The best way of preventing kidney stones is to make sure you drink plenty of water each day to avoid becoming dehydrated.
It is very important to keep your urine diluted to avoid waste products forming into kidney stones.
You can tell how diluted your urine is by looking at its colour. The darker your urine is, the more concentrated it is.
Your urine is usually a dark yellow colour in the morning because it contains a build-up of waste products that your body has produced overnight.
Drinks such as tea, coffee and fruit juice can count towards your fluid intake, but water is the healthiest option and is best for preventing kidney stones developing.
You should also make sure that you drink more when it is hot or when you are exercising to replenish fluids lost through sweating.
What to eat :
# Drink enough plain, filtered water so that you urinate every two to three hours during the time you are awake :
“Your bladder should be full, so that you need to urinate, not just be able to urinate.” Note to construction workers, athletes and anyone else active in hot weather: If you drink gallons but sweat even more, you are not protecting your kidneys. It’s urine output that counts.
# Add calcium :
Calcium from food sources is absorbed during digestion in the intestines. The body uses this mineral for many important functions. Any excess that has been absorbed is excreted or passed through the kidneys. The biggest portion of calcium in the diet comes from milk and foods made from large amounts of milk, such as cheeses and yogurt. The calcium in these foods is usually easily absorbed. Other foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables, contain significant amounts of calcium. However, they also contain other substances which prevent the body from readily absorbing the calcium. So, the amount of available calcium in green leafy vegetables is less than in milk. Certain antacids and over-the-counter medications also contain calcium that may or may not be in a form the body can absorb
|Sample Menu For Kidney StonesCalcium or Calcium Oxalate Stones|
|Grapefruit juice 1 cupcereal 3/4 cupskim milk 1 cup|
scrambled eggs 1
white toast 2 slices
margarine 2 tsp
coffee 1 cup
water 1 cup
|white meat chicken 2 ozwheat bread 2 slicesiceburg lettuce 1 cup|
oil/vinegar dressing 1 Tbsp
cantaloupe 1 cup
lemonade 1 cup
sugar cookie 1
water 1 cup
|baked haddock 3 ozwhite rice 1/2 cuppeas 1/2 cup|
margarine 2 tsp
dinner roll 1
animal crackers 16
water 1 cup
|This Sample Diet Provides the Following|
|Protein||81 gm||Sodium||1821 mg|
Avoid these :
# Limit caffeine and alcohol :
Even though they may initially increase urine output, both ultimately deplete your body of water. Plus, caffeine increases the amount of calcium in your urine.
# Cut way back on salt :
A high-salt diet makes you excrete calcium from your body, boosting your risk for both kidney stones and weak bones, Coe says. He recommends no more than 2,300mg of sodium a day–about 1,000mg less than many people consume. While fast foods, chips and processed meats are known culprits, bread and rolls, pizza, sodium-injected poultry, soups and cheese also have lots of sodium. Read labels: Avoid foods with more than 300 mg of sodium per serving.
# Avoid the oxalates :
Oxalates are organic molecules found in many fruits and vegetables. In your kidneys, oxalates can bind with calcium to form an insoluble salt that can be the beginning of a kidney stone. Many foods contain oxalates, but Coe has found that for men, the high-oxalate foods most likely to cause trouble are chocolate, nuts and black pepper. For women, it’s leafy greens. Not all leafy greens contain oxalates, though. Spinach is high in oxalates; kale is low. “I tell people to find a list online, and see what oxalate foods they eat the most,” he says. Check this list for the oxalate content of common foods.
# Can the cranberries :
Cranberries are loaded with oxalates, so avoid cranberries of all forms if you’re prone to calcium oxalate stones, Coe recommends. Cranberry extract, often used to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections, is especially high in oxalates.
# Curb your sweet tooth :
A sugary diet raises urinary calcium and reduces urine volume at the same time, so it is a double whammy when it comes to kidney stones, Coe says. “A little sugar is OK, just don’t overdo.”
# Limit animal protein :
Animal protein may increase the risk for both calcium and uric acid stones. Purine is a compound found in animal protein that is broken down into uric acid in the urine and can lead to uric acid stone formation. Foods highest in purines include organ meats, such as liver, heart and kidney; anchovies; sardines; mackerel; codfish; herring; mussels; scallops; shrimp; veal; bacon; and gravy. Avoid these foods if you are at risk for uric acid stones. The acid in animal protein can also increase calcium and decrease citrate excretion in the urine, which may be associated with increased risk for calcium stones. To prevent recurrence of uric acid and calcium stones, limit animal protein to 6 ounces per day.