What are the Best Tips for Preventing Kidney Stones?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.

Health experts agree that preventing kidney stones is entirely possible by taking specific dietary measures aimed at doing so. Dietary changes, which include eating or drinking lemons while avoiding too much protein, even make it possible for individuals who have experienced stones in the past to stop them from developing again. Preventing kidney stones through dietary means is the best way to avoid the debilitating pain associated with this condition.

A kidney with a kidney stone.
A kidney with a kidney stone.

The process of preventing kidney stones begins with a basic understanding of how stones occur. An excessive amount of calcium present in the urine is one of the primary causes of kidney stones. Dehydration may also contribute to the formation of kidney stones as uric acid builds up in the body due to infrequent urination and from a lack of hydration. In some, kidney stones are also caused by a bacterial infection.

Increasing the intake of potassium-rich foods, such as avocados, may help reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Increasing the intake of potassium-rich foods, such as avocados, may help reduce the risk of kidney stones.

One of the best foods for kidney stones is lemons. While certain other citrus fruits actually contribute to the formation of kidney stones, research shows that lemons are the most effective in preventing or destroying them. This is because lemons are extremely high in citrate. Preventing kidney stones using lemons is best done by drinking the juice from a lemon diluted with water several times per day.

Doctors recommend increasing water intake to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Doctors recommend increasing water intake to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

When preventing kidney stones by using lemons, it is important to use fresh lemons and create a drink at home as opposed to buying commercial lemon drinks. This is because many fruit drinks commonly sold in stores are fortified with calcium and also contain sodium. Both of these ingredients contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Instead, by preparing a lemon drink at home using fresh lemons and water, an individual can greatly reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.

A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.
A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.

Since a lot of kidney stones occur as the result of dehydration, preventing kidney stones also calls for keeping the body hydrated. This is particularly important for individuals who live or spend time in dry, hot climates where a loss of hydration can more rapidly occur due to the output of sweat. Drinking several glasses of fresh water each day is, of course, one of the best ways to stay hydrated, but eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables may also help with this effort.

One of the best foods for kidney stones is lemons.
One of the best foods for kidney stones is lemons.

Doctors recommend that individuals focused on preventing kidney stones also focus on reducing the intake of foods high in sodium, as well as decrease the amount of protein consumed daily. While protein is important to the diet, excessive amounts have been known to contribute to kidney stones. Also, increasing the amount of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, honeydew, avocado, lima beans, apricots and eggplant may also help in preventing kidney stones.

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    • Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
      Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
    • A kidney with a kidney stone.
      A kidney with a kidney stone.
    • Increasing the intake of potassium-rich foods, such as avocados, may help reduce the risk of kidney stones.
      Increasing the intake of potassium-rich foods, such as avocados, may help reduce the risk of kidney stones.
    • Doctors recommend increasing water intake to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
      Doctors recommend increasing water intake to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
    • A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.
      A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.
    • One of the best foods for kidney stones is lemons.
      One of the best foods for kidney stones is lemons.