Preventing Kidney Stones

If you’ve experienced this excruciating pain or have had crystals seen in a routine urine test, you know stones are no joke. Below are a few ways to help prevent the most common types of kidney stones. As always, your own doc will know what’s best for you, so check with them too.

Calcium oxalate crystals are the most common type of kidney stone. To help prevent calcium oxalate stones:

  • Minimize oxalate-rich foods.
    • This includes spinach, beets, rhubarb, chard, bran, peanuts, potatoes and chocolate. You don’t have to fully avoid these foods, just keep them to a minimum (and don’t eat a bunch of them together).
  • Don’t avoid calcium.
    • This can be confusing given the most common stone’s name, but calcium is actually helpful. Keep in mind there are many sources of calcium, including vegetables, fortified foods and dairy if it is right for you.
  • Skip the vitamin C supplements.
    • Unless there’s a therapeutic reason for it, Vitamin C can increase the formation of stones, especially if you’re predisposed to them. If you’re eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, you should be getting Vitamin C naturally from your foods.

Uric acid crystals are a less common type of stone. (Excess uric acid can also lead to gout, another painful condition.) To help prevent uric acid stones:

  • Minimize purine-rich foods.
    • This includes red meat (beef, steak, lamb, venison, game meat), organ meat, shellfish, certain types of fish and alcohol in general, including beer.

To help prevent both types of stones, keeping your kidneys happily functioning is important too – so this last tip is one you’ve heard before, but well worth repeating.

  • Stay hydrated
    • This means water, mineral water, herbal teas, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. (caffeinated drinks, soda, lots of seltzer and alcohol don’t count).

This blog and website do not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Always check with your own healthcare provider before taking a new supplement and before making any significant diet, lifestyle, exercise or other changes. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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