Diet For Kidney Stones – What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat
When you suffer from kidney stones, then you will probably already know what a strong influence your diet has in determining your success of preventing them or not. It’s imperative that you eat the right diet for kidney stones, especially if you are already prone to developing them or have suffered with them before.
Kidney stones cause an enormous amount of pain and people who pass kidney stones can agree on that fact. Sadly, if you’ve had one, you’ll likely get another. But there are ways to avoid another incident, and even prevent them altogether.
Identifying the type of stone you have is crucial as there are different approaches depending on the various stones. If your doctor failed to analyze your stones, don’t worry.
Blood and urine tests can help determine what may have triggered your kidney stones and what specific strategies you’ll need to follow in order to prevent any more from developing. For most stones, including the most prevalent kind – calcium oxalate – follow these recommendations to decrease your risk.
1. Reduce Your Salt Intake
A diet high in salt forces calcium to excrete from the body, increasing the chance for both kidney stone formation and fragile bones. Doctors recommend keeping your sodium intake under 2,300 mg per day, nearly 1,000mg less than what most people consume in a day. While it’s true that foods like processed meats, salty chips, and fast foods are notorious culprits, other foods such as pizza, bread, cheese and soups additionally contain a good amount of sodium as well. It’s best to always read the labels when shopping for groceries. Avoid foods that contain over 300 mg of salt per serving.
2. Drink Fresh Filtered Water
You should ideally be drinking enough water so that you have to urinate every 2 – 3 hours throughout the day. It’s important to mention to athletes or people who work in the heat: Drinking plenty of water but sweating even more doesn’t actually help your kidneys. The only thing that counts is the amount of urine you excrete.
3. Avoid Oxalates
Oxalates are found in several fruits and vegetables. Inside your kidneys, oxalates can merge with calcium to form an insoluble salt which can start the initial formation of a stone. Various foods contain oxalates such as nuts, chocolate, and black pepper and are likely to cause a problem, especially for men. On the other hand, when it comes to women, problems primarily arise from leafy greens. However, not all leafy green vegetables contain oxalates. Spinach contains a significant amount of oxalates while foods like kale are low. Check a food list online or library that states the amount of oxalate each food contains to see which foods you may be overindulging in.
4. Ignore Your Sweet Tooth
A diet high in sugar increases urinary calcium while decreasing urine volume simultaneously. Therefore, it’s a double blow to the kidneys. Sugar in small amounts is okay, but too much isn’t a good idea.
5. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Ironically, caffeine and alcohol tend to increase urine production, but ultimately deplete the body of fluids. Also, caffeine will increase the calcium levels in the urine.
6. Consume Enough Calcium
Consuming a diet rich in calcium literally helps prevent kidney stones since calcium and oxalate bind together in the intestines and fail to reach the kidneys. Keep in mind though that calcium supplements aren’t nearly as effective as eating foods rich in calcium.
7. Say No to Cranberries
Cranberries are full of oxalates, so avoid them in all forms if you’re susceptible to calcium oxalate stones. Cranberry extract is particularly high in oxalates, which is often used to prevent recurring urinary tract infections.