The unpleasantness of having kidney stones is something you are unlikely to forget and while treatment is available, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, including dietary changes. Here are some tips to consider from the Urology Care Foundation:
Drink plenty of fluids
If you are not producing enough urine, your health care provider will recommend you drink at least 3 liters of liquid each day. This equals about 3 quarts (about ten 10-ounce glasses). This is a great way to lower your risk of forming new stones. Remember to drink more to replace fluids lost when you sweat from exercise or in hot weather. All fluids count toward your fluid intake. But it’s best to drink mostly no-calorie or low-calorie drinks. This may mean limiting sugar-sweetened or alcoholic drinks.
Reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
This tip is for people with high sodium intake and high urine calcium or cystine. Sodium can cause both urine calcium and cystine to be too high. Your health care provider may advise you to avoid foods that have a lot of salt. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health groups advise not eating more than 2,300 mg of salt per day. The following foods are high in salt and should be eaten in moderation:
- Cheese (all types)
- Most frozen foods and meats, including salty cured meats, deli meats (cold cuts), hot dogs, bratwurst, and sausages
- Canned soups and vegetables
- Breads, bagels, rolls, and baked goods
- Salty snacks, like chips and pretzels
- Bottled salad dressings and certain breakfast cereals
- Pickles and olives
- Casseroles, other “mixed” foods, pizza and lasagna
- Canned and bottled sauces
- Certain condiments, table salt, and some spice blends
Eat the recommended amount of calcium.
If you take calcium supplements, make sure you aren’t getting too much calcium. On the other hand, make sure you aren’t getting too little calcium either. Talk with your health care provider or dietitian about whether you need supplements. Good sources of calcium to choose from often are those low in salt. Eating calcium-rich foods or beverages with meals every day is a good habit. There are many non-dairy sources of calcium, such as calcium-fortified non-dairy milk. There are good choices, especially if you avoid dairy.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily is recommended for all people who form kidney stones. Eating fruits and vegetables give you potassium, fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, phytate, and citrate, all of which may help keep stones from forming.
The Michigan Institute of Urology is one of the longest standing and largest sub-specialty Urology practices in the State of Michigan, we are dedicated to providing our patients the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art urologic care. Our specialists have been recruited from the most sophisticated university centers in the United States and are available at all of our 22 office locations. Our administrative staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the most cost-effective medical care is provided. Michigan Institute of Urology, P.C., comprises 46 General and Fellowship Trained Urologists with a complement of compassionate, caring Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Medical Assistants, and Ancillary Personnel.