Simple ways to prevent kidney stones

A simple aid for preventing kidney stones, provided by Dr. Roger L. Sur, director of UC San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center

via PhyOrg.com

(PhysOrg.com) — We’ve all heard the expression, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Passing a kidney stone would qualify for one of life’s “lemons,” but did you know that drinking lemonade has been shown to prevent them?

Drinking lemonade is one of five ways you can prevent kidney stones, according to Dr. Roger L. Sur, director of UC San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center. Additionally, you can drink plenty of fluids and reduce your intake of salt, dietary calcium and protein.

Lemons have the highest concentration of citrate — a natural inhibitor of kidney stone formation – of any citrus fruit. In a recent study conducted by Sur, lemonade therapy — drinking four ounces of reconstituted lemon juice in two liters of water per day — was shown to decrease the rate of stone formation from 1.00 to 0.13 stones per patient.

Other fruit juices have less citrate and are often supplemented with calcium and contain oxalate, one of the principle components of kidney stones. In fact, the most common kidney stone is a calcium stone, which is composed primarily of calcium oxalate. Calcium stones can be caused by too much salt in your diet, which stimulates calcium excretion in the urine, according to Sur, who adds that reducing salt intake helps to prevent such stones.

Some people will not even know that they have a tiny stone in their kidney until it leaves the kidney and enters the ureter, causing intense pain.

“Back and abdominal pain, blood in the urine, and nausea or vomiting, are the three classic symptoms of kidney stones,” said Sur. “You don’t have to have all three, but any of them will come on quickly and be hard to ignore. When you have extreme pain, you should see your doctor or go to an emergency room right away, especially if a fever is present. The presence of fever indicates that you may have an infection in your blood stream which can be life threatening.”

More via PhyOrg

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