Drinking enough water each day is important in maintaining overall health and will help keep your urine less concentrated with waste products. Darker urine is more concentrated, so your urine should appear light yellow to clear if you are well hydrated. Drinking enough fluids to make at least two liters of urine per day may be recommended. Fluid restrictions might apply if you have advanced kidney disease, so speak with a healthcare professional about the right amount of water for you.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for managing overall health and in preventing kidney stones. Being overweight increases your risk of kidney stones. Managing blood pressure and controlling salt intake is also important. A dietitian can help you plan meals to help you lose weight.
To help prevent uric acid stones, cut down on high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, beer/alcoholic beverages, meat-based gravies, sardines, anchovies and shellfish. Follow a healthy diet plan that has mostly vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, especially those that have high fructose corn syrup. Limit alcohol because it can increase uric acid levels in the blood and avoid short term diets for the same reason. Decreasing animal-based protein and eating more fruits and vegetables will help decrease urine acidity and this may help reduce the chance for uric acid stone formation.
Citrate might be prescribed to help prevent certain stones, such as uric acid stones, if urine citrate is low and urine pH levels are too low (or too acidic). Citrus juices do contain citrate (citric acid), but large amounts might be needed. Also, be careful of sugar. Lemon juice concentrate (4 oz per day) mixed with water can be considered. Alkali citrate can be prescribed (such as potassium citrate) and is available over-the-counter. Alkali citrate can be given with a mineral(s), such as sodium, potassium or magnesium to help prevent stone formation. The aim is to increase urine citrate (for prevention of calcium stones) and increase urine pH (or make urine less acidic or more alkaline, for prevention of uric acid and cystine stones). The goal is to keep pH in balance. Speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional about which treatment options are right for you, including over-the-counter products and home remedies. This may not apply to all types of stones, so speaking with a healthcare professional is important. People with kidney disease may need to watch their intake of sodium, potassium or other minerals, depending on the stage of kidney disease or other factors.