A kidney stone is a hard mass that forms from crystals in the urine. In most people, natural chemicals in the urine stop stones from forming. There are different treatments for a specific type of kidney stone. Above all, if you have kidney stones, you may need to follow a special diet that must follow the rule of change to the amount of salt (sodium), calcium, oxalate, protein, potassium and fluid in your diet.
- Foods high in oxalate content may spur those already prone to calcium oxalate kidney stone formation to increase stone production. The NKUDIC lists rhubarb, spinach, beets, Swiss chard, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra and sweet potatoes among those foods kidney stone sufferers should avoid. NKUDIC also advises against eating chocolate or drinking black Indian tea.
- Medium oxalate content foods are less problematic, but those prone to developing kidney stones should also avoid grits, grapes, green peppers and celery. NKUDIC indicates that raspberries, strawberries, fruit cake, marmalade and liver should also be avoided, or at least eaten in moderation.
- Nuts and meats, almonds, beets, collards and okra as foods kidney stone sufferers should avoid. The Clinic also states that star fruit, re-fried beans, sesame seeds and soy beans should be added to the list.
- Although it was once thought that dairy products should be avoided because of their calcium content, the Mayo Clinic states that is no longer thought valid. According to the Clinic, women with a high calcium intake are actually less likely to develop kidney stones than women with low calcium intake, because dietary calcium binds with oxalates so they can’t be absorbed by the kidneys to make stones.
- Reduce sodium intake to between 2 and 3g per day to help reduce kidney stone formation. The Cleveland Clinic advises avoiding hot dogs, deli meats, sauerkraut, commercially canned food products, dry soup mixes, pickles and convenience foods that tend to have a high amount of sodium.
- Eat a balanced diet that is not too high in animal protein. This includes beef, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs. These foods contain a lot of protein, and too much protein may lead to kidney stones. You don’t have to give up these foods. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much protein you need and the best way to get it.
- Increase how much fiber you eat. Fiber includes oat bran, beans, whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, cabbage, and carrots.
- Drink lemonade made from real lemons (not lemon flavoring). It is high in citrate, which may help prevent kidney stones.
- Talk to your doctor if you take vitamins or supplements. He or she may want you to limit how much fish liver oil or calcium supplements you take. Also, do not take more than the recommended daily dose of vitamins C and D.