Preventing kidney stones with smart habits and smart technology

Tips on staying hydrated with smart habits and smart technology.

TECHNOLOGY IN UROLOGYURINARY STONE DISEASE

Ivo Dukic, Consultant Urological Surgeon

3/27/20243 min read

Kidney stones are excruciatingly painful and can significantly disrupt your daily life. If you've had a brush with them, you know how important prevention is. A urologist can create a personalized plan to stop kidney stones before they start?

This article explores key strategies to prevent kidney stones, including the surprising role a smart water bottle can play. However, the most effective approach involves consulting a urologist who will assess your unique risk factors and recommend the best course of action.

Staying hydrated is crucial

The cornerstone of kidney stone prevention is staying adequately hydrated. Drinking at least 2.5 litres of fluid a day, spread throughout the day is recommended. The aim is to pass at least 2.5 litres of fluid, so on hot days it may require you to drink up to 1 or 2 litres more than this. Diluted urine prevents stone-forming minerals from clumping together and this is the cornerstone of preventing new stones from forming.

Simple Hacks to Increase Your Fluid Intake

  • Find a Reusable Water Bottle You Love: A urologist can help you select a reusable bottle that motivates you to drink consistently throughout the day.

  • Transform Your Bottle into a Hydration Coach: Mark water levels or use stickers to track your progress. Some large reusable water bottles already have set goals. Check out some of our recommended water bottles. Alternatively, you can set smartphone alarms to remind you to drink water.

  • Use a water hydration app. We have checked out the best water reminder apps around, read our review of the 6 best hydration apps.

  • Using a device on a water bottle such as the Ulla Smart Light for Hydration can be attached to any water bottle and lights up to remind you to drink at least once per hour

Can Smart Water Bottles Help?

Smart water bottles take hydration to the next level with features like:

  • Automatic Tracking: These high-tech bottles sync with apps to log your intake effortlessly. Explore options like Hidrate Spark 3 or Hidrate Spark Pro which connects to your phone and reminds you to drink with a gentle glow.

  • Temperature Sensors: Some models monitor water temperature, reminding you to drink before it gets lukewarm or cold (unpleasant for many).

Smart Water Bottles

Studies show that patients using smart water bottles significantly increased their urine output compared to those receiving standard advice [1]. These bottles may be particularly helpful for those who struggle to remember to drink enough fluids. Although proven to be clinically helpful they have other potential concerns including cost, battery life and charging as well as potential data privacy.

Additional Tips to Prevent Kidney Stones:

  • Dietary Adjustments: A urologist can create a personalized diet plan that limits salty foods, animal protein, and oxalate-rich foods (spinach, chocolate).

  • Ditch Sugary Drinks: They dehydrate you and contribute to stone formation. Stick to water, unsweetened tea, or diluted fruit juices.

  • Move Your Body: Regular exercise promotes kidney health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days.

  • See a Urologist Regularly: Schedule consultations to discuss your risk factors and preventive measures. They can recommend medications or supplements if needed

By following these tips and consulting a urologist, you can significantly reduce your risk of kidney stones. Remember, consistency is key! Let a urologist help you develop a personalized plan and empower yourself to live a more stone-free life.

Mr Ivo Dukic is a consultant urological surgeon specialising in kidney and ureteric stone surgery and offers personalised consultations. You can schedule an appointment with him through his Top Doctors profile for expert, bespoke advice or make an appointment through The Harbone Hospital, Edgebaston, The Priory Hospital, Edgbaston, Circle Health Group or at Stourside Hospital, Stourbridge, Ramsay Healthcare.

References:

1. Stout TE, Lingeman JE, Krambeck AE, Humphreys MR, Zisman A, Elfering S, et al. A Randomized Trial Evaluating the Use of a Smart Water Bottle to Increase Fluid Intake in Stone Formers. Journal of Renal Nutrition. 2022 Jul 1;32(4):389–95.