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KIDNEY STONE PREVENTION

The two most common questions asked by a patient suffering from their first kidney stone are “What caused the stone and how can I prevent this from happening again?”

While there are multiple factors that lead to kidney stone formation, there are several adjustments one can make in their diet. Listed below are diet changes that can help reduce the chance of making future kidney stones.

1.INCREASE WATER INTAKE
The idea is simple and can be summed up by one phrase: THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION IS DILUTION. How much water do I have to drink? While we are all taught to drink 8 glasses of water per day, patients who make kidney stones need to be concerned with how much urine they produce daily. A stone former needs to be able to urinate 2 liters per day. Yes, that is a lot of water to drink to make that much urine. It can be done with good discipline. If water is not your thing, a good second choice is lemon flavored water.

2. DECREASE PROTEIN INTAKE
A diet made up of heavy consumption of beef and poultry leads to increased kidney stone formation. Try to substitute more vegetables and fish.

3. DECREASE SALT (SODIUM) INTAKE
In addition to helping with blood pressure and overall kidney health, lowering salt in the diet helps to reduce risk of kidney stone production. Oftentimes patients tell us that they don’t add salt to their food. Is salt added during the cooking process? Pay attention to canned goods. Soup, while often thought of as a healthy meal, can be loaded with sodium. Try to purchase groceries that are low in sodium.

4. AVOID HIGH OXALATE CONTAINING FOODS
Oxalate combines with calcium in urine to form the most common type of kidney stones---calcium oxalate stones. High oxalate containing foods include: rhubarb, spinach, nuts, dark chocolate, strawberries, and green and black tea---yes this means iced tea—sweetened, unsweetened, caffeinated, and decaffeinated.

5. DON’T WORRY ABOUT RESTRICTING CALCIUM
Milk and dairy products are a good source of calcium; however, the body does a good job of regulating calcium absorption from the diet. With the exception of a few medical conditions, limiting calcium in the diet is not necessary to reduce kidney stone formation.