How to modify your diet to reduce risk of getting kidney stones
Generally, certain types of stones can be cured by measures focused on the cause of stone formation. Also, sticking to a diet reduces risk of stone formation by almost 40%.
The most effective way to prevent stone formation and decrease risk is believed to be drinking water. Drinking little water causes concentrated urine and stone formation. In case of having cystine stones you should aim to drink more water to produce no less than 4 litres of urine each day. Try to drink 2-3 litres of water in order to keep urine colorless, this amount of water will give you approximately 2 litres of urine per day.
Most fluid intake should be water or squash, but drinking tea, coffee or alcohol should be in moderation. Try to drink water before going to bed and on getting up in the morning.
- Drink at least one glass of water every hour; or at a specific times of each day, for example after using the toilet or, after getting up
- Have a bottle of water with you all day (add lemon or lime to give your water nice flavour, also to make your urine less acidic)
- Try to eat more fruits and vegetables, include moist and liquid foods in your diet
Watch what you eat
Food doesn’t play the main role in stone formation, but it can make it worse.
Wheat bran has high oxalate content, but a high fibre is helpful for your health. Avoiding foods with high oxalate (celery, spinach, beetroot and etc.) content will keep your urine at a normal level.
If you reduce the amount of calcium you can increase the risk of stone formation, BUT raisе oxalate levels in your urine. Try to take up to 1000 mg of calcium per day. Common diet consists of 500 mg of calcium. Calcium is mostly found in dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cream and cheese.
Eating too much salt can increase calcium stone formation. You can use pepper, herbs, vinegar or spices instead of salt. But a little salt may be added to your food during cooking. Food that you should avoid: smoked fish, salted crisps and nuts, tinned meat, soups, meat paste and fish paste. These products contain a huge amount of salt.
To sum up, products intake of which you should decrease:
- Calcium stones
- these vegetables - leeks, okra, celery, parsley, beetroot, spinach
- these fruit - plums, berries, currants, tangerinces, figs
- soy products - tofu, milk, cheese
- cocoa and chocolate
- sesame seeds and nut products, nuts
- tea and coffee (more than 2-3 cups each day)
- Uric acid stones
- yeast extracts (e.g. Bovril)
Not only food can reduce the risk, but also keep the weight normal. If you are overweight, it is very important to reduce your extra weight. Start exercising, but remember to drink plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated.