones

5 Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can cause unbearable pain. That’s because they involve tiny stones forming in your kidneys and moving throughout your urinary tract. 

Did you know 1 in 10 people develop kidney stones during their lifetime? And studies show that these rates are steadily rising across the country. Now for some good news: You can prevent this problem, but it does take perseverance.

Our team at Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, has state-of-the-art technology to treat kidney stones. They also recommend following these five steps to reduce your chances of needing their services in the future.

1. Stay hydrated

Kidney stones form when chemicals in your urine become concentrated enough to crystallize. These crystals stick together, growing into larger masses or stones. As a result, the best first line of defense involves drinking enough water.

Drinking enough fluids keeps your urine diluted. While everyone is different, you should start with approximately eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day — 64 ounces total. 

2. Sweat matters

Do you live or work in a hot environment? Do you enjoy a sweaty workout or spending time in the sauna? It's important to pay attention to these activities because your body loses water whenever it sweats. The result? Less urine production. 

Unfortunately, this can increase your risk of these stone-causing minerals settling into your urinary tract and clumping together.

You should pass at least 2 liters of urine a day. So, the more you sweat, the more hydration you need to stay properly hydrated. 

3. Watch your diet

There are different types of kidney stones. Most form when calcium mixes with oxalate, but they can also develop from uric acid. To avoid these problems, you can watch what you eat by:

If you've had kidney stones in the past, our team can make specific recommendations on the best diet to follow based on the type of stones you develop.

4. Reduce your sodium

Most people associate sodium with heart health. However, high-sodium diets also increase the amount of calcium in your urine, putting you at risk of kidney stones. 

To avoid this problem, limit the salt in your diet to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day. If you’ve had kidney stones related to sodium in the past, however, your daily sodium levels should be even lower — closer to 1,500 milligrams.

5. Know your risks

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Lightning never strikes the same place twice.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to kidney stones.

Without preventive measures, approximately half of people who develop kidney stones have a recurrence within seven years. Why? An estimated 15% of patients don’t take their prescribed medications. 

On top of that, another 41% don’t follow nutritional recommendations to reduce their risks of stone formation.

If you’ve had kidney stones, it’s crucial to follow steps to avoid a recurrence. Without taking the right steps, it’s very likely you’ll have problems again. 

Do you have kidney stones? We can help. Contact Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina to schedule an appointment by calling 910-421-2505 or booking online today.

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