The single most important factor for the prevention of kidney stones, regardless of the stone composition, is to produce adequate volumes of urine. If the total urine volume is increased, the total concentration of crystals in the urine decreases, thereby, limiting the chance of these crystals binding together to form new kidney stones. Kidney stone patients should strive to produce at least two liters (two quarts) of urine per day. Therefore, hydration is of critical importance in patients with kidney stones.
While it is common knowledge that increasing a patient's fluid intake will also increase their urine output, there still remains some confusion as to the best means to do so. While water is easily accessible and inexpensive, there are many other suitable liquids, which can be used to augment a patient's fluid intake.
for easily increasing a person's fluid intake are as follows:
For many patients it is not easy to determine whether or not their fluid intake is adequate. A good general rule of thumb is that if a patient's urine is clear, their fluid intake is adequate. If their urine becomes more yellow to brown, then they should strive to increase their fluid intake. Some patients who are highly motivated may wish to purchase urine dipsticks from their pharmacy or supermarket. Patients may check their level of urine concentration by checking the urinary specific gravity on the dipstick. Patients at risk for kidney stone formation should attempt to keep the urinary specific gravity less than 1.010.
there have been several scientific studies that have dispelled commonly
held beliefs regarding certain beverages and the risk of recurrent kidney
One recent study demonstrated that women who drink a single 8-oz. glass of wine per day decrease their relative risk of kidney stone formation by approximately 50%. Drinking mild to moderate amounts of beer and hard liquor also decrease the relative risk of kidney stone formation, but to a much less extent that that of wine.
have often felt that avoiding dairy products, particularly milk, would
decrease the risk of kidney stone formation. However, numerous studies
have now shown that consumption of neither skim nor whole milk increases
the risk of developing future kidney stones.
numerous other beverages available to which citrate is used as an additive.
Although the amount of citrate in these products is highly variable, the
vast majority of these beverages would provide benefit in reducing the
risk of kidney stones.