Dietary management of kidney stones depend on the type of stone.
Types of kidney stones are:
- Calcium: calcium stones are most common and can be made of calcium oxalate, phosphate or maleate.
- Uric acid: these stones are made when excessive uric acid is deposited in kidneys. This type of stone develops when acidity of urine is high.
- Struvite: mostly found in women these stones are formed with urinary tract infection. These stones are big and can cause obstruction in flow of urine.
- Cystine: these stones are rare and is seen in cystinuria in which cystine is leaked into urine by kidneys.
- Adequate liquid intake: liquid intake should be enough to help void 2 L of urine everyday. On an average 3 L of fluid (mostly water) should be taken everyday. This will keep the urine less concentrated and would reduce the risk of stone formation. A glass of water is advisable before going to bed also and during night also if sleep breaks.
- Minimize sodium intake: Calcium is not the enemy as if there is high levels of calcium in urine then sodium reduction in diet can help reduce calcium loss in urine. Extra sodium would cause more calcium in urine which would develop the risk of formation stone. Sodium intake should be below 2300mg
- Foods low in oxalates: in case you have calcium oxalate stones then you should limit intake of oxalate which is found naturally in many foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, chocolate and tea. Peanut, spinach, beets, chocolate, sweet potato are rich in oxalates.
- Say no to packed and processed food: packed and processed food items have high sodium content and should be avoided to reduce loss of calcium in urine (calciuria).
- Limit purine intake:Purine is a natural chemical compound which leads to high production uric acid. This uric acid is then deposited in joints or in kidneys to form uric acid stones. Purine rich foods- red meat, organ meat, shellfish
- Follow healthy diet: diet should include mostly vegetable, fruits, whole grain, low fat dairy products as it would help keeping the acidity of urine low thus preventing stone formation.
- Enough animal protein but not much: animal protein though important for the body should always be enough to be sufficient and not excessive. Much intake of animal protein would increase the acidity of urine thus promoting stone formation. Source of animal protein are beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs
- Citrus fruits: lemonades and citrus fruits are rich in citrate which prevent binding of calcium with other constituents to form stones. Citrate also don’t let the pre-formed crystals to grow bigger.
- Reduce refined sugar: refined sugar causes increased calcium in urine with fall in urine volume. Both of these situations are apt for stone formation.
- 10. Healthy lifestyle: good food, regular exercise, enough liquid and less alcohol would help preventing stone formation. Alcohol increase uric acid levels in blood and can promote stone formation.
Thus following above mentioned dietary habits can prevent recurrence of kidney stones and help people lead a healthy life.