Don't Neglect Mammograms out of Fear

4 Tips For Avoiding Kidney Stones

Kidney stones might not be life threatening, but they can cause the most excruciating pain. When you feel that sharp pain in your lower back, it can be difficult to even get out of bed. Luckily, if you make a few lifestyle changes, you can reduce your chances of developing kidney stones. Here are four tips that can help.

Drink More Water

One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water does not just keep you hydrated; it also helps dilute the calcium and other substances in urine that contribute to kidney stones. Aim to drink at least eight cups of water a day. If you like more flavor in your water, try adding a lemon or lime to it.

Do not Be Afraid of Calcium

Even though there is calcium in kidney stones, you don't have to eliminate calcium-rich foods from your diet. In fact, eating too little calcium can actually increase your risk of kidney stones. Do not be afraid to enjoy calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt, milk and cheese, regularly.

Reduce Your Sodium Intake

That bag of potato chips or salami sandwich might be tasty, but they are not so good for your kidneys. If there is too much salt in your diet, you can increase your risk of kidney stones, according to World Action On Salt and Health. If you say no to salt, you can decrease calcium excretion in your urine, lowering your chances of kidney stones. Instead of sprinkling salt on your dishes, use healthier spices like rosemary or cumin. Also, limit processed foods, as they tend to be high in salt.

Do not Eat Too Much Animal Protein

If you have a family history of kidney stones, it is a wise idea to limit the amount of animal protein in your diet. If you consume a lot of red meat, chicken and even eggs on a daily basis, you could increase the amount of uric acid in your urine. There are plenty of non-animal protein sources to eat such as beans, spinach, quinoa and nuts.

Following this advice can help you avoid kidney stones in the future. However, if you still develop these stones, it is important to get to a hospital right away. A doctor can give you medicine to help you pass the kidney stones with less pain. Talk to a health provider, like Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood), if you have questions.