How to Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones

Although some cases of kidney stones are genetic, others are caused by diet and lifestyle. These kidney stones can be easily prevented. Those who suffer from kidney stones should meet with a urologist and a dietitian. These professionals can help you design meal plans that do not increase your risk of repeat stones. They can also help you understand why you are getting stones, and they can prescribe medication if necessary.


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    Drink at least 2.6 qt. (2.7 liters) of water per day.
    • Water helps the minerals that form stones to move through your body more efficiently, decreasing the likelihood of stone formation. It also helps existing stones get flushed out quicker.
    • Avoid soft drinks that are high in sugar or sodium.
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    Increase your consumption of lemon juice and fresh lemonade.
    • Lemons have a high concentration of citrate, an element that has been proven to reduce kidney stone formation. Citrate is highly effective when combined with water.
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    Reduce or eliminate foods rich in animal protein from your diet, especially if you suffer from stones composed of uric acid.
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    Consume calcium with caution. Calcium stones are most common, and those who have them should be especially careful to avoid oxalate found in foods such as spinach, chocolate, sweet potatoes and beets.
    • Experts disagree as to whether calcium-rich foods in the diet contribute to kidney stones, but calcium supplements are usually not recommended for patients who suffer from kidney stones.
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    Exercise regularly. Maintaining a healthy body weight makes it less likely that you will develop kidney stones. Physical activity prevents minerals and acids from becoming concentrated in your urine and helps existing stones move through your urinary tract.


  • Black and green tea are known to reduce the risk of all types of kidney stones, except those formed by oxalate.
  • Symptoms of kidney stones include pain anywhere around the side, back, groin or abdomen. You also may notice blood in your urine and feel nauseous.
  • A registered dietitian can help you adjust your diet to include foods that prevent kidney stone formation and avoid foods that cause kidney stones.
  • If you find that you have developed a stone, consult with your urologist to prescribe medication designed to combat your type of stone. Possible medications include thiazide, allopurinal, alkalizing agents and antibiotics if you have stones made of struvite, which form as a result of infection. If you have rare cysteine stones, caused by a genetic disease, you may be prescribed potassium citrate to prevent your urine from becoming too acidic.
  • Alternative remedies for kidney stones include aloe vera juice, gravel root decoction, reflexology and hydrotherapy.
  • Discuss surgical options with your physician if you have recurring or very large stones. Kidney stones can be removed through abdominal incisions or broken up by shock waves for easy passage via a process called lithotripsy. These options are only recommended for kidney stones that are larger than 1/4 inch (5 mm) in diameter. Surgical procedures will not reduce your risk of developing new stones.


  • Go to your physician's office or emergency room right away if you develop a fever along with kidney stone pain, as this indicates an infection.
  • More than half of those who get a kidney stone will eventually have another occurrence.

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Categories: Urinary Health