Hello, Health

6 ways to avoid kidney stones every summer

It's that simple.

 |  Hello, Health  |  2-minute read |   23-06-2018
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Many people suffer from a condition that can be prevented. And it is happening to those who don’t have a family history (of the condition) at a relatively young age (in their 20s and 30s). I am talking about kidney stones.

The number of cases are increasing, probably due to extremely poor eating habits and very low intake of water — a lifestyle that most young people subsisting on junk, sodas and too much coffee seem to be living on today. And this number tends to skyrocket during the summer months.

kidney-690_062218104955.jpgKidney stones are a nightmare you can easily avoid.

That’s because in these dehydrating months, the lack of water (less than the recommended 2-3 litres per day) increases the risk of kidney stones exponentially.

Basically, the lack of fluids in the body makes the urine concetrated and leads to increased residual salt in the kidneys, which — over time — hardens and forms crystal-like stones. These cause excruciating pain in the bladder and may even require surgery.

So, here are some simple ways to prevent kidney stones this summer:

Stay hydrated

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to help flush out the toxins, residual salt and waste clogged in your kidneys. Seasonal fruits help keep the body hydrated.

drink-s_062218104239.jpgDrink lots of water.

Avoid dehydrating foods like alcohol, coffee, tea, soy sauce, fried food, and sugary drinks.

Aerated drinks might lead to higher levels of oxalate in the urine, thus upping the risk of kidney stones, and the high level of caffeine in most energy drinks also increases urinary calcium excretion.

say-no_062218104447.jpgSay no to caffeine.

Lose excess weight

Excess weight tends to be problem too as the obese tend to excrete more acidic urine leading to increased risk of stone formation.

s-ag_062218110309.jpgLose weight.

Say no to processed foods

These are usually high in salt (sodium), which leads to higher calcium excretion as increased amount of sodium passing into the urine can also pull calcium along with it. This increases the probability of stone formation. High salt intake also decreases citrate excretion in urine (citrate inhibits stone formation).

chips-690_062218104301.jpgAvoid processed food.

Secondly, processed foods by default tend to be low in fibre, which again creates havoc with the excretion of calcium oxalate and uric acid in urine, often leading to stone formation.

Alert yourself about oxalate 

Limit your intake of food high in oxalate as these bind with calcium and form stones in the kidneys. Avoid foods such as peanuts, legumes, sweet potatoes, spinach, beetroot, nuts and tea.

download-2_062218104349.jpgAvoid foods like peanuts.

Drink and eat more citrus fruits (lemon, lime and orange) as the citrate in them prevents stone formation.

Limit animal protein

A high-protein diet also reduces levels of citrate, the chemical in urine that helps prevent stones from forming.

laal-mas_062218105106.jpgAvoid too much protein.

Don’t pop pills

Excessive use of over-the-counter medicines like some laxatives, antacids containing magnesium trisilcate and cough suppressants containing Guaifenesin and Ephedrine can increase the risk of stone formation.

pills_062218104608.jpgDon't count on supplements.

Too many supplements are not such a great idea. Always have supplements only under direction.

Also read: What to eat if you're always feeling tired and stressed


Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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