To Prevent Kidney Stones: Go Easy on Soda and Drink Lots of Water

Prevent Kidney Stones
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

You are at increased risk of having kidney stones if you prefer soda than water. Although the urge to have a sweet drink is something common to many people, water can spare you from a number of health issues like kidney stones. A recent publication in the Annals of internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians recommended lots of fluids intake throughout the day. The guidelines recommended 8 to 10 glasses spread throughout the day to amount to 2 liters of urine daily.

According to a recent study by the American College of Physicians, taking plenty of water instead of sodas can help recurrence of kidney stones. The study mostly focused on colas which are acidified by phosphoric acid.

Study Suggestion

Although there is no enough evidence to make conclusions, ACP President Dr. David Fleming says the study is suggestive. He questions his patients with kidney stones the number of sodas they drink in a day. Fleming told Shots that if realizes they are drinking three or four Diet Cokes in a day, he strongly urges them to reduce* to one or none.

Study Suggestion

The Link

One may wonder how colas are related to kidney stones. Though still vague, studies have shown that phosphorous makes the urine acidic. An acidic environment is what kidney stones require to thrive, according to Fleming. This suggests that increasing* your daily water intake won’t help prevent a recurrence of kidney stones unless you drop the sodas. However, a five-year study has shown that participants who managed to urinate 2 liters by hydrating had lower chances of a recurrence compared to those you didn’t up their daily fluid intake.

According to Fleming, it is not all that effective that people prone to kidney stones can prevent a recurrence by increasing* their daily water intake, but this only a recommendation.

Further Suggestions

You can prevent kidney stones through other dietary approaches, according to this study. It was found out that plant based foods and fiber can reduce* the risk of kidney stones recurrence. If these approaches don’t help prevent recurrence of kidney stones, treatment can be very effective, according to Fleming.

Kidney Stones Prevalence

In reference to a recent study, 1 in 14 women and 1 in 10 men in America have at once suffered from kidney stones. The research also indicates that you are more likely to have the condition if you are diabetic or obese. Medical professionals are now using laser treatments in academic medical centers to treat* kidney disease.

What is Kidney Stone?

Kidney Stone Chart

Kidney stone is a condition which develops when your urine contains crystal-forming substances like calcium, phosphorous, oxalate and uric acid than can be diluted by the fluid in your urine. This also happens when your urine lacks substances which help prevent crystals from sticking together to create a conducive environment for kidney stones formation.

Symptoms

Kidney stones symptoms may not be noticed unless it moves around within your kidney or ureter. Symptoms include:

  • Pain at the back below your ribs
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Red, brown or pink urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills

There are different types of kidney stones which are categorized through the cause. Once you identify the kind of your kidney stone, you stand a better chance in preventing a recurrence. Different types of kidney stones include:

  • Calcium Stones: This happens to be the most common type which occurs in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is naturally found in food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and chocolate. The liver also secretes oxalate. Calcium stones can also form as calcium phosphate.
  • Uric Acid Stones: This mostly occurs in people who fail to take lots of fluids or those who lose* too much of it. You are more prone to this type if you are a heavy protein consumer or you have gout.
  • Struvite Stones: This occurs due to infections especially in the urinary tract. It may gradually develop into a large one with little or no signs.
  • Cystine Stones: This is common in people with a hereditary disorder which makes the kidneys excrete too much of particular amino acids.

See a Doctor

Consult with your doctor if you notice symptoms related to kidney stones that concerns you. Sometimes the symptoms could be severe to the extent that you can’t sit still due to severe pain which could be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, you may notice traces of blood in your urine or find it hard when you go to the washrooms.

As the study seems to suggest, plenty of fluid, particularly water could be helpful in prevention. After all, water plays major roles in the normal functioning of your body. As Fleming suggest, increase* your daily water intake and lower the risk of kidney stones.

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.