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Diet for Kidney Stones – Everything You Need to Know!

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Kidney stones are intense, and the pain is brutal. 

Passing the kidney stones almost feels like childbirth – minus an adorable baby. If you have experienced it, you know the agony of having kidney stones. 

The good news is – you can prevent this from happening again by modifying your diet for kidney stones. 

However, before jumping into that, let’s have an overview of kidney stones and why they form in the first place.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hard, mineral deposits that form in the kidneys or urinary tract. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball and can cause a lot of pain when they pass through the urinary tract.

How Do Kidney Stones Form?

Kidney stones form when there is too much of certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, in the urine. When these substances become concentrated in the urine, they can crystallize and form solid particles. These particles can then combine to make a larger stone.

Why Do Kidney Stones Form?

Several factors can contribute to the formation of kidney stones, including:

  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can cause the urine to become concentrated, which increases the risk of stone formation.
  • Diet: Eating a diet high in salt, sugar, and animal protein can increase the risk of stone formation.
  • Genetics: Some people are more prone to kidney stones due to a genetic predisposition.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions, such as gout, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic diarrhea, can increase the risk of stone formation.

How Do Having Kidney Stones Feel?

Having kidney stones is a nightmare. Symptoms of kidney stones can include severe pain in the back, side, or lower abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty passing urine. 

Diet for Kidney Stones – What to Eat and What to Avoid? 

When you have kidney stones, you should make a kidney stone diet chart. That’s because diet plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood, so it’s essential to ensure they function properly. 

Here are some ways in which diet can impact kidney health and why you should modify your diet for kidney stones:

Control Sodium Intake

If your daily diet contains high levels of Sodium, it can cause the kidneys to work harder to filter out excess salt. It can lead to increased blood pressure and potentially kidney damage over time. 

Urology Experts at Evercare Hospital say you should limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) to prevent kidney stones. If you are buying container food, check the labels for the ingredients. 

Gulp Some More Water Throughout the Day!

Drinking more water is crucial for kidney health because it helps prevent the formation of kidney stones. 

When you drink more water, you increase the amount of urine flowing through your kidneys, which helps flush out any minerals or salts that could form into kidney stones. Additionally, drinking water can help dilute the concentration of minerals and salts in your urine, making it less likely that they will stick together and form stones.

Studies have shown that increasing water intake can significantly reduce the risk of kidney stones. The water you should drink to prevent kidney stones can depend on age, sex, weight, and activity level. 

A general guideline is to aim for at least eight glasses (64 ounces) of water/per day.

However, consuming too many fluids can also strain the kidneys. Strike a balance.

Limit Your Protein Intake!

Limiting protein intake is crucial to avoid kidney stones, especially if you have a history of kidney stones or are at risk of developing them. Here are some reasons why:

  1. High protein intake can increase the amount of calcium in the urine and contribute to the formation of kidney stones. When protein gets metabolized, it produces acids that can increase the acidity of urine, making it more likely that calcium stones will form.
  2. Animal proteins, such as meat and dairy, can increase the excretion of uric acid in the urine. Excess uric acid can lead to the formation of uric acid stones.
  3. High protein intake can lead to dehydration, making it harder for the kidneys to filter out waste products and prevent the formation of kidney stones. It is especially true if you don’t drink enough water to flush out these waste products.

Plant-based protein sources such as beans, lentils, and tofu are less likely to contribute to kidney stone formation than animal-based sources.

Adults should limit their protein intake to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Consume moderate protein and choose high-quality sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods are literally the list of foods that cause kidney stones. Processed foods are often low in fiber, which can contribute to the development of kidney stones. Eating a diet high in fiber can help prevent kidney stones by reducing the amount of calcium in the urine.

Many processed foods are high in fructose, particularly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Studies have shown that high fructose corn syrup consumption can increase the risk of kidney stones.

Many processed foods contain artificial additives, such as preservatives, flavorings, and colorings. These additives can irritate the urinary tract and increase the risk of kidney stones.

It’s important to choose whole, fresh foods as much as possible.

Naturally Rich-Diet – Vegetables and Fruits!

What is the best food to eat when you have kidney stones? The answer is; fruits and vegetables – with the natural goodness of essential vitamins and minerals – are the best kidney stones diet.

A food for thought, a food for kidney stone removal. 

Here are some fruits and vegetables that can help prevent kidney stones:

  • Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are high in citric acid, which can help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Citrus foods are the best kidney stones diet due to their water content. 
  • Berries: Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants and can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
  • Watermelon: Watermelon is high in water content and can help flush out the kidneys, preventing the formation of kidney stones.
  • Spinach: Spinach is high in calcium and magnesium, which can help prevent the formation of calcium-based kidney stones.
  • Kale: Kale is high in calcium, which can help prevent the formation of calcium-based kidney stones.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is high in vitamin C and calcium, which can help prevent the formation of kidney stones. It is one of the best vegetables good for kidney stones. 
  • Avocado: Avocado is high in potassium and magnesium, which can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Take Lemon and Lime Juice!

Several kinds of kidney stones are kryptonite for lemon and lime juice. They include citrate, which can prevent calcium stones from developing and neutralize urine’s acidity.

In an acidic environment, uric acid crystals develop and harden into stones.

So, uric acid stones won’t form if your urine is alkaline, the opposite of acidic—and you can dissolve uric acid stones with high amounts of citrate.

When you can, squeeze some lemon or lime into your water. Add half a cup of concentrated lemon or lime juice to your water every day. 

Read more about lemon benefits for overall health

A Final Word!

In summary, a healthy diet that is low in sodium, moderate in protein, and rich in whole, fresh foods can help maintain the health of the kidneys. It is also essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption.

However, if you get inflicted with kidney stones, you can consult a renowned urologist to get yourself treated. Book an appointment via Healthwire or call 04232500989. 

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