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Dietary modifications for recurrent kidney stones 

by Danny white

According to statistics, one in ten people have a kidney stone in their lifetime, and the number is constantly rising. If you reach out to a top urologist in Lahore, one of the first steps they would do is to run blood and urine tests to find your risk factors and recommend dietary changes.

Kidney stones are masses of crystals that form due to some imbalance in the urine. For most people, the natural chemicals in the urine keep these crystals from forming. While genetic factors play their role in stone formation, so do dietary habits, and lifestyle changes. Certain dietary factors can alter the composition of urine and encourage crystallization and stone formation.

What dietary changes to make to prevent stone formation?

The most common types of stones are calcium oxalate stones, followed by uric acid stones. The other types of stone include: calcium phosphate and cystine stones.

Healthcare providers use a combination of medication and dietary modification to treat kidney stones.

Increase fluid intake

For the prevention of calcium stones, fluid intake needs to increase, so as to increase the urine output. A high fluid intake, with consistent urine volume of at least 2 liters is recommended for the prevention of recurrence of stone. The mainstay of fluid should be water; the role of coffee and teas in some studies has been found to be protective, while grape-fruit increases the risk of stones, but the main focus should be on increasing the intake of water.

If there is a stone already present in the kidney that is obstructing the outflow of urine, then its best to consult your healthcare provider about the amount of fluid you should be consuming.

For oxalate stone

For recurrent calcium oxalate stone, decreasing the intake of oxalate is thought to be helpful. Oxalates are found in nuts and their products, spinach, peanuts, and wheat bran.

Moreover, the intake of sodium should be reduced in such patients, as sodium increases the probability of stone formation.

It may seem like calcium also promotes stone formation, but actually it doesn’t. in the right amounts, calcium can block, in the digestive tract, other substances that promote stone formation. Its best to consume calcium from plant-based sources like cereals, breads, beans and beans, instead of stopping calcium intake completely.

For uric acid stones

Uric acid is produced in the metabolic pathway of naturally occurring compounds known as purines. Consequently, higher intake of purines, leads to higher production of uric acid. Moreover, a more acidic concentration of the urine increases the likelihood of uric acid in the urine to precipitate and form stones.

Therefore, to prevent the formation of uric acid stones, it’s best to cut down on a high-purine diet like red meat, sardines, shell-fish, anchovies, meat-based gravies, and organ meat. Instead, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits is better. Additionally, it’s best to avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and foods, in particular those that contain high fructose corn syrup.

Cysteine stones

For prevention of cystine stones, the most important lifestyle change is to drink plenty of fluid. If you are unsure about how much fluid you should consume, ask the best urologist in Lahore for a consultation.