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Diet for kidney stones

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Kidney stone is one of the most painful disorders affecting a person. This urological disorder makes more than 3 million people seek medical help and about half of them visit the doctor in emergency rooms. Kidney stones are substances such as calcium, oxalate and phosphorus in the urine. When they are high in concentration, they form tiny stones in the kidneys, ureter, urinary bladder or the urethra. They are usually the size of a sand, but if they become any larger, it can lead to severe pain in the back, right about the ribs. The pain continues, till the stone travels towards the bladder from its current location. If it blocks the flow of urine, it will have to be surgically removed.

If you are having kidney stones than your doctor would be advising a special diet for you. The type of foods that would be safe for you will depend further depends on the nature of the kidney stone, which could be calcium-oxalate stones, calcium phosphate or uric acid stone.Nonetheless, there are certain common things that need to be strictly restricted tohaving kidney stone which invariably includes limiting animal protein. Let’s have a look at the diet plan for kidney stone:

1.Drink lots and lots of water

If you have a history of kidney stones, then you have to drink at least 2.5-3 liters of water throughout the day. Water has the potential to not only dissolve kidney stones, but it can also protect you from having kidney stones. So make sure you are having enough water.

2.Reduce intake of animal proteins

Red meat from mutton, beef, pork, lamb, goose, etc. is a big NO for you. Edible internal organs of animals like liver, kidneys, brains, and spleen are loaded with proteins which could be a hassle for your kidneys.

3.Limit intake of sodium if you have calcium oxalate and phosphate stones

High sodium increases calcium in urine. Therefore, reduce the amount of salt you consume. Depending on your health conditions, your daily sodium intake should be between 1,500 mg- 2300 mg. In this regard, avoid adding extra salt on your food and ditch salt coated fries, pizzas, hot dogs, sausages, and processed frozen foods.

4.Get only that much calcium that you need

Too little calcium can spike up your oxalate levels, which is certainly bad for you. Your doctor will set your daily dose of calcium, which should essentially come from natural foods or you may be prescribed a supplement with your food. You can drink fortified juices from oranges, banana, papaya, etc. or have skimmed milk, buttermilk and yogurt too.

5.Avoid eating oxalate rich foods on having calcium-oxalate stones

Examples of oxalate rich foods are: spinach, nuts, wheat bran, rhubarb,beet root, spinach, chocolates, soy products, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. Oxalate rich foods trigger formation of oxalate stones. However, check with your doctor if they are safe in case you have calcium-phosphate stones or uric acid stones.

6.Foods that are safe for kidney stones

It’s easier to customize your diet plan when you know the foods that you should not eat. So here’s the list of foods that you can eat on having kidney stones:

  • Fresh water fish like tuna, and salmon or chicken breasts. Your daily consumption should not be more than 6 ounces.
  • You can also have a hard-boiled egg twice a week.
  • Get protein from non animal sources like legumes and pulses. However, be extra careful if you are having uric acid stones.
  • Nutrient loaded vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, peas, radish, cucumbers, cauliflower, and white potatoes are safe. You can have vegetable soups.
  • Low oxalate foods like white bread, wild rice, corn, rice cereals, egg noodles, pasta, macaroni, etc. are not restricted.
  • Have fruit juices or fresh fruits like melons, avocados, cherries, mangoes, canned pears and peaches, litchi, grapefruits, oranges and grapes.

Abide by a strict diet as suggested by a physician. This will help you get rid as well as tpo preclude formation of kidney stones.

Note: This article contains general guidelines for kidney stone diet and it may vary depending upon the health status of the individual.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 19, 2015