Why Do I Get Kidney Stones
Kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste traveling around the body in your bloodstream. The kidneys create urine to transport the filtered chemicals out of the body. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water to dilute the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders , and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.
Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are willing to try just about anything to treat them and to prevent them from happening again. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures or other non-invasive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy .
Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones include dietary and behavioral changes. These involve decreasing sodium intake, increasing water intake to stay properly hydrated, stopping excessive exercise, stopping sauna usage , and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
How To Avoid Kidney Stones
Here are the five ways to help prevent kidney stones:
Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in 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.
Eat calcium rich foods: Dietary calcium binds to oxalate in your intestines and thereby decreases the amount of oxalate that gets absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted by the kidney. This lowers the concentration of oxalate in the urine, so there is less chance it can bind to urinary calcium. That leads to decreased risk of kidney stones.
Reduce sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. So, a low-sodium diet is recommended for the stone prone. Current guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg. If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily intake to 1,500 mg. This will also be good for your blood pressure and heart.
Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones. If you suffer from stones, your doctor may advise you to avoid these foods or to consume them in smaller amounts.
Example Kidney Stone Diet Meals
Whew! We made it to the end. Putting all the pieces of a healthy kidney stone diet can be overwhelming. But, I promise that once you get in the swing of it, a healthy kidney stone diet is really just a healthy diet! In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans aligns with the kidney stone diet perfectly! The only difference is the high fluid and low oxalate pieces of the kidney stone diet.
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Easy Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones
Did you know that one in ten people will have a kidney stone over the course of a lifetime? Recent studies have shown that kidney stone rates are on the rise across the country. Those in the know believe that some major misconceptions may be the culprit.
The National Kidney Foundation has teamed up with Dr. Allan Jhagroo, a kidney stone specialist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, to help you stay stone-free by debunking some of the major kidney stone myths and misconceptions.
What To Expect At Home
You visited your provider or the hospital because you have a kidney stone. You will need to take self-care steps. Which steps you take depend on the type of stone you have, but they may include:
- Drinking extra water and other liquids
- Eating more of some foods and cutting back on other foods
- Taking medicines to help prevent stones
- Taking medicines to help you pass a stone
You may be asked to try to catch your kidney stone. You can do this by collecting all of your urine and straining it. Your provider will tell you how to do this.
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An Apple A Day Keeps The Kidney Stones Away
Apple can help with the protection of the kidney from the stone formation. Pectin in apples can reduce the symptoms of kidney stones and improve kidney health.
In addition, apples can aid weight loss. They are a high fiber content fruit and a good source of vitamin C.
Polyphenols in apple can help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk for stroke. This fruit is known to lower the risk of type -2 diabetes.
Getting Help For A Renal Diet
As you can see, there really is NO one renal diet. A renal diet is individualized to your labs and medical history.
Putting all of this information together to figure out what to eat can be overwhelming. I highly recommend asking your nephrologist for a referral to meet with a Registered Dietitian to help you.
In the United States, most insurance covers dietitian visits for kidney disease! It is never too early to work with a dietitian for kidney health.
For more help with kidney stones, check out my online course, Kidney Stone Nutrition School.
For more help with kidney disease, check out my friend, Jen Hernandezs course, Plant Powered Kidneys. Learn how food can slow the progression of kidney disease.
I also have a list of dietitians who specialize in kidney disease and have virtual practices on my resources page. The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and the National Kidney Foundation also have tools to help you find a renal dietitian near you!
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Let Kidney Stones Pass
Stones typically take several weeks to a few months to pass, depending on the number of stones and their size. Over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen , acetaminophen , or naproxen , can help you endure the discomfort until the stones pass. Your doctor also may prescribe an alpha blocker, which relaxes the muscles in your ureter and helps pass stones quicker and with less pain.
If the pain becomes too severe, or if they are too large to pass, they can be surgically removed with a procedure called a ureteroscopy. Here, a small endoscope is passed into the bladder and up the ureter while you are under general anesthesia. A laser breaks up the stones, and then the fragments are removed.
Best And Worst Drinks For Preventing Kidney Stones
Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD, physician, department of internal medicine and medical specialties, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy. His study was published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
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Mention kidney stones and everyone within earshot wincesbecause weve all heard how painful these stones can be. So if you want to be stone-free, youre probably following the common advice to drink lots of liquids. But instead of focusing on how much you drink, the crucial question is what you drink, a new study reveals. Certain beveragesincluding some very surprising ones, such as beer!are particularly helpful in protecting against stones, while other drinks do more harm than good.
