Kidney stones are more common than you may realize. Statistics show that roughly one out of 10 women and one out of five men will develop them during their lifetime. Also known as urolithiasis, they consist of hard mineral deposits that accumulate inside of the kidneys. While most kidney stones resolve on their own, some of them can lead to complications. Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower your risk of kidney stones.
#1) Drink More Water
One of the easiest, as well as most effective, ways to lower your risk of kidney stones is to drink more water. Dehydration is a risk factor for kidney stones. When you are dehydrated, minerals are more likely to accumulate inside of your kidneys. Over time, these minerals can form a solid mass that manifests in the form of a kidney stone. By drinking more water, you'll be better protected against kidney stones such as this.
#2) Reduce Sodium Intake
Reducing your sodium intake can lower your risk of kidney stones. Studies have shown that people who consume an excessive amount of sodium in their diets are more likely to develop kidney stones than their counterparts. Sodium is a mineral. If you include too much of it in your diet, it may place you at risk for kidney stones. Cutting back on your sodium intake, conversely, will lower your risk of kidney stones.
#3) Increase Calcium Intake
Another tip to lower your risk of kidney stones is to increase your calcium intake. Some people assume that calcium increases the risk of kidney stones. After all, calcium is a mineral, and kidney stones are comprised of minerals. The truth, however, is that calcium discourages the formation of kidney stones.
#4) Beware of Vitamin Supplements
While taking a vitamin supplement may sound harmless, it may increase your risk of kidney stones. Certain vitamin supplements can lead to kidney stones when taken for an extended period. Vitamin C supplements, for example, have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones. If you have a vitamin deficiency, try to get more of the vitamin from food sources rather than a supplement.
#5) Drink Coffee
In addition to drinking more water, drinking coffee can lower your risk of kidney stones. There's a correlation between coffee consumption and the risk of kidney stones. People who drink more coffee are less likely to develop kidney stones. It's not a substitution for water. Nonetheless, drinking coffee can lower your risk of kidney stones.