From Our 2007 Archives

Health Tip: Help Prevent Kidney Stones

(HealthDay News) -- A kidney stone is a mass of crystals that have separated from urine and have accumulated inside a kidney. These hard masses can be extremely painful as they pass through the urinary tract.

It's not entirely clear why some people are more prone to kidney stones, although those who have already had a stone are more likely to develop another.

Here are suggestions to help reduce your risk of kidney stones, courtesy of the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse:

  • If you have just passed a kidney stone, save it so your doctor can test its composition and better understand its cause.
  • Drink plenty of fluids -- preferably water. Drink enough to produce at least two quarts of urine every 24 hours.
  • Eat a diet rich in calcium. By contrast, calcium supplements may actually increase your risk of kidney stones.
  • If you have acidy urine, you may be asked to eat less meat, fish and poultry, all of which increase the amount of acid in urine.

-- Diana Kohnle

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