How to Prevent Kidney Stone Through Nutrition

If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you surely remember it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the tiny stone passes through your urinary plumbing and out of the body. For many, kidney stones aren’t a one-time thing: in about half of the people who have had one, another appears within seven years without preventive measures.

Kidney Stone

Preventing kidney stones isn’t complicated, but it does take some determination. Preventing kidney stones means preventing the conditions that support their formation.

Hydrate with plenty of WATER: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in the urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups. It may help to include some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice. The citrate in these beverages helps block stone formation.

It's Not Just The Oxalate: Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits & vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes & even chocolates & tea. Some examples of foods containing high levels of Oxalates are peanuts, spinach, beets, chocolates & sweet potatoes. Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones. Most Kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidney. So have calcium & oxalate-rich foods together during a meal, in doing so, Oxalate & calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach & intestine before the kidney begins processing making it less likely that kidney stones will form.

Calcium Is Not The Enemy: A diet low in calcium actually increases the risk of developing Kidney Stones. Don't reduce the Calcium. Work to cut back on the SODIUM in your diet & to pair calcium-rich food with oxalate-rich foods.

It's Not One & Done - Take action! Without the right medications & Diet Adjustment, stones can come back & recurring kidney stones also could be an indicator of other problems, including Kidney disease.

Chronic Kidney stones are often treated with Potassium Citrate, but studies have shown food high in citrate has a great impact on kidney stones. Citrate in the urine may prevent the calcium from binding with other constituents that lead to stones. Citrates may prevent crystals that are already present from binding with each other, thus preventing them from getting bigger.

Not all Stones Are Created Equal: In addition to calcium oxalate stones, another type of Kidney stone is Uric Acid stones. Red meat, organ meat & shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound known as Purines. High Purine intake leads to a higher production of uric acid & produces a larger acid load for the kidney to excretion. A higher uric acid concentration of the urine makes it easier for uric acid stones to form. To prevent Uric acid stones, cut down on high purine foods such as red meat, organ meat & shellfish & follow a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains & have low-fat dairy products. Limit sugar intake. Limit alcohol as it can increase uric acid levels in the blood & avoid crash diet for the same reason.

Blood & urine can also be tested for unusual levels of chemicals such as Calcium, Oxalate & Sodium to help determine what type of kidney stone a person may have had.

Recommendation based on the specific types of kidney stone include the following

A) Calcium Oxalate/Calcium phosphate stones: Reduce Sodium, Reduce animal protein, get enough calcium from food, or take calcium supplements with food, avoid foods high in oxalate like spinach, wheat bran, beet.

B) Uric acid stone: No animal protein.

Sodium, causes the kidney to excrete more calcium into the urine. High concentrations of calcium in the urine combine with oxalate & Phosphorus to form to stones. Reducing sodium intake is preferred for reducing calcium intake. So avoid canned soups & vegetables, processed frozen foods, fast foods, ready to eat packets.

Calcium from food does not increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones. Calcium in the digestive tract binds to oxalate from food & keeps it from entering the blood, & then the urinary tract, where it forms 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. Calcium supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones if not taken with food.

Drinking Soda is associated with Kidney stones, possibly because the Phosphorus acid it contains acidifies your urine, which promotes stone formation. The sugar, including fructose, is also problematic, as sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body by interfering with calcium & magnesium absorption. Sugar also can increase kidney size & produce pathological changes in your kidney.

  • People with Kidney stones have lower bone mineral density.

  • High levels of Fluoride in water are associated with kidney stones.

  • A limited activity can cause your bones to release more calcium.

Make sure You're getting enough Magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body & deficiency has been linked to kidney stones. Magnesium plays an important role in your body's absorption & assimilation of calcium, as if you consume too much calcium without adequate magnesium, the excess calcium can actually become toxic & contribute to health conditions like Kidney stones. Magnesium helps prevent calcium from combining with oxalate, which is the most common type of kidney stones.

Avoid Non-Fermented Soy, as they contain a high amount of Oxalate. Choose Fermented Soy, as after along fermentation process, the Phytate (which blocks your body's uptake of essential minerals are reduced & their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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