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Is getting a kidney stone simply bad luck?

Once a kidney stone is large enough to require treatment, it’s been forming for as long as two years. Award-winning urologist Marshall Stoller, MD, who heads UC San Francisco’s urinary stone division, says there are many proven things you can control to keep your kidneys healthy, including increasing your intake of citrate.

“Kidney stones are happening to people at earlier ages these days. And the earlier you have a stone, the more likely you are to have chronic kidney disease later in life. Simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing your citrate levels by drinking Moonstone, may help your kidneys to stay healthier for the long term,” says Stoller.

He elaborates, “Citrate helps prevent stone formation by reducing the ability of calcium in the urine to bind with oxalate. Back in the early 90s, scientists found that lemonade increased citrate levels in the urine, but we now know that increase is not nearly high enough. To support daily kidney health with citrate, a better approach is to drink a citrate blend, developed by kidney health experts. Available over the counter as Moonstone Kidney Health Beverage, it contains the right amounts of citrate salts, lemon juice and vitamin B6 to optimize the body’s chemistry. It is also a convenient way to increase hydration.”

Stoller encourages everyone, even those without a personal or family history of kidney stones, to adopt a kidney-healthy lifestyle. His advice for keeping kidneys healthy includes:  

  • Limit your salt intake. “The recommended daily limit is 2,300 mg/day. Most people eat twice that much or more! The National Kidney Foundation has some great advice for preparing flavorful, low-sodium meals.”
  • Get plenty of calcium. “There’s a misconception among the healthcare and lay communities that calcium stone formers should avoid calcium. The opposite is true. If you have excess calcium in your urine, it could be coming from your bones. Replenishing your calcium supply supports overall health, especially your bones. High calcium diets are not associated with increased kidney stone risk.” 
  • Drink adequate amounts of fluid. “Moonstone is available in a convenient powdered drink mix. It comes in a variety of delicious flavors including Cranberry Raspberry and Lemon Lime. At less than the cost of your favorite macchiato, you’ll be doing something positive for your health,” says Stoller.

Marshall Stoller, MD is affiliated with Moonstone Nutrition.