If you’ve had kidney stones, you know how painful they are. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent a recurrence.
One of the most important things you can do to ward off kidney stones is to drink more water. According to the American College of Physicians, increasing your fluid intake throughout the day is a good way to keep kidney function normal.
In a five-year study, those who reached the two liters of urine threshold by hydrating were less likely to have another kidney stone episode (12 percent recurrence) than those who didn’t increase their fluid intake (27 percent recurrence).
In addition to drinking eight to 10 glasses of water throughout the day (or enough to reach two liters of urine), cutting out soft drinks is a smart idea. The connection between soft drinks and stones is not completely clear, but the phosphorous in soft drinks acidifies urine, creating an acidic environment that is conducive to kidney stone formation.
Sodium can also be a contributing factor to kidney stones. A diet that includes too much fast food and/or added salt could make anyone susceptible to kidney stones, especially those with prior episodes.
Adopting these behaviors is not a guarantee against kidney stone recurrence, and sometimes kidney stones do form again. At that point, medication may be the best defense against another episode.