Ouch. Kidney stones used to be a problem that plagued mostly men, but Johns Hopkins scientists say women are developing them now too. And our risk has crept up by 45 percent in the past few years (experts suspect weight and blood-sugar issues are to blame). To keep yourself from developing a kidney stone, considering a treatment on this list.
Add this to your water bottle.
If you’ve been quenching your thirst with four tall glasses of water daily, you’re already cutting your risk of kidney stones in half. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each glass, and your risk will drop 87 percent, suggests research in the journal Nutrients. Study co-author Al Trinchieri, MD says water dilutes urine so that crystals are less likely to form, while lemon juice’s plant acids act as natural kidney stone inhibitors.
Sip these drinks.
In an Italian study, regularly drinking coffee or tea (regular or decaf) cut kidney stone risk by 30 percent — and so did a daily beer or glass of wine! Polyphenols in these tasty sips flush out a waste product (uric acid) that can fuel stone formation.
Eat purple potatoes.
Enjoying a large potato daily can cut kidney stone risk by 56 percent, Harvard scientists say. The root veggie’s rich stores of potassium stop calcium from forming crystals in kidneys.
Tip: Add purple potatoes to your favorite recipes. In peak season now, these gems have up to three times as many good-for-you antioxidants as russets or Yukon Golds.
Visit a crafts fair.
Or, stroll through an apple orchard. Walking at a leisurely pace for 25 minutes daily lessens the odds of kidney stones by 31 percent, University of Washington scientists say. Exercise boosts circulation to your kidneys, flushing waste before it forms crystals.
Sip on some magnesium.
Taking 300-400 milligrams of magnesium citrate daily curbs kidney stone risk by up to 80 percent, suggests research in Biophysical Reviews. Study co-author Viv Singh, PhD says the nutrient blocks the absorption of a compound that speeds stone formation.
A preventative kidney stone treatment will make your life so much easier in the long run!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.