According to a 2012 study, more than 10 percent of men and seven percent of women in the US will develop kidney stones in their lifetime and about half of them will have them again in the future.

Here are a few useful lifestyle and dietary modifications with which you can prevent the formation of kidney stones.

1. Drink Plenty Of Water
According to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians, people who have had a kidney stone should drink enough fluids to produce two liters of urine per day (equivalent to around eight 8-ounce glasses) in order to prevent more kidney stones from forming. This flushes toxins or minerals from the kidneys and prevents their buildup. On days when it is hot or when you sweat a lot due to activity, you might need to drink more than two liters, though.

2. Avoid Sodas
Evidence shows that soda intake may be related to recurrent kidney stones. Soda pop beverages are rich in phosphoric acid, which makes urine more acidic. Cutting down on dark sodas, particularly sweetened ones, can be helpful.

3. Cut Down On Oxalate-Rich Foods
Certain vegetables like beets, okra, rhubarb, spinach and sweet potatoes are rich in oxalates and can thus increase your risk of forming calcium oxalate stones. Chocolate, nuts, tea and soy products also contain high amounts of oxalates and are, therefore, best avoided.

4. Reduce Salt & Animal Protein Intake
Choose a diet which is low in both sodium and animal protein. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, eggs and seafood boost uric acid levels, which can result in the formation of uric acid stones. Similarly, a high-sodium diet can result in excessive excretion of calcium in urine, which can bind to oxalate and cause kidney stones.

5. Get The Required Calcium Naturally
Dietary calcium has the potential to bind with calcium oxalate and flush it from the kidneys before it can crystallize into stones. However, be careful when taking calcium supplements as certain studies have linked them to increased risk of kidney stones.

Content modified from Kathryn Doyle’s post on Reuters

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