Unfortunately, kidney stones are common, plaguing 19% of men and 9% of women in the US at least once in their lifetimesand recurrences are quite common. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent stones from formingbut actually, there are other fluids that can be even more effective.
DRINK THIS, NOT THAT
Using data from three large studies, researchers followed 194,095 people, none of whom had a history of kidney stones, for more than eight years. Participants periodically completed questionnaires about their diet and overall health. During the course of the study, there were 4,462 cases of kidney stones.
Kidney stone risk boosters
Kidney stone risk reducers
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Kidney Stone Diet Goals
The goals of the kidney stone diet really boil down to 4 distinct outcomes. Each of the kidney stone diet components works to get us to at least one of these goals.
A healthy kidney stone diet is different for everyone. Twenty-four hour urine tests will help you and your doctor determine which aspect of the diet is most important for you.
How To Prevent Kidney Stones
Drink lots of water. The most important thing to do to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of water, which helps flush compounds out of the kidneys before they can start making trouble.
Reduce salt. Excessive sodium intake can also concentrate the urine, making stone formation more likely.
Eat your veggies. A diet high in fruits and vegetables, which raises the pH of the urine, can help prevent kidney stones.
Keep protein intake moderate. High protein diets, which lower the pH of your urine, can make kidney stones more likely. If you are nervous about kidney stones, youll probably want to stick to a moderate protein diet and get at least some of your protein from plants.
Get enough calcium. A low calcium diet can also be a risk factor. This fact surprises a lot of people because kidney stones often contain a lot of calcium, which seems to suggest that too much calcium would be to blame. But its actually the opposite. When your diet is higher in calcium, less of it is absorbed in the digestive tract and less ends up in the urine. The best way to get calcium is by eating a variety of calcium-containing foods throughout the day. Taking your entire dietary allowance of calcium at one time in the form of a supplement, on the other hand, may slightly increase your risk of stones.
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What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney. A stone can get stuck as it leaves the kidney. It can lodge in one of your two ureters , the bladder, or the urethra .
Kidney stones may be the size of sand or gravel, as large as a pearl, or even larger. A stone can block the flow of your urine and cause great pain. A stone may also break loose and travel through your urinary tract all the way out of your body without causing too much pain.
There are four major types of kidney stones.
- Calcium is the most common type of stone. Calcium can combine with other substances, such as oxalate , to form the stone.
- A uric acid stone may form when your urine contains too much acid.
- A struvite stone may form after an infection in your urinary system.
- Cystine stones are rare. The disease that causes cystine stones runs in families.
How Do You Dissolve Kidney Stones And Get Them To Pass
So you have one or more kidney stones lodged in the kidney and want to dissolve and flush them out fast? Youll need a higher dose than the normal maintenance dosing. Many sufferers find they can fix the problem with pure chanca piedra and water.
Heres how to dissolve kidney stones:
The name, Chanca Piedra itself translates literally to Stone Breaker. Scientists and doctors globally have praised the use of this herbal remedy in the treatment of kidney stones. The analgesic compounds in lab grade Chanca Piedra help ease pain while passing stones and reduce those stones in size so the particles can pass through your urine stream easily. In addition, lab grade Chanca Piedra acts as a defense system, so to speak, to reduce reoccurrence of kidney stones. This effect is due to the herbal remedys reduction of the very minerals that build in up in the kidneys to produce kidney stones excess oxalate, phosphorous, and magnesium. You could spend days drinking olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, large amounts of Coke, and asparagus puree, with limited success, if any. We find far superior and consistent results from kidney stone sufferers who took lab grade Chanca Piedra, and the science backs those real world findings.
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Six Steps To Control Oxalate For Kidney Stones
The following six steps can be taken to reduce the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones:
1. Eat fewer high-oxalate foods.
The first suggestion is the most obvious. The more oxalate that is absorbed from your digestive tract, the more oxalate in your urine. High-oxalate foods to limit, if you eat them, are:
- French fries
- Nuts and nut butters
You do not need to cut out other healthy foods that provide some oxalate. In fact, oxalate is practically unavoidable, because most plant foods have some. Often a combination of calcium from foods or beverages with meals and fewer high-oxalate foods is required.
