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Passing on Kidney Stones

Mar. 07, 2018

5 tips to avoid a painful infection caused by kidney stones, including symptoms, causes, and prevention

Kidney stones: the dreaded condition where hard deposits form in your kidneys and there’s—usually—only one way out. Anyone who has suffered from kidney stones in the past knows the pain they can cause. Symptoms of kidney stones include severe pain in the side and back, pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin, pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity, pain when urinating, discolored and/or foul-smelling urine, nausea, and the persistent need to urinate.

Kidney stones occur when urine contains more crystal-forming substances (calcium, oxalate and uric acid) than the fluid in your urine can dilute.

Although there’s no sure way to prevent kidney stones, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of getting them. Here are 5 of our favorites:

  1. Bottoms Up! Drinking water and staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of getting kidney stones. Raise a glass to living kidney stone free!
  1. Put Down the Coffee Coffee and other caffeine-laden foods and beverages are a no-no. Kidney stones love caffeine, so avoid it when possible.
  1. Ask the Family Okay, this one won’t prevent kidney stones, but at least you can be prepared. Find out your family history. If a lot of your relatives have suffered from them, there’s a good chance you will, too.
  1. Slow Down, Popeye Believe it or not, eating dark, leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard are linked to higher occurrences of kidney stones. This is because they contain a lot of oxalate, which has been shown to aid in the creation of kidney stones. Try kale instead! Or if you must keep the spinach in your life, have it with dairy. The calcium from dairy will bind to oxalate, helping it pass through your body. 
  1. Hit the Gym Do you need yet another reason to stay physically fit? Exercise and avoiding excess weight helps reduce the risk of kidney stones.

      Want to learn more? Watch our patient education video here

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