Summer is Kidney Stone Season: Follow These 3 Prevention Tips

Kidney Stone Urology Associates

One in 11 Americans will develop kidney stones at some point in their lives.

Summer is high season for onset of this painful condition because, proper hydration is critical to warding of kidney stones. If you’ve had kidney stones in the past, drinking lots of water is very important. Running outside or playing light sports for just 1-2 hours in the sun can dehydrate you and cause your kidney stones to return.

In the U.S, almost 2 million people end up in the ER each year due to pain caused by kidney stones. And while this condition alone isn’t life threatening, it can lead to complications such as a kidney infection, which, if left untreated, can lead to death.

Because the development of kidney stones is so heavily impacted by things you can control, our team at Urology Associates wants to share three tips to decrease your chances of developing this painful condition.

1. Drink more water

Kidney stones are the result of an accumulation of minerals in your urine. When you don’t drink enough water, you have less urine to work against dissolving the minerals in your body.

Your ideal water intake depends on your activity level, height, weight, and medical history. For example, if you’ve had kidney stones before, you may have to drink more water than the average person.

2. Avoid calcium and magnesium supplements

Instead of taking supplements to increase your calcium and magnesium levels, opt for a diet change. Minerals in pill form may be more convenient, but supplements may have a negative impact on your kidney health by increasing the recurrence of kidney stones.

There’s also some research that points to Vitamin C supplementation as a potential cause for kidney stone formation.

3. Eat less sodium

Sodium consumption is closely linked to urinary calcium excretion. The more sodium you consume, the higher the concentration  of urinary calcium and the more risk for stones.

But your salt shaker isn’t the only place you’ll find sodium. Foods such as ham, processed soups, instant pudding, and salad dressings are just a few of the most common suspects.

Take a look at these stats: one cup of ham has 1,684 mg of sodium, whereas one good pinch of salt has just 590 grams of sodium.

Not all kidney stones are made equal

While dietary interventions can prove useful, it’s also recommended to find out if there’s an underlying cause that makes you prone to developing kidney stones in the first place.

Stone composition analysis is an important factor in preventive treatment. Without knowing what type of stone you eliminated, prevention may not be as effective.

Before summer hits, get in touch with us to receive a personalized treatment plan so you won’t have to go through a painful episode again.

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