Have you ever passed a kidney stone before? If so, you know it’s terrible! I’ve met women who would rather deliver a baby! Fortunately, there are a few dietary changes you can make to help prevent their formation.
Here are 5 dietary recommendations that can help prevent kidney stones
1) Drink more water
You want to try and make about 2.5 liters of urine in a day. I know we don’t all pee in a measuring cup, or hopefully not many of us at all.
Therefore, here is how to tell you’re hydrated enough:
- If you’re urine is clear, you’re hydrated.
- If it’s yellow, drink more water. Not soda or juice, more water!
Note: If you’re not drinking enough water, consider one of the following products to help you do so.
2) Eat less salt
While most kidney stones are calcium based, it’s how much salt your kidney sees that really matters. When I say salt or sodium, I’m using them interchangeably as they mean the same thing.
I have a lot of patients who say “doc, it’s not a problem – we don’t add table salt to our food so I think we’re good there.” You might be good, but humor me for a second.
The majority of salt in our diet comes from canned, boxed, packaged, processed and fast food. And we all need salt to live but we don’t need too much.
In fact, we should be getting about 2 to 2.3 grams of salt in our diet a day (or 2,000 milligrams to 2,300 milligrams).
Remember that 1 gram is 1,000 milligrams. The reason this matters is I want you to look on the food labels of the things you buy. It’ll say sodium in milligrams and everything is based off serving sizes. In doing so, you have a rough idea of how much salt you have in your body on a daily basis.
See where your big salt loads are and where you can make some changes. The easy changes are buying from packages or companies that have less salt in them upfront.
Also, low and no salt added foods are available, you just have to look for them a little bit – and I don’t think you’re going to miss the taste.
For all those foods that don’t have a label, like produce or if you eat out at chain restaurants, you can actually google that stuff. Most of the time you can find out how much sodium is in what you’re eating.
Overall, get a rough idea of where you are. Are you consuming 3 grams a day? 2 grams a day? 4 grams a day? See where you can make some changes.