Kidney stones are becoming more and more common these days.
Many experts blame diet and lifestyle as the main culprits in the rise of this disorder.
Kidney stones tend to be more prevalent in men than women. Yet anyone can develop these stones no matter age or gender.
The incidence of developing kidney stones is on the rise in the United States for both males and females.
Once you’ve developed a kidney stone, you are significantly more likely to develop others in the future.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits of crystalized minerals that form inside your kidneys. Kidney stones can have effects anywhere within your urinary tract from your kidneys to your bladder.
Some types of kidney stones include calcium oxalate stones, cystine stones and uric acid stones.
The passage of kidney stones can be quite painful. In rare instances, stones can become lodged in the urinary tract and may cause extreme pain and bleeding and require surgery.
Preventative treatment is important to reduce the risk of recurring kidney stones.
Read on for more information about what these stones are made of and how to prevent them.
Kidney Stone Signs & Symptoms:
- Pain in abdomen or lower back
- Pain when urinating
- More frequent urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or smelly urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- If infection is present, there could be fever or chills
What Causes Kidney Stones?
There is not one specific cause of kidney stones. There are several risk factors that can contribute to kidney stone formation. Factors include but are not limited to:
- Diet that is high in protein, sodium or sugar
- Digestive disorders like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Family history of kidney stones
- Other medical conditions like hyperparathyroid condition
- Medications such as diuretics
What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally?
- 1. Drink lots of waterStaying hydrated is key to preventing kidney stones. The kidneys need enough fluid to keep waste moving through them. If you are dehydrated, waste products can accumulate and cause kidney stones. Drinking enough high-quality water flushes out waste and toxins and prevents kidney stone formation. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water to increase urine output. Increasing amount of urine passed will ultimately flush the kidneys.
- 2. Get rid of sugary beverages and high sodium, processed foodsSugar can increase the concentration of calcium in the urine and increase risk for kidney stones. Drinking sugary beverages and soda has been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones1. These types of beverages are also dehydrating, which contributes to their effects. Ditch the sugar!
Too much salt is not good for the kidneys either. It can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Having too much sodium in the urine prevents calcium from being reabsorbed from urine and into blood leading to kidney stone development. Avoid processed foods rich in sodium.
- 3. Supplement with vitamin B6 and magnesiumHigh intakes of magnesium are associated with a reduced risk of kidney stones2. Magnesium can break down the bonds that hold kidney stones together. Magnesium can bind to oxalate and prevent the formation of calcium oxalate aggregates. Vitamin B6 along with magnesium has proven to be a successful treatment for people with recurring kidney stones3 .
Try our MagnePower for highly absorbable magnesium.
Check out our Super B for a dose of activated B6.
- 4. Take a fish oil a dayResearch has shown that fish oil can prevent kidney stones by decreasing urinary citrate and oxalate levels4. It decreases the concentration of calcium and oxalate in the urine, which is a preventative measure. Try eating more cold water, fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Read more about the heart- health benefits of fish oil.
Check out our Omega DHA for a daily dose of fish oil.
- 5. ExerciseModerate intensity exercise can help prevent kidney stones from occurring5. Exercise improves digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals and stimulates fluid consumption, all of which naturally protect against stone formation. Exercise is also linked to better weight management. Research has shown that people who have a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to experience kidney stones in their lifetime5.
- 6. Drink fresh organic citrus juice regularlyOrganic citrus fruits can break up kidney stones naturally due to their naturally high levels of citric acid. Juice your own citrus juice or add citrus slices like lemon, lime or orange to your water daily to prevent kidney stones. Low citric acid levels have been linked to kidney stone formation4.
- 7. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and K2Vitamin D and K2 are your essential fat-soluble vitamins. They are needed to ensure that calcium from your diet gets deposited where it belongs (bones and teeth) in the body rather than in soft tissues (which can increase risk for kidney stones). Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption and vitamin K2 pulls that calcium into bones and teeth.
Summary of Information:
- Kidney stones are a painful health condition that can be prevented naturally.
- Diet and lifestyle changes are two of the most preventative measures you can take. There are also certain supplements like vitamin B6 and magnesium as well as fish oil.
- Be sure to know the risk factors and the symptoms of kidney stones so you can seek treatment and ensure future prevention.