If they run in the family, a person’s kidney stone risk will be higher than normal. However, this doesn’t mean that taking steps to prevent kidney stones and other urinary issues will be for nothing!
Read on to learn more about kidney stones and what you can do to prevent them from our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits made up of substances that have crystallized in the urinary system.
The kidneys and urinary system filter out lots of waste all the time, but when urine is too concentrated, it has a tough time filtering out substances such as phosphate, uric acid and calcium. When there is too much waste in a concentrated amount of urine, these substances combine to form crystals that are referred to as kidney stones. The most frequent kidney stone symptoms are mentioned below.
Common Kidney Stone Symptoms
- Severe pain on either side of your lower back
- More vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
- Blood in the urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones?
Did you know? Up to 12% of Americans are affected by kidney stones, and once you get one, you’re 50% more likely to get another one in the future. This is why kidney stone prevention is important—especially for those who have a higher risk of getting them.
Although there is no surefire way to prevent kidney stones, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to benefit your urinary and overall health. We further explain below.
Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
- Stay adequately hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps the urinary system filter out waste and lower the risk of developing crystals that turn into kidney stones.
- Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods. Oxalates can be bad for the urinary system, due to the fact that they can bind to minerals in the gut and prevent the body from absorbing them. This, in turn, can cause kidney stones. If you are more susceptible to urinary tract problems, consider limiting foods rich in oxalates. These include rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, chocolate, black pepper and soy products.
- Choose a diet low in salt. A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Eating healthy fruits and veggies makes urine less acidic, which makes stones less able to form.
Have more questions about kidney stones? We can provide the answers you’re looking for! Don’t hesitate to stop by or reach out to our AFC team today.