To reduce the risk of bladder stones, you should eat healthily and stay hydrated. Dehydration can increase your risk for kidney stones, especially if you are overweight or taking certain medications.
Water dilutes your urine, decreasing the concentration of minerals that may lead to kidney stones. Aim for 64 ounces daily.
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
One of the best ways to reduce your risk for bladder stones is eating a balanced diet. This involves including various foods from different food groups and avoiding those that contain excessive sugar or salt.
A nutritious diet should include an adequate supply of fluids to keep your body hydrated. This could include drinking two to three quarts (64 ounces) per day, as well as fresh produce like fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables are packed with fiber, potassium and antioxidants which can help prevent kidney stones from forming. Fruits such as lemons and limes also contain citric acid which assists with stone prevention or breaks up existing ones.
Drinking plenty of water may reduce the risk of kidney stones, as water dilutes the chemicals responsible for formation and makes urine less acidic, according to a 2014 review of studies.
Limit your intake of foods that contain oxalate, as this can bind with calcium and other minerals and form kidney stones. Eating plenty of oxalate-free items or having them with dairy helps break them down into smaller pieces by binding the oxalates to calcium in your stomach.
Another key component of a healthy diet is getting enough protein. This is especially crucial if you have a history of kidney stones. On average, aim to consume no more than half a gram of protein at each meal.
You can reduce the likelihood of kidney stones by eating more cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale. These veggies contain magnesium and potassium which helps reduce calcium in urine and decreases its likelihood for forming stones.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Water consumption is one of the best ways to reduce your risk for bladder stones and UTIs (urinary tract infections).
Your urine needs to be dilute with water in order to avoid stone formation. On average, you should drink 64 ounces of fluid daily depending on your age and weight.
Additionally, avoid foods that contain oxalates, which bind readily to certain minerals in your urine. Examples include spinach, sweet potatoes and salmon.
Additionally, it is essential to reduce your sodium intake. Excess sodium (primarily from salt) can increase calcium concentration in urine, increasing the likelihood of kidney stones.
In addition to cutting your sodium intake, try eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods contain essential nutrients that can aid in flushing out kidney stones from your system.
Drink plenty of water to keep your urine hydrated, which helps prevent calcium buildup in the urine and prevent bladder stones from forming. Not only that, but it can also regulate your blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
Another way to prevent bladder stones is by limiting your meat and fish portions. Animal protein contains high levels of uric acid, which can break down into tiny crystals in urine that may form into stones.
Consuming excessive amounts of animal protein may lead to the accumulation of oxalates in your urine. To avoid this issue, aim for a moderate intake of protein in your diet.
If you do develop bladder stones, they can be broken up into smaller pieces with a procedure called cystolitholapaxy. Surgery may also be an option to remove the stones.
3. Avoid Excessive Eating
Eating foods high in salt, sugar or fat can increase your risk of bladder stones. To reduce this likelihood, steer clear of processed foods, reduce salt consumption, eat more fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
Eating whole grains is not only beneficial for your heart, but can also help prevent kidney stones by decreasing the amount of stone-forming minerals in your urine.
Additionally, ensure you get enough calcium and magnesium in your diet. These minerals help break down oxalate, which is often responsible for kidney stones. Aiming for at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day as well as 360 to 420 milligrams of magnesium daily may reduce the likelihood of developing stones.
It is also essential to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day in order to dilute the concentration of oxalate and other mineral particles in your urine. Aim to drink at least 2.5 liters (about 2 cups) of fluid each 24 hours, including water, milk, juices and foods high in water content like bananas or citrus fruits.
Additionally, you should steer clear of foods high in oxalate such as nuts, black tea, green leafy vegetables and soya beans. Consuming foods high in oxalate can increase your likelihood of developing uric acid stones – more common than calcium oxalate ones.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may suggest you reduce salt and other minerals in your diet to lower urine calcium levels. This can help reduce the likelihood of calcium stones as well as prevent uric acid or cystine stones from forming.
4. Exercise Regularly
Eating healthily and staying hydrated are important steps to take to reduce your risk of bladder stones. They dilute substances in urine that could form stones, such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid.
Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh produce, especially vegetables and fruits. Vegetables should make up about 25% of your plate and provide ample sources of fiber, potassium and Vitamin C.
Avoid foods that contain high levels of sodium, oxalate and uric Acid such as fried or greasy dishes, red meat without skin, processed or preserved meats, sugary desserts and high-fat dairy products.
Exercising regularly is beneficial for avoiding kidney stones as it helps reduce the chances of salts and minerals sticking to your body. Exercise also aids in the movement of small stones so they can pass through your urinary tract naturally.
Exercising regularly can also help protect you against various health issues. For instance, it can improve your heart and cholesterol health as well as enhance mood and energy levels.
Additionally, vitamin A may reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it strengthens the immune system, decreasing your vulnerability to cancer and other illnesses.
Calcium is essential for bone health and can be consumed through various food sources. Low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables and calcium-rich supplements are all excellent sources of this mineral.
Water is the cheapest and easiest way to stay hydrated, as it dilutes urine and prevents urinary stones. For optimal health, aim to drink at least 2 liters of fluid each day.
5. Reduce Stress
Maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated are the keys to reducing your risk of bladder stones. To do this, aim for at least 2 liters of water daily, eat lots of fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, and opt for whole-grain foods whenever possible.
Reducing stress is essential, as it may increase the likelihood of developing a kidney stone. Prolonged high stress levels have been linked to an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone) release within the body that can wreak havoc on metabolism and lead to calcium oxalate stones.
People with certain medical conditions or taking drugs that affect digestion and absorption of calcium or oxalate may have an increased likelihood of developing stones. If you think you might have a calcium oxalate stone, discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Increase your intake of citric acid from citrus fruit, such as lemons, to help prevent calcium oxalate stones. This is especially beneficial if you have a history of bladder stones or hypercalciuria – an overcalculous condition where there is too much calcium in your urine.
Additionally, it is wise to avoid oxalate-rich foods like rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts and tea. Furthermore, reduce your dietary fat consumption and consume more fiber-rich items like whole grains.
Consuming enough fluids helps maintain a balance in your body, especially during strenuous exercise or hot/humid conditions. You can monitor your hydration by checking the color and volume of your urine.
When it comes to drinking the right amount of fluids for you, the amount depends on several factors such as weather conditions, activity level, health condition and age. If pregnant or nursing, your doctor may suggest additional liquids in order to stay hydrated.