It's Not Just the Oxalate. Oxa-what? Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, and even chocolate and tea. Some examples of foods that contain high levels of oxalate include: peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes. Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones, the leading type of kidney stones. A common misconception is that cutting the oxalate-rich foods in your diet alone will reduce the likelihood of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. While in theory this might be true, this approach isn't smart from an overall health perspective. Most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.
Eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form. Calcium is Not the Enemy. But it tends to get a bad rap! Most likely due to its name and composition, many are under the impression that calcium is the main culprit in calcium-oxalate stones. I still see patients who wonder why they are getting recurring stones despite cutting down on their calcium intake.
Don't reduce the calcium. Work to cut back on the sodium in your diet and to pair calcium-rich foods with oxalate-rich foods .It's Not One and Done. Passing a kidney stone is often described as one of the most painful experiences a person can have, but unfortunately, it's not always a one-time event. Studies have shown that having even one stone greatly increases your chances of having another. Most people will want to do anything they can to ensure it doesn't happen again. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be the case that people make the changes they need to after their first stone event.
Those with kidney stones do not always heed the advice of their nephrologists and urinary specialists. About 15% of kidney stone patients didn't take prescribed medications and 41% did not follow the nutritional advice that would keep stones from recurring. Take action! Without the right medications and diet adjustments, stones can come back, and recurring kidney stones also could be an indicator of other problems, including kidney disease. When Life Hands You Kidney Stones… don't fret. And as the saying goes, "make lemonade." It's important to consider dietary remedies alongside prescription medications.
While it may seem easier to just take a pill to fix a medical problem, consider what lifestyle changes will also make a big impact on your health. Next time you drive past a lemonade (or limeade) stand, consider your kidneys. Chronic kidney stones are often treated with potassium citrate, but studies have shown that limeade, lemonade and other fruits and juices high in natural citrate offers the same stone-preventing benefits. Beware of the sugar, though, because it can increase kidney stone risk. Instead, buy sugar-free lemonade, or make your own by mixing lime or lemon juice with water and using a sugar substitute if needed. We believe that citrate in the urine may prevent the calcium from binding with other constituents that lead to stones.
Also, some evidence suggests that citrate may prevent crystals that are already present from binding with each other, thus preventing them from getting bigger. Not All Stones are Created Equal. In addition to calcium oxalate stones, another common type of kidney stones is uric acid stones. Red meat, organ meats, and shellfish have high concentrations of a natural chemical compound known as purines. High purine intake leads to a higher production of uric acid and produces a larger acid load for the kidneys to excrete. Higher uric acid excretion leads to lower overall urine pH, which means the urine is more acidic.
The high acid concentration of the urine makes it easier for uric acid stones to form. To prevent uric acid stones, cut down on high-purine foods such as red meat, organ meats, and shellfish, and follow a healthy diet that contains mostly vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. Limit sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, especially those that contain high fructose corn syrup. Limit alcohol because it can increase uric acid levels in the blood and avoid crash diets for the same reason..Eating less animal-based protein and eating more fruits and vegetables will help decrease urine acidity and this will help reduce the chance for stone formation.
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you surely remember it. The pain can be unbearable, coming in waves until the tiny stone passes through your urinary plumbing and out of the body. For many, kidney stones aren’t a one-time thing: in about half of people who have had one, another appears within seven years without preventive measures. Preventing kidney stones isn’t complicated, but it does take some determination. Kidney stones form when certain chemicals become concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. The crystals grow into larger masses (stones), which can make their way through the urinary tract.
If the stone gets stuck somewhere and blocks the flow of urine, it causes pain. Most stones occur when calcium combines with one of two substances: oxalate or phosphorous. Stones can also form from uric acid, which forms as the body metabolizes protein. Preventing kidney stones means preventing the conditions that support their formation.Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups.
Get the calcium you need: Getting too little calcium in your diet can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause kidney stones. To prevent this, make sure to take in an amount of calcium appropriate to your age. Ideally, obtain calcium from foods, since some studies have linked taking calcium supplements to kidney stones. Men 50 and older should get 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day, along with 800 to 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D to help the body absorb the calcium. Reduce sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine.
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