Getty Images/Ben-Schonewille
Getty Images/Ben-Schonewille


If you have ever had kidney stones, you know how painful they can be. Some women have even said they are worse than going into labor!  Kidney stones can develop in one or both kidneys and most often occur in people aged 30 to 60. They're quite common, affecting more than 1 in 10.  Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. A kidney stone usually will not cause symptoms until it moves and becomes lodged. That can lead to severe sharp pain in your side and back below your ribs and pain that radiates to your lower abdomen and groin.

Diet, dehydration, excess body weight, certain medical conditions, and some supplements and medications are among the many causes of kidney stones. In some situations, you might simply need to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. In other instances, surgery may be required. A family history of kidney stones increases your risk. We got more on kidney health and steps you can take to reduce your risk of kidney stones at lite rock….


  • Wavebreakmedia Ltd/thinkstock
    Wavebreakmedia Ltd/thinkstock

    Limit alcohol intake

    Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and add extra calories, which can lead to weight gain.

  • Thinkstock

    Make healthy food choices

    Choose foods that are healthy for your heart and your entire body: fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products

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    Make physical activity part of your routine

    Be active for 30 minutes or more on most days. If you are not active now, ask your health care provider about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you

  • Jacob Wackerhausen/ThinkStock
    Jacob Wackerhausen/ThinkStock

    Get enough sleep

    Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, take steps to improve your sleep habits. 

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    Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods

    Some kidney stones are made of oxalate, a natural compound found in foods that binds with calcium in the urine to form kidney stones. Limiting oxalate-rich foods may help prevent the stones from forming.

    Foods high in oxalates are:

    • spinach
    • chocolate
    • sweet potatoes
    • coffee
    • beets
    • peanuts
    • soy products
    • wheat bran

    Oxalate and calcium bind together in the digestive tract before reaching the kidneys, so it’s harder for stones to form if you eat high-oxalate foods and calcium-rich foods at the same time.

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    Stay Hydrated

    Drinking more water is the best way to prevent kidney stones. If you don’t drink enough, your urine output will be low. Low urine output means your urine is more concentrated and less likely to dissolve urine salts that cause stones.

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    Eat less sodium

    A high-salt diet increases your risk of calcium kidney stones. According to the Urology Care Foundation, too much salt in the urine prevents calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine to the blood. This causes high urine calcium, which may lead to kidney stones.


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