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You can't buy good health but you can buy good health information. Check out these newly released Special Health Reports from Harvard Medical School:

To avoid the agony of kidney stones, start with a glass of water, from the October 2013 Harvard Men's Health Watch

Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone surely remembers it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the stone becomes unstuck and passes. In about half of people who have had one, kidney stones strike again within seven years—unless something is done to prevent them. There are many things the stone-prone can do to protect themselves, according to the October 2013 Harvard Men's Health Watch.

Here are the core self-help steps for preventing kidney stones, recommended by Dr. Melanie Hoenig, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones.

Get enough calcium: It's best to get as much calcium as possible from food. How much is enough changes with age.

Ease back on sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones.

Limit animal protein: Eating too much animal protein increases the odds of developing kidney stones.

Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, and tea can contribute to kidney stones. If you suffer from stones, your doctor may advise you to avoid these foods or to consume them in smaller amounts.

Read the full-length article: "How to prevent kidney stones"

Also in this issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch

  • Before dementia begins: What helps?
  • On call: Ensuring aspirin's benefit
  • On call: When to worry about a cough
  • Arthritic knees: Exercise can help, but don't overdo it
  • Blocked arteries may be causing that leg pain when you walk
  • How to prevent kidney stones
  • New evidence that a heart-healthy diet also helps fight prostate cancer
  • In the journals: Online Alzheimer's tests get "F" from experts
  • In the journals: Panel backs HCV test for baby boomers
  • In the journals: Act quickly to stop stroke damage

More Harvard Health News »


About Harvard Health Publications

Harvard Health Publications publishes four monthly newsletters--Harvard Health Letter, Harvard Women's Health Watch, Harvard Men's Health Watch, and Harvard Heart Letter--as well as more than 50 special health reports and books drawing on the expertise of the 8,000 faculty physicians at Harvard Medical School and its world-famous affiliated hospitals.