Drink water and cut back on sodium and animal protein to avoid kidney stones or to keep them from coming back.

If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you surely remember it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the tiny stone passes through your urinary plumbing and out of the body. Kidney stones are more common in men than in women, and they tend to recur. In about half of people who have had one, kidney stones strike again within seven years without preventive measures.

Preventing kidney stones is not complicated, but it does take some determination. “It means drinking plenty of fluids and following a diet that is low in sodium, with limited animal protein and age-appropriate intake of calcium,” says Dr. Melanie Hoenig, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Dietary changes are important, but it is difficult to stick with them every day.”

Where do kidney stones get stuck?


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