Kidney stones are common. About 10% of people are estimated to have kidney stones at least once in their lifetime. Some of the most common contributing factors for the formation of kidney stones include an unhealthy diet, genetic factors, and insufficient fluid intake. Therefore, staying well-hydrated plays a crucial role in preventing kidney stones.
Kidney stones typically form when urinary concentrations of various substances (calcium, oxalates, and phosphates) are higher than usual.
This could result from eating an unhealthy diet, being overweight, drinking insufficient fluids, or having a genetic predisposition. Kidney stones can be found in all parts of your urinary system – from the kidney to the renal pelvis, the urinary tract to the bladder. Individuals who’ve had kidney stones are also more susceptible to a reoccurrence of the condition post-recovery (in a 5-year timeline), with at least 75% experiencing at least some symptoms of kidney stones later on in life.
Causes of Kidney Stones
The cause of kidney stones varies from person to person, but climate, hydration status, and others are the leading causes. Note that the urine of a healthy person is often oversaturated with various (dissolved) salts. The problem arises when the composition of the urine changes. For instance, if urine acidity increases sharply, stones could form (as the salts can no longer dissolve within the urine).
Kidney Stones Symptoms
Symptoms can range from minimal to severe pain, depending on the stone’s characteristics (i.e., size, shape, and location in the urinary tract).
- If the stone blocks the normal urine flow through the urethra, you can feel severe pain.
- If the stones are in the urethra, the pain may be in the thighs. Men can also feel pain in the testicles.
Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine (pink urine), pain when urinating, fever, and so on.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally?
Here are a few tips that could help lower your risk of kidney stones:
- Sodium reduction – Reduce your intake of high-sodium foods, including processed and fast food.
- Reduction of animal proteins – Animal proteins are thought to increase the risk of calcium stones, as they affect the excretion of urinary oxalates.
- Getting the right amount of calcium – An adequate calcium intake decreases your risk of developing calcium oxalate stones.
- Drink enough water
- Follow an adequate diet of vegetables and fruits. – Vegetables are associated with higher urine pH and a lowered risk of kidney stones because they contain alkaline substances.
Drinking-Water Help You Get Rid of Kidney Stones
Drinking water is one of the best and easiest ways to get rid of kidney stones. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water daily if you’ve ever had kidney stones before. Staying well-hydrated helps prevent a recurrence.
Tips to Drink More Water
Here are a few tips that may help you drink more water daily:
Keep a bottle always with you
Always keep a bottle of water with you no matter where you are (e.g., at home, in the office). The bottle serves as a physical reminder of your daily water needs.
Set a reminder
If you are the kind of person who forgets to drink water during the day, setting a reminder is a perfect solution for you. Set the alarm for every 1-2 hours to remind you to drink a glass of water. By the way: Vivoo’s app allows you to set a water reminder (give it a go!)
Replace high-calorie drinks with water
When thirsty, many people opt for juice instead of water. This isn’t recommended, as juice is high in calories and fails to hydrate the body adequately. Thus, always quench your thirst with a simple glass of water instead.
Flavor your water
Don’t like the taste of water? Add a slice of fresh lemon or other fresh fruits (e.g., orange, strawberries). Doing so enhances water’s flavor and helps you consume additional vitamins and minerals.
To Sum up
Drinking adequate amounts of water daily is important for good health (especially for those with a history of kidney stones). Despite this, many people fail to meet their recommended hydration needs. Don’t be one of them. Instead, be mindful of your water consumption throughout the day – and drink up even when you’re not thirsty. This lowers your risk for kidney stones and helps you achieve optimal health.