Sunday, May 17, 2009

Various approaches to kidney stone diet

Kidney stones form when the urine becomes so saturated with a certain mineral that no more of it can dissolve into the urine. The undissolved portion of the mineral forms crystals that then clump together and grow into hard stones. This condition is medically known as urolithiasis or nephrolithiasis. It is important for the physician to determine the stone's mineral content and to identify any medical conditions that may have contributed to stone formation. About 80% of all kidney stones are composed of calcium and other minerals, usually a combination of calcium and oxalate.

  • Doctors used to prescribe a low calcium diet for preventing kidney stones. Changing the amount of calcium in the diet causes very little change in the blood level of calcium. Blood calcium level kept steady by balancing the absorption of calcium from diet and taking calcium from bones when it is needed. The kidney filters substances from the blood; so changing the dietary intake of calcium does not change the amount of calcium that is filtered by the kidneys.

  • Citric acid can protect against kidney stone formation. Citric acid in its natural form, such as from citrus fruits, citric acid does not alkalinize the urine as citrate does. It prevents small stones from becoming “problem stones” by coating them and preventing other material from attaching and building onto the stones. Moreover it inhibits stone formation and breaks up small stones that are beginning to form. It is for this reason, that citrus fruit, especially lemons should be plentiful on the kidney stone diet. The exception to this rule is grapefruit juice.

  • Another approach to prevent kidney stones in adults is to eat calcium rich foods and avoid foods rich in oxalates. Calcium and oxalate always have a tendency to bind in the intestine). If oxalate rich foods (Chocolate Tea Spinach Beet tops Peanuts Almonds) are restricted in the diet, taht can bve solved and chances of formation of stones can be reduced.

  • Insoluble fiber (found in wheat, rye, barley, and rice) that may help to reduce calcium in the urine. It combines with calcium in the intestines, so the calcium is excreted with the stool instead of through the kidneys. Moreover insoluble fiber also speeds up movement of substances through the intestine, so there will be less time for calcium to be absorbed.

  • Potassium reduces urinary calcium excretion, which in turn lowers the risk of kidney stone formation. So foods rich in potassium should be included in the diet.

  • Protein rich foods increase urinary calcium and should be reduced in the kidney stone diet.

  • It is believed that sugar can increase urinary oxalate and urinary calcium.

kidney stone diet

Citric acid and kidney stones

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