How to Prevent Kidney Stones and Urinary Tract Infections?
Kidney stones and urinary tract infections are common at this time of year. So we have a few tips for avoiding these unwanted problems. If you are aware of the Chinese medicine cycle, you know that late spring and early summer is the time when the kidney and bladder are at the low point of their function. This is why we see such a rash of these issues now. Conventional treatment for kidney stones involves potassium citrate for smaller stones. For larger ones, there are more invasive and potentially damaging treatments. So it is best to be proactive.
The treatment for UTIs is usually antibiotics. Since antibiotics are indiscriminate in their action, they can deplete the healthy flora in the bladder and urinary tract. This makes you susceptible to recurring infections. Here are some simple suggestions to prevent kidney stones and Urinary Tract Infections:
Solutions for Kidney Stones
Don’t overdo Vitamin C: Too much supplemental Vitamin C in the ascorbic acid form can contribute to stones. Limit your intake to 500 mg per day.
Drink lemon water: The citric acid in lemon juice inhibits stone formation and breaks up small stones beginning to form. It binds calcium in the urine, reducing the likelihood of calcium stones.
Drink plenty of water or electrolyte drinks: Many of us do not drink enough water, but water is crucial to proper functioning of the kidneys. Electrolyte drinks low in sugar can also be helpful. They provide potassium and other minerals that can prevent stone formation and break down smaller stones. Coconut water, healthy green juices that don’t contain spinach, or an electrolyte formula are all excellent choices.
Solutions for Urinary Tract Health
Probiotics that focus on urinary/bladder health: Two strains of healthy bacteria, lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus reuteri, have been studied for their positive effect on the flora that line the urinary tract and bladder. Thus, they can be used in the prevention of urinary tract infections. They are also helpful in cases where an antibiotic must be used. This will ensure that the good bacteria take hold, reducing the risk of recurring infections.
Cranberry: It is proven that the cranberry makes the bacteria unable to stick to the cells that line the urinary tract and this prevents them from multiplying. There is conflicting research on whether cranberry helps with kidney stones, so we don’t recommend it for stones.