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How can I prevent kidney stones?

By HERWriter Blogger July 15, 2014 - 5:46pm
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I hear kidney stones are very painful. How do you get kidney stones and can we do anything to prevent them?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Erin

Thanks for your post! 

Nothing can truly help prevent kidney stones but there are ways to help! 

Kidney stones are literally stone like matter than form in the kidneys. And you are right, passing one is terribly painful. 

About half the cases of kidney stones are unknown. The other can be caused by these factors:

  • Chemotherapy(ie, uric acid stone)
  • Too much oxalate in urine (hyperoxaluria)
  • Too little magnesium in urine (hypomagnesemia)
  • Too much calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria)
  • Too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia)
  • Too little citrate in the urine (hypocitraturia)
  • Tiny bacteria around which a stone can form
  • Too much uric acid in the urine (hyperuricuria,gout)
  • Bacteria that produce enzymes that increase the amount of ammonia and struvite in the urine
  • Inherited abnormality in the way the body handles cystine
  • Certain medications (such asindinavir)
  • Retention of urine


Risk factors include:


As I said, total prevention may be impossible but here are way that may help:

Once you have formed a kidney stone, you are more likely to form another. Here are some steps to prevent this condition:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Talk to your doctor about what diet is right for you. Depending on the type of stone you have, you may be advised to:
    • Avoid apple and grapefruit juices.
    • Drink more cranberry juice.
    • Avoid foods high in oxalate, such as spinach.
    • Eat less meat, fish, and poultry. These foods increase urine acidity.
    • Decrease your sodium intake (especially if you have calcium stones).
    • Increase your intake of magnesium .
    • Drink lemonade daily.
    • Increase your fiber intake.
    • Lose weight .
  • If you have an enlarged parathyroid gland, you may need to have it removed surgically.
  • Medications may include:
    • Drugs that control the amount of acid in the urine
    • Allopurinol or sodium cellulose phosphate—to treat urine high in calcium
    • Hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic)—to treat urine high in calcium
    • Thiola—to reduce the amount of cystine in the urine

Read all about the kidneys in our Kidney Center here:



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July 18, 2014 - 9:47am
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