How to decrease your risk of kidney stones
Thousands of people in the United States are affected by kidney stones each year. These solid masses of crystals typically originate in the kidneys, but can actually develop just about anywhere along the urinary tract. The urinary tract is made up of the bladder, ureters, urethra and kidneys. While kidney stones are not notable for causing permanent damage, they can cause extreme pain in the lower abdomen, back, side and/or groin. In some cases, small stones that can pass through the urinary tract will not have any symptoms. Below, you will discover several ways to reduce your risk of kidney stones.
Exercising and other strenuous activities will cause excessive sweating. While sweating is a great way to rid the body of harmful toxins, you will lose lots of water through the process. As you probably already know, when you are sweating excessively, the need to urinate will reduce drastically. The less you urinate, the higher your risk of developing a kidney stone.
When you are sweating profusely during exercise, be sure to take the time to drink plenty of water. If you are well hydrated, you will find it easier to urinate, reducing the risk of ‘stone-causing minerals’ settling in the urinary tract, especially the kidneys.
Moderate Foods That Contain Oxalate
Oxalate is found in a variety of foods, including vegetables, seeds, legumes, grains, fruits and nuts. Consuming a moderate amount of foods that contain oxalate is perfectly okay. However, too much oxalate can lead to kidney stones. About 20 percent of people who develop kidney stones have high oxalate in their urine. When the kidneys are producing urine and oxalate binds to calcium, leading to stones.
Consuming a low oxalate diet will reduce your risks and still allow you to enjoy oxalate-enriched foods. Peanuts, spinach, chocolate, sweet potatoes and beets contain a higher content of oxalate than fruits and vegetables. So, be sure to moderate these foods, by keeping them to a minimum.
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Consume Calcium-Enriched Foods
Many people see calcium as a kidney-stone causing mineral. While calcium is linked to kidney stone formation, previous studies reveal that this only involves calcium supplements. Calcium naturally found in foods, such as yogurt, kale, sardines, broccoli and milk, offers many health benefits, without increasing the risk of kidney stone formation. It has also been proven that oxalate levels can increase, when someone does not consume enough calcium in their diet. The solution here is to consume the correct amount of calcium that is appropriate to your age. For instance, men 50 and older should get 1,000mg of calcium in their diet each day. To help the body absorb the calcium, you will be required to get 800 to 1,000IU of vitamin D in your diet.
Decrease Sodium Intake
A high intake of sodium will also lead to kidney stones. The reason for this is because sodium increases the amount of calcium in the urine. Stick with a low-sodium diet will reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.