Kidney stone (lithiasis) prevention includes:
- Lifestyle changes
- Taking medication, if necessary
- Increase fluid intake and drink mainly water during the day. Patients with a history of lithiasis are recommended to consume at least 2.5 liters of water daily
- Cut down on foods rich in oxalates. Patients who have calcium oxalate stones should reduce the intake of foods rich in oxalates, such as beets, okra, spinach, nuts and chocolate
- Low salt and animal protein diets
- Continue to eat foods containing calcium and avoid calcium supplements. The consumption of food which contains calcium does not affect the risk of developing kidney stones. On the contrary, calcium supplements can increase the risk of lithiasis. Also, low calcium diets may increase the risk of developing lithiasis in some patients
Some drugs can control the acidity and the quantity of the inorganic salts in the urine and help patients who are susceptible in certain types of lithiasis.
The type of medication depends on the type of stones.
Here are some examples:
- Calcium stones. The administration of diuretics may help.
- Uric acid stones. Medication may be administered to reduce uric acid levels in the blood, as well as medications which increase urine pH. In some cases, the aforementioned medication may dissolve uric acid stones.
- Struvite stones. To protect yourself against struvite stones, you may need to take antibiotics for a long period of time in order to treat the UTIs responsible for the formation of these stones.
- Cystine stones. Apart from the increase in the amount of fluid intake, you may need to receive medication which reduces the amount of cystine in the urine.