News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Sunday, February 24, 2013

No more kidney stones thanks to nutritional changes

Q: I recently passed a kidney stone. I've heard that once you have kidney stones, you're more likely to get them again. I don't want to go through that horrible pain again! What can I do?

A: Get yourself started on a basic kidney-stone prevention program. Limit your intake of meat, sugar, salt, and fruit juice (except lemon juice, which is high in stone-reducing citric acid and citrate). You should also increase your dietary fiber and supplement with the following: 10,000 units of vitamin A, 300 mg of magnesium citrate, and 100 mg of vitamin B6 each day. Even though studies have "dispelled the myth" that higher amounts of vitamin C promote calcium oxalate kidney stone formation, I've seen two such cases first hand. So if you take three or more grams of vitamin C each day, have your doctor measure your urinary oxalate.



There is a considerable variety of kidney stones (Renal Calculi) that you should know about, but here are the five well-known ones.
1. Calcium phosphate stones. They are very common but easily dissolved in urine acidified by vitamin C.
2. Calcium oxalate stones. These are not dissolved in acid urine.
3. Magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) stones. These are less common and only appear after an injection, but they dissolve in urine acidified by Vitamin C.
4. Uric acid stones may form in a condition such as gout. It is a result from a problem metabolizing uric acid and purines.
5. Cystine stones are very rare and only results from a hereditary inability to reabsorb cystine.
Risk factors of kidney stones
The risk factors for kidney stones include obesity, poor diet, low dietary intake of magnesium, chronic dehydration, and hypertension. Eleven percent of men and seven percent of women develop kidney stones. Researchers found that some drinks can increase the problem. According to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study released on Wednesday if you have at least one soda every day, your likelihood of developing kidney stones is thirty-three percent compare to those who drink less than one serving per week.
The dietary data analyzed by researchers from Boston and Rome from 194,000 respondents in the Harvard Health professional study and Nurses Health study revealed that sugary sodas and fruit punch could increase your risk of developing kidney stones up to twenty-five percent. The high-sugar content in these drinks can increase the kidney’s excretion of calcium that can crystallize into stones. The good news is, tea, coffee, orange juice, wine, and beer can reduce your risk.
Although people are often advised to drink lots of fluid, you may have to be careful about sugary sweetened drink because according to a study published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, these drinks are associated with higher incidences of kidney stones.
Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones
1. Drink fruit and vegetable juices high in citrates which inhibit the forming of calcium salt as well as the build-up of uric acid.
2. Take Vitamin C because it improves the urinary excretion of uric acid.
3. Lose weight
4. Try to reduce your calcium intake and reduce excess dietary phosphorous by avoiding colas.
5. Take magnesium supplement
6. Take B-complex vitamins.
7. For purine stones/uric acid, avoid eating meat because it s a major source of purine.
8. If you have cystine stones follow a low methionine diet.
9. Lessen your sugar intake.
10. Practice good preventive health care.

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