Health & Wellness

How can I prevent kidney stones?

Kidney stones are common and extremely painful. A kidney stone can be as small as a grain of sand but as large as a golf ball.

They form when substances in the urine become concentrated and harden. And if you've had one, it's likely they'll come back.

Certain diet choices can reduce your risk. If you've had a kidney stone, limit your sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily, the National Institutes of Health advises. Reducing animal protein in your diet can help. Foods rich in an ingredient called oxalate — a main ingredient in kidney stones — can also increase risk.

You should also drink lots of water. How much is enough? More than the typical eight glasses a day. Citrus beverages can help, too.

Watch the video with NBC medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar for more on reducing your risk.

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