(09/03/23) - Making just a few tweaks to your diet could help prevent one of the
most painful health problems there is - the dreaded kidney stone.
If you have ever had one, you know how they hurt. In fact, the pain is so intense, it can be frightening waiting for a diagnosis.
You won't catch Wajiha Khan without a bottle of water, not after experiencing what she calls the worst pain of her life, "it's just one of those things. You just want someone to rip it out of you."
"It" turned out to be three kidney stones the size of a pen tip. Duke University's Dr. Michael Lipkin says one in 10 people will get a kidney stone. They are actually hard masses formed from crystals that separate from your urine.
Dr Lipkin's first tip for preventing these stones: drink up!
"I don't care what you drink, just drink a lot," he says that means at least three liters a day - water is best.
Next, stock up on lemons. Dr. Lipkin says, "lemon has something called citrate, and citrate is an inhibitor of stone formation."
You can put them in your water or make your own lemonade. Limes and oranges also contain citrate and so do some lemon-lime sodas, like Sprite or 7-Up.
Lipkin recommends one soda in particular, "diet orange soda contributed the most citrate to the urine."
Finally, watch out for sodium. It increases calcium in your urine and can lead to stones. This does not just mean you should avoid using salt shakers.
Lipkin says bread and cheese are hugely underestimated culprits, "in fact, a slice of pizza has about a thousand milligrams of sodium, which is about 50 percent of your USDA daily allotment."
So, check your labels and drink up like Wajiha does, "I don't want another one and wouldn't wish it on anybody."
Dr. Lipkin also recommends cutting down on nuts if you're prone to stones. Nuts are rich in oxalate, which can cause stones to form.
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