of a day," a friend emailed. "At 10 a.m. I started
having pain in my side. By 10:30 I was in the emergency room
with pain so bad I could not lie still or breathe. Kidney
stones! OK, dietitian, what can I do to not get this
you should ask. A recent review of this topic just appeared in
the latest issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition
and Dietetics (AND). Here are some things you can do, dear
the stone if you can and have your doc analyze it. Really.
Various kinds of stones can form in the kidneys and diet
recommendations are based on the type of stone formed.
oxalate kidney stones are the most common. But that doesn’t
mean to cut calcium out of your diet, says AND. In fact, a low
calcium intake can increase your chances for forming these
types of stones. Eat high calcium foods (such as dairy
products) or calcium supplements with meals that contain
oxalates — substances in foods that include as beets,
spinach, rhubarb, strawberries, nuts, chocolate, tea, wheat
bran, and beans. This allows calcium to bind with the oxalates
in the digestive tract before they can be absorbed to produce
stones in the kidneys.
lots and lots of fluids, especially water. Kidney-flushing
fluids to the tune of 2 liters or more a day for most adults
can help stave off the formation of kidney stones. Some
research also indicates that lemonade and orange juice —
citrus-based fluids — may help prevent stones from forming.
extra salt. Sodium can cause the kidneys to excrete more
calcium into the urine, which can increase the risk for some
types of kidney stones.
smaller portions of meat (no more than 6 ounces a day).
Purines found in animal-based proteins are associated with the
formation of uric acid and calcium stones. Liver and other
organ meats, by the way, are especially rich in purines.
more vegetables and fruit on your plate. These high fiber
carbohydrates are rich in nutrients that may prevent certain
types of kidney stones from forming. The DASH diet, for
example, has been found to be especially effective for
reducing the risk of kidney stones. DASH stands for Dietary
Approaches to Stop Hypertension and features plenty of
vegetables and fruit, 2 or 3 servings of low-fat dairy foods
daily, and small servings of meat and other animal proteins.
few pounds if you are overweight…just sayin’. Extra weight
makes you particularly prone to uric acid kidney stones,
according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases
Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). Remember too, says AND,
there is not always a "nutritional cause" for kidney
stones. But if there is, your care should be individualized
with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) at your