High Fluid Intake Lowers Kidney Stone Risk
Every year, more than a million people are hospitalized for kidney stone problems. In the United States alone, the number of cases reported for people with kidney stones has gone up from 3.8% in the 1970s to 8.8% in the 2000s.
A kidney stone can be defined as a hard object that is composed of chemicals in the urine. Urine comprises of wastes which are dissolved in it. When the waste becomes too much and the liquid content is less, crystals begin to form. These crystals start attracting other elements and they join together to form solids which continue to grow big unless they are passed out of the body through the urine. Consuming enough fluids ensures that all the undesired chemicals and bodily wastes are flushed out of our body. The chemicals that have a tendency of forming stones in our body include calcium, phosphate, xanthine, oxalate, cystine, and urate.
Impact of High Fluid Intake on Kidney Stones
Data focussing on the management of kidney stones based on different studies was recently presented at the National Kidney Foundation meeting. Researchers have found that high intake of fluids is helpful in the prevention and reoccurrence of kidney stones. As per the studies, sufficient fluid intake that helps to achieve 2-2.5L/day of urine helps in reducing kidney stones by almost 60%.
This can be attributed to the fact that a sufficient dilution of urine prevents the chemicals in the urine from becoming concentrated enough to precipitate, thereby, enabling them to stay in the dissolved state. A high quantity of urine output is helpful in stopping kidney stone formation as the stones are regularly flushed out and urine is not able to stagnate.
Type of Fluid Intake
Though water intake is highly recommended for keeping stones at bay, we can also consume other fluids for reducing the risk of stones. Water is highly recommended as it is inexpensive and contains no additional calories. People who have a history of kidney stones need to drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day.
You can also consume other fluids to lower the risk of kidney stones. Citrus fruit juices, such as lemonade and orange juices are rich in citrate which is a known stone inhibitor, specifically for calcium-based stones. Tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages can also be consumed, in moderate amounts, to add variety to your daily fluid intake.
Tips for Increasing Fluid Intake
Given below are some tips that can come in handy while increasing your fluid intake:
- Invest in a water bottle that you would really like to carry around. Opt for a bigger water bottle so that you can avoid the hassle of filling it up again and again.
- Try to make it tasty by adding fruits. You can add lemon for increasing the citrate levels. You can also add variety to your liquid intake by adding in beverages such as green tea (without sugar), flavored water, and watermelon and grape juices.
- Consume fruits and vegetables that are rich in water. These include cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry, grapefruit, and watermelon.
- Drink a glass of water before and after a meal. This will also ensure that you eat less.
- When you feel the urge to drink a soda drink, replace it with water. Over a period of time, this will become a habit.
- Add half of water to your juices. This will not only cut down on your sugar intake but will also increase your intake of water.
- “Drinking Water Helps Prevent Kidney Stones” by Published as a new release on March 26, 2015 by National Kidney Foundation, accessed on 27 May 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_151715.html