If you’ve ever developed kidney stones, you know full well, how painful they could be. Imagine a hook starting off in the interior of your kidney and this throbs with pain every time blood is being pumped into your kidney. As annoying and irritating as that situation may be, can you imagine when somebody starts slowly tugging away at that hook? The sharp edge of the hook is then going to cut into and tear through the interior lining of your kidneys, all the way to the tube that leads to your urine bladder.

Depending on where the kidney stone originated, that long and painful ordeal, can last a long time. It is no surprise that a lot of people get hooked on opiate-based painkillers, due to kidney stones; kidney stones are no joke. They are not fun.

The moment you start developing kidney pain it feels like your whole world is falling apart. In fact, a lot of people feel so much pain that they pass out. It’s not unusual to find middle-aged grown men passed out in a bathroom stall somewhere because they could not handle the pain – they go into shock; that’s how bad the pain is. Of course this doesn’t compare to the pain a woman goes through giving birth naturally without painkillers. Still, you get the point.

Kidney stones can be murder – they hurt a lot. They also indicate a tremendous set of problems that your lifestyle brings on; consider them an indicator of potential bigger problems. The better approach to this particular health condition is to try to avoid them in the first place. So how do you avoid kidney stones?

First of all, drink a lot of water – you probably have heard this before; you probably heard it so much that you think that people are just repeating the same advice over and over again, without really thinking about it. Well, the reason why you need to drink a lot of water is the more you drink, the more managed your salt levels are in your body. When your salt levels are managed properly, your blood vessels are less constricted. This then leads to a more even blood flow to your organs, including your kidneys; instead of a tremendous amount of pressure being put on a very tiny tube, leading to your kidneys, drinking a lot of water dilutes the salt enough, so that there’s an even flow of water through your blood, to your kidneys; leading to an improved kidney health.

Also, when you drink a lot of water, you flush away a lot of toxins that may have concentrated in your blood. This is good news for your kidneys because flushing out all these poisons is the job of your kidneys – this all translates to a lower likelihood of developing kidney stones.

You also have to drink a lot more citrus. When you drink citrus, you release acids into your bloodstream that make it harder for crystals to form. Kidney stones really are just crystals of certain compounds that have increased in concentration in your blood. If your blood remains concentrated in these elements, a lot of these elements would join together to form really small crystals; these crystals in turn, would bind into each other and these stones in your kidneys start to grow.

If you don’t believe me, Google kidney stones and you will be blown away by how big they can get. In fact, the largest kidney stone that I have ever seen looks like a grapefruit. That’s how big a kidney stone can get; of course, it also depends on your health – maybe you’re sick and you have a disease that fosters kidney stones, maybe you have the wrong diet – whatever the case may be, load up on citrus, so on a chemical level, kidney stones not only stop growing but they start decreasing in size as well. The more certain types of acids make it to your bloodstream, the less likely you would have to get surgery for kidney stones.

Finally, make sure you avoid oxalate-rich foods. These are calcium rich foods – like chocolate – that pump up the amount of chemical compounds in your bloodstream, when properly concentrated, clump together to form kidney stones. Just watch what you eat, drink a lot of water and avoid salt as much as possible. If you’re able to do this you will definitely be well on your way to a much improved kidney health.