2. Increase the amount of calcium in your diet.
Low amounts of calcium in your diet will increase your chances of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. Many people are afraid to eat calcium because of the name “calcium oxalate stones.” However, calcium binds oxalate in the intestines. A diet rich in calcium helps reduce the amount of oxalate being absorbed by your body, so stones are less likely to form. Eat calcium rich foods and beverages every day from dairy foods or other calcium-rich foods.
Also, eating high calcium foods at the same time as high oxalate food is helpful for example have low fat cheese with a spinach salad or yogurt with berries. If you take a calcium supplement, calcium citrate is the preferred form.
3. Limit the vitamin C content of your diet.
4. Drink the right amount of fluids every day.
5. Eat the right amount of protein daily.
Is There Really A Diet For Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are more common than you might think. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason, but one in ten people will develop a kidney stone at some point. Some factors may be genetics, not drinking enough water, obesity, high sugar and salt intake, kidney disease, weight loss surgery, and mega-dosing on dietary supplements.
As you may have guessed, diet is often at the root of kidney stones. While there isnt a single type of diet that causes kidney stones or can cure it, many of todays popular low carb, high protein diets can change the composition of urine making kidney stone formation more likely. Not drinking enough water and consuming large amounts of fructose like table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are also linked to kidney stones.
If you’ve had kidney stones, figuring out the best diet to relieve or prevent more stones depends on what kind of stone you have. The most common ones are calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid and struvite stones.
Calcium phosphate stones occur less often, about 10% of the time. A high sodium and high animal protein diet increases your chance of getting phosphate stones. If you have this type of stone, replacing animal proteins with more plant-based proteins like beans, peas, and lentils, soy foods, nuts and seeds can be beneficial. Again, you dont need to be on a low calcium diet. A dietitian can help you with limiting salt and getting the right amount of calcium.
For more information, contact Sherrie at
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Foods Rich In Calcium
If you have kidney stones, especially calcium oxalate stones, your diet should contain an appropriate amount of calcium-rich foods so that the calcium levels in your body do not drop. This ensures that the calcium binds with the oxalates in the stomach or intestines itself, which, in turn, prevents the formation of new kidney stones. Therefore, try to include calcium-rich foods like yogurt, cheese, tofu, legumes, etc.in your diet chart.
Do Not Have The Following Things In Your Diet If You Have Kidney Stones
Now that you know the foods that are beneficial for kidney stones, you must also be aware of the foods that can trigger the symptomsand can cause the worsening of kidney stones.
The following are some dietary options that you should avoid if you are a kidney stone patient.
- Limit the amount of sodium and excess salts in your diet. Sodium can lead to the buildup of calcium in urine, thereby increasing the risk of new stones. Therefore, avoid foods that contain high amounts of sodium.
- Avoid oxalate-rich foods like spinach, beets, nuts, dark chocolate, etc. as these promote the growth of kidney stones.
- Excessive intake of colas and caffeinated drinks should be avoided as these cause dehydration and aggravate the pain.
- Avoid processed and junk foods as these put extra strain on your digestive system, which can increase the pain.
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Diet For Kidney Stones: What To Eat And What To Avoid
Diet For Kidney Stones: What To Eat and What To Avoid
Kidney stones are hardened deposits of minerals and/or salts that form inside the kidneys. They can be classified into calcium oxalate stones, calcium phosphate stones, uric acid stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones. Most kidney stones pass through the urinary tract and are eliminated along with the urine but the passage itself is a very painful process. Fortunately, kidney stones can be prevented by consuming a diet that inhibits the formation of stones. In fact, dietary changes are an important part of kidney stone treatment. Here are the foods you must eat and some you must avoid if you suffer from recurrent kidney stones One of the most important dietary changes that you must make if you suffer from kidney stones is up the fluid intake. Unless you suffer from kidney failure, it is important to consume about 8-10 glasses of water which equals about 2 litres. Dehydration and consuming low quantities of water often promote the formation of kidney stones.
Consuming citrus fruits and their juices is believed to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Lemons, oranges, grapefruits, fresh lime are all appropriate citrus fruits to consume.
Consuming foods rich in calcium is found to keep the oxalate levels low and prevent the formation of oxalate stones. This includes consuming milk and dairy products. It is best to consult a doctor before opting for artificial calcium supplements, though.