How to help prevent another kidney stone
Once you have a kidney stone, you have a 50% chance of getting another within the next five years.1,2 Stones also increase your risk of developing chronic kidney disease, which means keeping future stones at bay is a vital part of staying healthy.1,3 When talking to your doctor about your treatment plan, make sure prevention is part of the discussion.
Drinking plenty of fluids is the best way to keep a kidney stone from forming. Your doctor may recommend you drink two to three liters of water (or other pH-neutral drinks) every day. Try to drink evenly throughout the day, monitor how much you urinate, and make sure your urine is light in color. If you live in a hot climate or exercise a lot, drink more to help balance fluid loss.
Other steps your doctor may suggest to prevent another kidney stone:
- Adapt your diet to include more vegetables, fibers and fruits while limiting animal proteins and reducing your sodium intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Adopt a healthier lifestyle by exercising two or three times per week and avoiding stress
- Take medicine to reduce your risk, if your doctor advises it
Stone and Urine Collection
A key step in preventing another kidney stone is to understand what caused it to form in the first place. That’s why your doctor may ask you to try to catch your stone as it passes, so it can be tested. Stones that are retrieved surgically may be sent to a lab for analysis to help your doctor determine its type and decide how best to prevent future stones.
Your doctor may also ask you to collect urine for 24 hours after your stone has passed or been removed to measure your urine volume and mineral levels. Producing too little urine or having a metabolic abnormality may mean you are more likely to develop another stone.