How to Prevent and Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones and Ureteral Stones: What You Need to Know
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board certified urologist in NYC who specializes in treating men and women with kidney stones and ureteral stones.
How can I prevent kidney stones? How can I reduce my risk of getting kidney stones?
If you have suffered a kidney stone episode, there is a 50 percent chance you will get one again in the next 5 to 10 years. Certain lifestyle changes can help prevent or at least reduce the risk of getting kidney stones.
- Hydration: Drinking plenty of water or other fluids is the best way to reduce your risk of stone formation. People who exercise extensively or live in dry and hot climates need to drink even more water to stay well hydrated. Kidney stones are more common in warmer areas in the summer months. For people at high risk of stone formation or those who already have kidney stones, urologists recommend passing a minimum of 2.5 liters of clear, light yellow urine every day. It may be necessary to measure the volume of your urine output to ensure you are drinking enough water.
- Food: If you have already passed a stone and it has been analyzed and found to be composed of calcium oxalate, you can restrict oxalate-rich foods from your diet such as chocolate, tea, nuts, soy, spinach, beets, okra, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, and cheese. Other dietary modifications include reducing sodium in the diet by restricting salt intake. Avoiding animal proteins and switching to non-animal sources of protein such as legumes is also an option.
- Calcium: Studies have shown that the calcium in food is not involved in kidney stone formation. However, calcium obtained from supplements has been linked to an increased risk of stone disease. This risk is somewhat lower if the calcium supplement is taken with meals. It has been noted that people who eat a diet low in natural calcium are at increased risk of kidney stones, so unless specifically advised by your urologist, you should continue eating calcium-containing foods such as dairy.
- Magnesium is a natural inhibitor of kidney stones; supplemental magnesium can help prevent kidney stones
We offer affordable, highest-quality urology care. We offer weekday, weekend and evening office hours in our New York City offices.
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger has helped hundreds of men and women with kidney stones suffering from pain to become stone-free. He uses minimally invasive technology to improve patient care. Most patients are able to return to their activities the next day.