Do you suffer from kidney stones? For those suffering from kidney stones made up of calcium oxalate, there are foods that can help with the prevention of forming these painful stones. Not only are kidney stones painful, they tend to come back. However, people don’t have to living in fear of the next occurrence, you can take steps to reduce your risk of another kidney stone from forming.
The most important factor in preventing future kidney stone formation is to know the exact makeup of your kidney stone. There are different types of stones and if you aren’t protecting yourself from the right one, you will end up with more in the future. How can you identify which kidney stone that you produce? There are a couple of ways. You can go to the doctor to have a 24-hour urine collection done to see if there are any excess substances in your urine. Or, if you pass a kidney stone, you can keep it, and have it analyzed. The best way is to have a stone analyzed. However, if you can’t collect one, you may have to go the route of having your urine tested.
Foods to Prevent Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones
For the purposes of this post, calcium oxalate kidney stones are going to be prevented. So, what can you do to prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones?
You must take in plenty of water to reduce the formation of kidney stones. Having urine that is concentrated is one of the reasons that all the types of kidney stones are produced. However, with a calcium oxalate stone, you need to additionally take in citric acid. The specific citric acid that provides the best benefit is lemon. Citric acid will help prevent the crystals from forming in your kidneys. You should strive for half of your 8 glasses of water coming from citric acid. To do this, you can drink lemon juice. However, you only have to take in 4 ounces of lemon juice per day, so you can add it to your water. In addition, you can drink lemonade to help get the adequate amount of citric acid.
This might sound counterintuitive, but you do need to add calcium to your diet. However, the key is to not consume large amounts at one time. You need to get your dietary amount in throughout the day via meals and snacks. How much should you aim for? It is recommended to get 3 to 4 servings of calcium per day. Why does it work to prevent rather than form calcium oxalate kidney stones? The calcium binds to the oxalate in your system so that the oxalate doesn’t get absorbed by your body.
You need to reduce your sodium intake to prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones from forming. The recommended amount of sodium is less than 3000 mg. While this sounds like a lot. Many foods have hidden sodium in them, so read up on the foods you are eating. Too much sodium excretes too much calcium from your body. Don’t forget, you need that calcium to bind with the oxalate in your system.
Vitamin C Supplements
Reduce your intake of vitamin C supplements. You should not take in more than 500 mg of vitamin C in a day. However, this does not apply to vitamin C rich foods. There is no restriction on those in your diet.
High Oxalate Foods
You should strive to reduce your intake of foods high in oxalate. The research is not as strong that reducing high oxalate foods will prevent kidney stones from forming. However, eating these in moderation and with calcium should help. Examples of some of the high oxalate foods include nuts, tea, spinach, beets, and cheese.
There is some evidence that by losing weight you can reduce the future formation of kidney stones. So, you may want to drop 5-10 pounds depending on your weight.
By changing your diet, you may be able to reduce the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. In addition, losing some weight and drinking ample amounts of water will help.