Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Change Your Diet To Keep Kidney Stones Away

Here's a Wednesday health post about kidney stones.  I've never had one, but I have heard the screams and moans of someone that did, which made me a believer about the pain of these little things....

Kidney stones are horrendously painful and, for those who are inclined to get them, recur at an alarming rate. If you have had a stone in the past, or a parent has suffered with them, you should consider taking steps to keep them at bay. It's pretty easy, just a matter of changing your diet somewhat.

The following are some tips for keeping kidney stones away...

You want to regularly dilute, break up and flush away the substances that make up kidney stones, and that may be as easy as drinking lots and lots of water. Many of us have increased our water intake, but if you are prone to stones, this is a must. 10 cups of water every day is good.

Cranberry juice drastically reduces the calcium in the kidneys that causes many stones. It has other good attributes, but the great kidney benefit should be enough to make you drink 2 8 ounce glasses every day. Plus, it tastes terrific!

Reduce that sodium! Sodium/salt is bad in so many ways, and it greatly increases your risk of stones.

You can slash your risk of stones by about half if you eat a lot of potassium-rich veggies and fruits.

Take magnesium supplements, 800 milligrams a day, or eat more leafy greens, fish or wheat germ.

If your stones are calcium stones (not uric-acid stones) drink orange juice or lemonade at each meal. Their citric acid will help keep new stones from forming in the kidney.

Adding calcium-rich foods to your diet helps keep calcium stones away by reducing calcium oxalate, which produces the stones. Some good foods are cheese, dark green leafy veggies, milk, yogurt, seeds and nuts. You can also take calcium supplements, but only after a meal. Taking them between meals may increase your risk!

If your stones are uric-acid stones, you need to avoid food that increases acid in the kidney. These include organ meats, sardines, brewer's yeast and anchovies. Limit your oatmeal, meat, tuna, spinach, ham and lima beans to one serving a day, at most.

Drop the coffee cup! Caffeine causes more urine calcium, which causes many stones.

These steps are easy fixes that you should be able to incorporate into your diet quickly and effortlessly. You will reap other benefits from making these changes as well. Your body will thank you for it!

If you have any other tips to avoid kidney stones, please let us know!

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