Where are Kidney Stones from? Some anti-kidney stones diet rules
There are several factors which can contribute to the risk of developing kidney stones: diet, genes, environment, body weight, and fluid intake. From all of them, diet seems to be one of the most important causes. What we eat can promote or inhibit kidney stone formation. Diets high in salt (sodium), calcium, oxalate, protein, potassium, added to a bad family history, equates to kidney stone.
There are four major types of kidney stones:
- Calcium stones, represented by calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones.
– Calcium oxalate stones are more caused by high calcium and high oxalate excretion.
– Calcium phosphate stones are caused by high urine calcium and alkaline urine.
- Uric acid stones form when the urine is persistently acidic. If uric acid becomes concentrated in the urine, it can settle and form a stone by itself or along with calcium.
- Struvite stones result from kidney infections.
- Cystine stones – the cystine leaks through the kidneys and into the urine, forming crystals that tend to accumulate into stones.
When it comes to calcium stones and diet, you should cut back on the salt and sodium. The daily intake of sodium should be limited to maximum 2000 mg. Extra sodium causes you to lose more calcium in your urine, putting you at risk for developing new stones. Processed and canned foods are forbidden because they contain high amounts of sodium. The calcium your body needs should be taken primarily from food, rather than from supplements. You can have it from dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
For oxalate kidney stones, the diet should limit certain foods that have a lot of oxalate. This compound comes from some foods, but it is also produced as a waste product by the body. The main sources of oxalate are: beans, beer, beets, berries, chocolate, coffee, cranberries, dark green vegetables, such as spinach, nuts, oranges, rhubarb, soda (cola), sweet potatoes, tea, tofu, wheat bran.
On a low oxalate diet, you should limit your oxalate to 40 to 50 mg each day. The calcium intake should be of 800 and 1,200 mg of calcium per day, unless the doctor advices you different. The daily calcium shouldn’t be limited, because this mineral binds together with the oxalate in the intestine and leave the body together. A low calcium diet leaves the oxalate free in the intestine from where it is absorbed back into your system, leading to higher oxalate levels and potential new stones. The same thing happens in people with malabsorption, when the dietary fat intake should be controlled. Excess fat binds with calcium in food, thus leaving oxalate by itself to be reabsorbed by the colon and back into the blood stream. If too much oxalate is absorbed, it will combine with calcium in the kidney and can lead to calcium oxalate stones.
Struvit stones (ammonium magnesium phosphate stones) are produced when you have a kidney infection and bacteria produce ammonia that makes urine alkaline. Certain salts do not dissolve in alkaline urine and crystallize, forming struvite stones. The struvite stones diet includes drinking a lot of water (at least 8 to 10 full glasses of liquid daily) and cranberry juice and eat cranberry-based foods, because they are effective in preventing urinary tract infections. You should also avoid consuming large quantities of magnesium-rich foods. Foods high in magnesium include peanuts, tofu, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, almonds, cashews, soybeans.
Cystine Stones contain cystine, a product of the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Excessively acidic urine encourages cystine stone formation. The simplest way to reduce the amount of cystine in the body is to limit your intake of protein and avoid foods with high methionine content and to raise the pH of the urine.
Foods which help to raise the pH of the urine include vegetable juices, fresh vegetables and many fruits.
Other kidney stones diet rules:
- Limit the amount of meat, including beef, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs.
- Increase the amount of fiber. You may eat: oat bran, beans, whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, cabbage, and carrots.
- Drink lemonade made from real lemon. It is high in citrate, which may help prevent kidney stones.
- Do not take any micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), without medical advice.
- Drink at least three quarts (12 cups) of fluid throughout the day. Less concentrated urine reduces the risk of stone formation.
If you had kidneys stones before there is a high probability of forming new ones, unless you are not careful to your diet.
- “Your Guide to a Low Oxalate Diet” – a Litholink Patient Resource Guide;