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Kidney Stones How to Eat and Drink if You Have Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones How to Eat and Drink if You Have Kidney Stones

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Published by Nicholas Owens
Kidney Stones How to Eat and Drink if You Have Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones How to Eat and Drink if You Have Kidney Stones

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Published by: Nicholas Owens on Nov 20, 2009
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Kidney stones? How to eat and drink if youhave kidney stones
Kidney stones
are considerably more common in times of prosperity, whereas in times of shortage (e.g. world wars) substantially fewer stone disorders are recorded.Eating the right foods in the right amounts will help to prevent kidney stones. What are thefoods to avoid witey stones? What can you eat if you have kidney stones? How to eat anddrink with kidney stones? Is there a diet for Kidney Stones? These are some questions we willtry to address here.
Causes of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are considerably more common in times of prosperity, whereas in times of shortage (e.g. world wars) substantially fewer stone disorders are recorded. Men are morefrequently affected than women. Most kidney stones are 95% crystalline, while the rest isorganic material. The following distinctions are drawn between different kinds of stone basedon their crystalline composition: 80-85% are calcium stones (usually calcium oxalate, lesscommonly a mixture of calcium oxalate/calcium phosphate or pure calcium phosphate), 5-10% are uric acid stones, 5-10% are "infection stones" (struvite and carbonate apatite), and1% are rare varieties, e.g. cystine stones. No kidney stone disorder can be explained by nutrition alone. However, diet does play acrucial role in calcium and uric acid stones, triggering the formation of stones in people with a predisposition. Major studies have shown that excessive consumption of meat protein leads toa marked increase in kidney stones. The main risk factors for calcium stones are a low volumeof urine, increased excretion of oxalic acid and calcium (less critical), and a deficiency of citrate, which inhibits crystallization in the urine. Overly acidic urine is the main risk factor for the formation of uric acid stones.
Fluids - the most important element for kidney stone patients
One should drink enough fluid to produce a urinary volume of at least 2 litres a day. On daysof profuse sweating or major physical exercise (heavy work, sport) a daily fluid intake of 3 or more litres (over 12 glasses or cups) is recommended. It is important that the fluid intake isdistributed as equally as possible over the course of 24 hours, i.e. one should also drink beforegoing to bed (an over-concentrated nocturnal urine encourages crystallization and stoneformation). Almost all beverages are suitable, but bicarbonate and calcium-rich mineral water as well as fruit juices are particularly beneficial. On the other hand, the formation of stones is promoted by large quantities of black tea or iced tea (high oxalate content), cola (very acidic)and beer ("liquid binges" lead to an increase in oxalic acid and uric acid excretion).
Vegetables, fruits and nuts
Vegetables and fruits increase the urinary excretion of the stone-inhibiting citrate. Theconsumption of foods with a high oxalate content (spinach, rhubarb, beetroot, chard and nuts)should always be kept to a minimum or combined at the same time with foods providing a plentiful supply of calcium (e.g. spinach with a cheese gratin), which prevents the absorptionof large quantities of oxalate from the intestine which would lead to an increase in it'sexcretion in the urine.
Meat, poultry, fish
An excessive intake of protein from meat and fish increases the risk of stone, because theurine is over-acidified and the excretion of oxalate, calcium and uric acid increases, whereasthe excretion of citrate - which provides protection against stone formation - is decreased. Theintake of these foods must therefore be reduced in cases of calcium and uric acid stone.
Milk and dairy products
Contrary to earlier views, a restriction of calcium is no longer recommended. Large-scalestudies in tens of thousands of cases have clearly shown that, with an increase in calciumintake up to about 1,200 mg/day, the risk of stone formation significantly falls - and does notrise, as was once wrongly assumed. A total calcium intake of 1,200 mg/day, of which 800 mgshould come from dairy products, is thus recommended.
