Diet kidney stones


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Diet kidney stones

  1. 1. DIET – KIDNEY STONES The kidney acts as a filter for blood, making urine and removing waste products from the body. When the stone sits in the kidney, it rarely causes problems, but when it falls into the urethra, it acts like a dam. As the kidney continues to function and make urine, pressure builds up behind the stone and causes the kidney to swell. Here are a few dietary modifications to help you fight Kidney Stones: Diet recommended for Kidney stones • Drink more liquids Drinking 10-12 glasses of liquid each day helps to keep the urine dilute - which reduces the concentration of stone forming minerals in the urine. At least half of the liquid should be water; the other liquids could be any beverages you like. • Reduce the amount of salt you eat Reducing the salt (sodium) in the diet helps to reduce the amount of calcium in the urine that in turn reduces the tendency for calcium stone formation. Dietary salt reduction is best accomplished by not adding salt to your food and by avoiding those high sodium foods such as processed meats, salty convenience foods (regular, boxed or canned soups, noodle or rice mixes) and salty snacks. • Be sure your diet contains adequate amounts of calcium Several years ago it was believed that dietary calcium should be restricted in patients with calcium kidney stones. At least two scientific studies now show that the inclusion of at least two servings of high calcium foods per day in the diet actually reduces the rate at which calcium-containing kidney stones form. People who form calcium oxalate stones should include 800 mg of calcium in their diet every day, not only for kidney stone prevention but also to maintain bone density.
  2. 2. A cup of low-fat milk contains 300 mg of calcium. Other dairy products such as yogurt are also high in calcium. • Avoid those foods which can increase the amount of oxalate or uric acid in the urine Oxalic acid or oxalate is found mostly in foods from plants. But only a few have been shown to increase the amount of oxalate in urine. They are rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts, beets, and tea. Avoiding these foods may help reduce the amount of oxalate in the urine. Eating foods containing calcium also reduces oxalate in the urine. Calcium binds oxalate in the digestive tract so it is not excreted into the urine. • Vitamin C The body converts vitamin C into oxalate that increases kidney stone formation. Therefore, if the physician has recommended reducing oxalate in the diet, taking vitamin C supplements may not be a good idea. Doctors recommend no more than 500 milligrams each day for people who have had kidney stones. A person who has a tendency to form kidney stones should consult a doctor or dietitian before taking large doses of vitamins or minerals. • Sugar and animal protein It has been found that too much of these may also aggravate the development of calcium or calcium oxalate stones. Some sugars occur naturally in foods and that is not a concern. However, people who get kidney stones may benefit from avoiding packaged foods with large amounts of added sugars, and from reducing sugars added in food preparation and at the table. Meats and other animal proteins - such as eggs and fish - contain purines, which break down into uric acid in the urine. Foods that are especially rich in purines include organ meats, such as liver. Nondairy animal proteins may also increase the risk of calcium stones by increasing the excretion of calcium and reducing the excretion of citrate (citrate prevents kidney stones) into the urine. Therefore,
  3. 3. people who tend to develop kidney stones should avoid eating more protein than the body needs each day. • Insoluble Fiber Fiber is the indigestible part of plants. There are two types of fiber: soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble. Both provide important functions in the body, but it is insoluble fiber (found in wheat, rye, barley, and rice) that may help to reduce calcium in the urine. It combines with calcium in the intestines, so that the calcium is excreted with the stool instead of through the kidneys. Insoluble fiber also speeds up movement of substances through the intestine, so there will be less time for calcium to be absorbed.