Kidney Stone Prevention

The recent warm weather reminds us that summer days aren’t too far away, and as the temperature and humidity rise so does the likelihood of kidney stones. In the warm weather your body tends to lose more water from sweat and other sources which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration results in a more concentrated urine with higher levels of calcium, oxalate, and other minerals which can promote kidney stone formation. If you are prone to kidney stones, it is important to employ a few tactics to prevent them. The mainstay is to increase water intake to dilute urine as much as possible to lower the urinary calcium concentration. Adding citrate to your diet, for example by squeezing a lemon wedge into a glass of water, will help prevent stones from crystallizing as well. Finally, limiting dietary sodium and animal protein is also beneficial. One common myth that should be dispelled is the notion that stone formers need to limit dietary calcium. To the contrary, avoiding calcium may result in bone disease such as osteoporosis and in some individuals may paradoxically increase your tendency to form new stones.