The sodium contained in common salt can increase the risk of stone formation, probably byincreasing the urinary excretion of calcium. On the other hand, a drastic reduction of salt leadsto a decrease in urinary volume. A slightly reduced salt intake (to about 8 g per day) istherefore recommended.
Excessive consumption of foods rich in sugar increases the urinary excretion of calcium andthus possibly also the risk of kidney stone. Probably more important, however, is the fact thatchocolate, pralines and products containing cocoa have high oxalate content.
Prevention of Kidney Stones - Dietary recommendations
Many factors affect our dietary behaviour: individual needs and desires, our day-to-daycondition, the social environment, the food currently on offer, advertising etc. The followingrecommendations ensure a balanced and varied diet that provides an adequate intake of energy, nutrients and protective substances and thus a healthy approach to nutrition. Thefigures quoted are intended for the "average person", i.e. for adults who engage in normal physical activities and thus have an average energy and nutrient requirement. The figureswould vary for other groups (such as children and adolescents, top athletes, pregnant womenetc.). The quantities and portions given are likewise average values; they cannot be adhered to precisely every day. Those passages which appear in italics are particularly important for  persons with a tendency towards kidney stones.
How to eat if you have kidney stones:
Fats and oils:
Use 2 teaspoonfuls (10 g) of high-quality vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower oil, thistle oil, corn oil,olive oil, rapeseed oil) per day, unheated, e.g. for salad dressings.Use not more than 2 teaspoonfuls (10 g) of cooking fat or oil per day (e.g. peanut oil, oliveoil) for the preparation of meals.Do not eat more than 2 teaspoonfuls (10 g) of spreading butter or margarine per day on bread.Do not eat more than one high-fat meal per day, such as deep-fried or breaded food, cheesedishes, fried potato, sausage, cream sauce, puff pastry, cakes, chocolate.
 Eat sweets in moderation - exercise restraint especially with chocolate, pralines and chocolate cakes.
Meat, fish and eggs and pulses:
Do not eat more than one portion (80 - 120 g) of meat a day 2 - 4 times a week; more isunnecessary, less is no problem. Do not substitute salted meat products, such as ham, sausage,or bacon, for meat more than once a week. Do not eat offal (liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads)more than once a month (1 portion = 80 - 120 g).Plan to eat 1 - 2 portions of fish a week (1 portion = 100 - 120 g).Eat 1 - 3 eggs a week, including processed eggs e.g. in cakes and pastries, soufflees or creams.Pulses, pulse products: eat 1 - 2 portions of lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans (1 portion = 40 -60 g, dry weight) and tofu (1 portion = 100 - 120 g) per week.
Milk and dairy products:
 Eat 3 - 4 portions of dairy products per day
(1 portion = 2 dl milk or 1 cup of yogurt or 30 ghard cheese or 60 g soft cheese).
Cereal products and potatoes:
Eat at least 3 portions of carbohydrate-rich foods per day, such as bread, potatoes, rice, cereal,or pasta, preferably wholemeal products. The size of the portion depends on the degree of  physical activity the person engages in.
 Eat 3 portions of fruit a day
(1 portion = 1 apple, 1 banana, 3 plums or a dish of berries),
ideally raw.
Eat 3 - 4 portions of vegetable per day, at least one of them raw, e.g. as a dip or a mixed salad(1 portion = 100 g raw or 150 - 200 g cooked vegetable).
 Exercise restraint, however, with spinach, chard and rhubarb (preferably eat thesevegetables together with dairy products, e.g. spinach with cheese gratin).
How to drink if you have kidney stones:
 Drink at least 3 litres of liquid per day, preferably unsweetened and alcohol-free beverages. Black tea or ice tea and cocoa beverages should only be drunk in small quantities.
Alkoholic drinks:
 Do not drink more than 2 glasses of wine or beer a day. Plan to have at least 1 day a week without alcohol!
 1.Drink at least 2 litres (8 glasses) of unsweetened beverages or water daily2.Add less salt when preparing your meals, and eat salty food in moderation3.Eat less meat (not more than 2-4 portions a week)4.Exercise restraint with oxalate-rich foods5.Preferably eat high-fibre foods

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