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Are you tired of suffering from painful, recurring kidney stones? Do you have a close relative who has experienced this nightmare? Kidney stones tend to run in families. Learning how to prevent kidney stones from forming can save you a lot of pain and misery in the future, even if you have not yet had this experience.
Kidney stones are hard masses that are formed from crystals of salts and minerals within the kidneys.
Many people do not realize that kidney stones can be present for years and never produce symptoms. Once the stones grow large enough to block urine flow, the pain can be excruciating.
The most common type of stone is made from calcium oxalate. Because oxalate is a major promoter of calcium stones, it is important to reduce intake of foods that are high in oxalates.
Foods that significantly increase urinary oxalate levels include beer, chocolate, peanuts, strawberries, rhubarb and beet greens.
Citrate supplementation makes the urine more alkaline and has been shown to decrease the potential to form stones.
Studies have shown that subjects taking 400 milligrams per day of magnesium citrate experienced a significant reduction in oxalate stone formation,
Lemon juice is high in citrate. Taking lemon juice mixed with water has been shown to increase urinary citrate levels.
Drinking 64 ounces of water per day decreases the concentration of stone particles in the urine and increases the urinary flow rate.
Taking vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce elevated urinary oxalate levels. Studies have shown that supplementing with 50 milligrams per day significantly lowers the risk of kidney stone formation.
Uric acid stones are formed from the accumulation of uric acid crystals, a byproduct of protein metabolism.
Intake of red meat (beef, pork and lamb), seafood (tuna, shrimp, lobster and scallops), mushrooms, organ meats, legumes, fructose, sugary and fatty foods should be reduced, as these foods increase production of uric acid. Because alcohol interferes with the elimination of uric acid from the body, intake of beer and wine should be minimal.
Studies have shown that taking one gram of vitamin C per day increases urinary oxalate levels and reduces uric acid levels..
People who consumed more calcium in the diet have been shown to have a decreased risk of forming stones. Lower uric acid levels were seen in subjects who consumed yogurt or low fat milk at least once every other day.
Magnesium citrate and potassium citrate have been shown to decrease the acidity of urine and should be taken to reduce the possibility of forming uric acid stones.
Several studies have shown that consuming a diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and whole grains while limiting intake of salt, sweetened beverages, red and processed meats led to a 45% decreased risk of forming kidney stones. This Mediterranean type diet provides significant amounts of potassium, magnesium and oxalate.
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