Kidney stones are rock-like masses of minerals typically found in urine that have crystallized inside the kidney. Usually, the stones are really small for a person to notice and they pass out of the urinary system without causing any pain. However, kidney stones can grow to a size bigger than a pebble and you can imagine how painful it would be when these stones try to pass when a person urinates.
To prevent the formation of kidney stones, good kidney health is of course essential. Below are some simple tips to help you this:
1.) Drink plenty of water. You may have heard so many times of the benefits of drinking lots of water to kidney health and kidney stone prevention. That is because it is effective. In fact, increasing the amount of water you take in every day is the first form of treatment of kidney stones. Remember, it is the lack of water in the body that leads to buildup of waste substances in the kidneys that form the stones so drink up to your kidney health (water not soda, coffee or tea).
2.) Make the necessary dietary changes. This is fundamental not only to kidney health but overall health. For the purposes of preventing kidney stones, the specific changes you would need to make include adding fiber to your diet and limiting your intake of meat. A high protein diet runs the risk of developing uric acid kidney stones. Another type of kidney stone is calcium stone and because of this, reducing foods rich in calcium (dairy products) in the diet to 1-2 servings is recommended. Another important food substance to watch out for is sodium, high levels of which greatly contribute to the formation of kidney stones. This means avoid salty foods, do not flavor your food with salt and make sure to read the label of foods that you buy to check for sodium content.
3.) Live a more active life. Being active is great for kidney health as with your overall wellbeing. A sedentary lifestyle is a huge risk factor to kidney stones. If you are not able to commit to a daily exercise program, there are many simple ways to be more active. Take a stroll for a few minutes or if possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator or just get up from your seat and move around.
4.) Do not hold in your urine. When you feel the need to urinate, do so right away. Delaying it will cause the kidneys to start reabsorbing the substances that it needs to eliminate.
If you suspect that you already have kidney stones because you are experiencing pain in your side or you found blood in your urine, you need to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with kidney stones, keep in mind the above suggestions towards good kidney health so you can prevent the stones from re-occurring after treatment.