Guest Author - Mystic Ransdell
If you've ever had a kidney stone, you know how unbelievably painful they can be. Those flaring waves of pain in your ribs and lower back are unforgettable and unbearable, making you willing to do just about anything in order to avoid ever feeling that way again.
There are four different kinds of kidney stones, and an important part of avoiding recurrence is knowing what kind you had. However, even if you don't know your specific type of stone, you can reduce your chances of developing another by lowering your consumption of the following foods:
Alcohol is basically a neuro-toxin, and flushing it out of your body is hard work for your kidneys and your liver. Alcohol also works as a diuretic, causing you to urinate more often and dehydrating you in the process (which is a huge contributing factor to developing a hangover). Reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption is very beneficial to your overall health.
Although that morning cup of coffee is a good pick-me-up, consuming too much caffeine does not do the body good. Caffeine is another diuretic that can dehydrate you by making you urinate more frequently. Make sure that you drink plenty of water in addition to all that coffee. Better yet, break your caffeine habit with decaffeinated beverages. Your kidneys will thank you for it!
There is a certain group of foods that contain oxalates - molecules that can bind with calcium to form the basis of a kidney stone. They are found in many fresh vegetables and fruits, chocolate, black pepper, and nuts. Men seem to be more affected by chocolate, nuts, and pepper, while women more often have a problem with leafy greens. Some of the foods highest in oxalates are raw almonds, beet greens, okra, peanut butter, peanuts, rhubarb, cranberries, and spinach.
Too much sodium can cause a lot of issues for your body. Not only does it raise blood pressure and weaken bones by causing you to lose calcium, it puts you at much higher risk for kidney stones. Processed foods are usually quite high in sodium, and so is fast food. Eating fresh, natural foods is very helpful. If you must eat processed foods, avoid anything with more than 300 mg of sodium per serving, aiming for a daily total of no more than 2300 mg.
In addition to reducing your consumption of certain foods, it is very important to drink enough water. Ideally, you should drink enough water to fill your bladder every two to three hours during the day to allow your body to properly flush out waste effectively. If you are active and spending time in hot weather, you need to drink even more.
Eating a diet rich in "healthy kidney" foods while watching your consumption of problem foods is your number one defense against kidney stones and Chronic Kidney Disease. Your body will thank you for it!