Understanding Kidney Stones -- Prevention
How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones?
You can do many things to prevent a recurrence of kidney stones. Knowing the stone's specific mineral composition can help determine which preventive steps are most likely to reduce your risk of recurrence. Check with your doctor before making any major changes in your diet, but these general guidelines, for many people, can help.
- Drink 2 to 3 quarts of liquid every day. Drinking plenty of fluid is probably the most important way to prevent future stones since this will dilute the mineral concentration in your urine. Ask your doctor how much fluid is right for you if you have any other medical conditions or take any medicines.
- Limiting foods that have a high amount of oxalate may be suggested if you have had recurrent kidney stones. These foods include: chocolate, nuts, spinach, beets, and tea.
- Limit Vitamin C to less than 2 grams a day. It may convert to oxalate in the body, though it is not known if Vitamin C increases the risk of stones.
- Reduce your salt intake to no more than 2400 mg a day, since higher amounts may raise the level of calcium in your urine. Your doctor may recommend even lower amounts if you have certain medical conditions.
- A diet with less animal protein and more fruits and vegetables has been shown to decrease the chance of kidney stones.
- Get to or maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
- Do not restrict calcium unless told by your doctor to do so. A moderate amount of calcium in the diet has been shown to be best for most people. Restricting calcium may actually increase the risk of stones.