There are few things in life as painful as passing a kidney stone. If you have had one, you know. The problem is that once you have a kidney stone, you are likely to get another one. In fact, you have a 35 to 50% chance of having another within 5 years. Nature can be cruel. Why is this the case, and what could be causing recurring kidney stones?
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are mineral deposits like calcium, salt, uric acid, and oxalate. We all need a sufficient amount of water to flush out these minerals or they will become concentrated in our urine. When this happens, they crystallize in your kidneys and form kidney stones.
Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand and as large as a golf ball.
Signs You Have a Kidney Stone
Each year half a million people in the United States visit a hospital emergency room due to kidney stones.
If you have never had a kidney stone, these are the common and unpleasant signs:
- Pain that comes in waves
- Back and side pain below the ribs
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood in your urine
- Frequent urination
- Cloudy, foul-smelling urine
- Burning pain when urinating
- Fever and chills
Once you have a kidney stone, it is usually easy to recognize another.
Preventing Recurring Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are likely to recur if you don’t focus on your own risk factors, including weight and diet. What follows are some tips and guidelines to prevent recurring kidney stones.
Start Drinking More Liquid
Aim to drink lots of water, 10 ounces 10 times a day.
Eat Less Meat
This includes chicken, pork, beef. The protein in these meats increases uric acid in your urine and consequently, the risk of kidney stones. In addition, these proteins also decrease urinary citrate which slows down stone formation.
Pick and Choose Your Veggies
Although veggies are supposedly good for everyone, if you have recurring kidney stones, there are certain ones you should avoid. Avoid spinach, beets, parley and rhubarb. These contain oxalate and contribute to stone formation. Ask our board-certified urologists if there are others based on your personal history of kidney stones.
Calcium and Magnesium
These two minerals are good for preventing kidney stones. Get at least 1000 mg of calcium every day, and 360 mg of magnesium if you are a woman, and 420 mg for men.
That means limit fast food, canned foods, processed and restaurant foods. Try cooking at home and limit soy sauce and teriyaki.
If you deal with this painful condition even once, you will want to do all in your power not to repeat it. Pay attention to what foods you should avoid, exercise moderately, drink plenty of water, and keep your weight in check.
Contact our board-certified urologists at (817) 871-9069 to schedule an appointment in Fort Worth, TX you think you may have a kidney stone or if you want more instruction about how to avoid recurring kidney stones.