"healthy happy woman"By Dr. Julie T. Chen

For those of you who have had kidney stones, you know that having them can be one of the most painful experiences. Furthermore, more often than not, my patients come into my clinic with erroneous ideas about how to avoid them. So, I’m going to take this opportunity to help dispel some myths and to provide the accurate information on how to avoid kidney stones.

Here are the top 3 tips for those looking to prevent kidney stones:

1. Acidic urine helps to prevent many types of stones, as well as lessen urinary tract infections as an added bonus. So, try to take some vitamin C daily with a goal of about at least 1000-2000 milligrams per day (higher dosages if you can tolerate it and you’ve had a consistent history of kidney stones). High dosages of Vitamin C can lead to diarrhea so try to take just enough without causing undesirable side effects.

2. Maximize your fluid intake…and I don’t mean by sodas. The phosphoric acid in regular and diet sodas as well as the sugar in soda and sugary foods can all contribute to stone formation. So stay away from these and instead, amp up your anti-inflammatory diet of mostly plant-based foods to get other minerals and fluid intake.

3. Remember to get your vitamins and minerals…specifically magnesium, calcium, and B-complex (also don’t forget the vitamin C as above). When deficiency exists in your body of these minerals and vitamins, you are at higher risk of various stone formations.

So, don’t be afraid of taking calcium…in fact, if you’re low on calcium, you are more likely to form calcium stones. One other helpful tidbit is that if you have uric acid stones, stop eating meat and the foods that tend to flare gout…because too much dietary purine can lead to these nasty stones!