Kidney stones rarely lead to serious complications, but they can be downright painful. If you develop these stones, they can cause shrieking pain in your lower back and make it difficult to do your everyday activities. However, it is possible to reduce your risk of getting kidney stones if you make some lifestyle changes. Here are five effective ways to avoid kidney stones:
Reduce Sodium in Your Diet
Consuming sodium just is not good for your health. A high sodium diet does not just lead to high blood pressure; it can also increase your risk of kidney stones by increasing the amount of calcium in your urine. Try to limit your sodium intake by eating natural foods and avoiding prepackaged meals. Instead of adding table salt to your meals, flavor them with healthier spices, like rosemary or thyme.
Drink More Water
An easy way to reduce your chances of developing kidney stones is to drink at least eight cups of water a day. Water will help dilute the substances in your urine that are responsible for kidney stones. Try adding lemon or lime in your water on occasion to give it some flavor.
Do not Eat Too Much Animal Protein
While eating animal protein has its health benefits, it is not a good idea to eat too much of it. If you consume a large amount of chicken, beef and other animal protein, it can increase your body's level of uric acid, resulting in kidney stones. There are still plenty of non-animal protein sources you can eat, such as legumes and quinoa.
Don't Reduce Your Calcium Intake
Just because calcium in your urine leads to kidney stones does not mean you should limit your calcium intake. In fact, not getting enough calcium may actually increase your risk of kidney stones. It is beneficial to fill your diet with calcium-rich foods, like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
If you are genetically predisposed to developing kidney stones, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking medication. For example, if you are prone to developing calcium stones, your doctor may decide to prescribe you a thiazide diuretic.
If you follow these helpful tips, you will be less likely to experience kidney stones in the future. However, if you still develop kidney stones, you should go to an urgent care center as soon as possible to get treated by a doctor. Contact a clinic like Meadowbrook Urgent Care for more tips.