Anyone who has had a bout with kidney stones knows how sudden and painful this condition can be. It occurs when small crystals of minerals collect and stick together and cause blockages as they travel from the kidneys to the bladder. The clinical name for this condition is “nephrolithiasis”. Medical research has found that consumption of some specific foods can contribute to the development of stones.
Foods To Avoid
A number of components in food are associated with the formation of kidney stones.
Because you are more likely to have problems with stones if you have already had them, doctors recommend paying careful attention to the foods you eat. Many individuals find that they have fewer problems with stones when they follow a diet plan that avoids these stone-producing foods.
· Animal Protein – Protein derived from animals, such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs can all contribute to the formation of stones. Although these proteins are important for good health, the amount that most people consume can easily be reduced without ill effects.
· High-sodium foods – Consuming large amounts of salt and salt-containing foods can cause the kidneys to remove more liquids from the body, increasing the likelihood of developing stones and chronic kidney disease. Limit the amount of salt you use in cooking and on the table. Also be aware that most prepared foods have high amounts of sodium that can put you at higher risk for developing kidney stones.
· High-oxalate foods – Some foods are composed of oxalate compounds that can contribute to the formation of oxalate stones in the kidneys. Oxalates are found in a number of common foods, including rhubarb, spinach, okra, Swiss chard, nuts and sardines.
What About Calcium-Rich Foods?
Dairy products can be eaten in moderation without causing an increase in the risk for stones. However, some evidence shows that using calcium supplements can increase your risk. To ensure that you are getting enough calcium to keep bones healthy, consume it in the form of calcium-rich foods like low-fat milk and cheese instead of in the form of calcium supplements. If your physician recommends taking a calcium supplement, always take it with food to reduce the negative effects on the kidneys. Always check with your doctor before taking kidney supplements to ensure that they are safe for use.
The Most Important Action For Avoiding Stone Formation
Medical experts agree the most important thing you can do to prevent stone formation is to drink plenty of water every day. The water helps kidneys to function effectively and helps to dissolve the tiny mineral crystals that can build up in the kidneys from the foods people eat that will eventually cause problems. If drinking plain water is too boring, add a bit of fruit juice or a slice of citrus to give it a tastier flavor.