I have a history of kidney stones and would like to know what the best type of water for me is and why? — Bunny
Preventing and getting rid of kidney stones is a complex issue because there are different causes and types.
However, the short answer is that I believe the best drinking water for all types of kidney stones is filtered mineral water or alkaline ionized water.
To explain why I say this, we need to have a basic understanding of the different causes and types of kidney stones.
Kidney stones do not have a single, definite cause. However, there are known factors that can increase your risk of developing them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid — than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.”
Understanding the reason why your urine may contain more crystal-forming substances than it can dilute is essential for prevention.
According to WebMD, kidney stones form when the “normal balance of water, salts, minerals, and other substances found in urine changes.”
Please note the keyword here is “balance.” People with calcium stones tend to assume this means they need to reduce their intake of calcium in their diet.
However, many patients with calcium stones have normal urinary calcium levels. For these people, reducing dietary calcium may actually cause an increase in oxalate and thus more stone formation.
There are four main types of kidney stones.
The general dietary guideline for any type of stone formation is to increase water intake and to avoid excess salt and animal protein. However, you should consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes since there may be other factors to consider.
I believe ionized alkaline water is the best drinking water for anyone who is prone to kidney stones.
My second choice is filtered water that contains the natural occurring minerals in water. I recommend using a home drinking water filtration system rather than buying bottled mineral or spring water.
Some bottled waters are ok, except you never really know what you are getting because bottled water regulation is minimal.
An EPA study several years ago found that nearly 40% of all bottled water was reprocessed tap water, usually with just some type of disinfectant added such as chlorine. Nothing has really changed since that study was conducted.
I would also avoid drinking distilled water or reverse osmosis water for more than a week or two at a time. Since these waters are demineralized, I believe they can contribute to imbalances in the kidneys and urine.
Drinking enough filtered water on a daily basis is the best way to to prevent kidney stones.
Understanding how to maintain the balance of water and salt, as well as minerals in the body is also important. See Water and Salt - Balanced Intake Is Essential for Health and Hydration