DIET TO PREVENT RECURRENT STONE FORMATION

Diet is one of the most important factors in the formation and prevention of kidney stone. The body uses food for energy and tissue repair. After the body uses what it needs, waste products in the bloodstream are carried to the kidneys and excreted as urine. Kidney stones can form when substances in the urine such as calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus become highly concentrated. Diet and  daily fluid intake are important factors that can promote or inhibit kidney stone formation. Other factors that affect kidney stone formation include Genetics, Environment & Body Weight. Below mentioned are a few simple dietary modifications and FAQ's which will help to reduce the stone recurrences.

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK TO PREVENT KIDNEY STONE FORMATION?

Drinking enough water at regular interval (200ml to 400ml every hour) is the most important thing a person can do to prevent kidney stones. People who have had a kidney stone should drink enough water and other fluids to produce at least 2 litres of urine a day. The amount of fluid each person needs to drink depends on the weather and the person’s activity level. People who work or exercise in hot weather need more fluid to replace the fluid they lose through sweat. A 24-hour urine collection may be used to determine the volume of urine produced during a day. If the volume of urine produced is too low, the person can be advised to increase fluid intake.


CAN I CONSUME GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES, NUTS  AND TOMATOES?

Green Leafy vegetables like Spinach, nuts like Cashews contain more oxalates and hence should be restricted. Tomatoes and other Salads should be restricted. It's not recommended to stop eating the mentioned vegetables, but it should be restricted if some one is consuming in excess. Restricting these foods may help reduce the amount of oxalate in the urine and thus reducing the incidence of Calcium Oxalate stone formation.

CAN I CONSUME ANY FRUIT JUICE TO PREVENT STONE FORMATION?

Citrus drinks like lemonade and orange juice protect against kidney stones formation. They contain citrate, which stops crystals from growing into stones.

CAN I CONSUME NON-VEG?

Meats and other animal protein such as eggs and fish, contain purines. Purines break down into uric acid in the urine. Foods especially rich in purines include organ meats, such as liver. People who form kidney stones, especially the uric acid stones should limit their meat consumption to 160 grams each day.

SHOULD I STOP EATING CALCIUM CONTAINING FOODS?

No. Calcium from food does not increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones. Calcium in the digestive tract binds to oxalate from food and keeps it from entering the blood, and then to the urinary tract, where it can form stones. 

 

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. A cup of low-fat milk contains 300 mg of calcium. Other dairy products such as yogurt are also high in calcium. 

DOES ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AFFECT KIDNEY STONE FORMATION?

Alcohol consumption may promote purine production in the body leading to kidney stones. Beer contains more oxalates which can promote oxalate stones formation. As a precautionary measure, it will be a safe practise to stop alcohol consumption, not only to prevent kidney stones but also to be safe from other deleterious effect of alcohol like Liver Diseases.

CAN CONSUMPTION OF JUNK FOODS ENHANCE KIDNEY STONE FORMATION?

Junk foods contain Sodium. Sodium causes the kidneys to excrete more calcium into the urine. High concentrations of calcium in the urine combine with oxalate and phosphorus to form stones. Reducing Salt intake is preferred to reducing calcium intake. Other foods that contain high levels of sodium include canned soups and vegetables, processed frozen foods, fast food etc.

CAN I TAKE CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS ?

Dietary supplements like Calcium, Vitamin C and Vitamin D may contribute to stone formation. people with kidney stones should restrict consuming these supplements to 500mg per day and calcium supplements should always be consumed with food.

The above mentioned dietary recommendations will reduce the recurrence of stone formation to a great extent. However, a person who has formed a stone will be at a higher risk to form a stone again in the future. It is recommended to get an Annual Ultrasound scan of the KUB region so that the stones recurrences can be detected early and can be managed medically. Strict Follow up as advised by the Urologist is a must.