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Keep kidney stones at bay with these dietary changes

by , 17 July 2013

Even though kidney stones are one of the most common urinary tract disorders, they are nothing short of agonising for those who suffer from them. Fortunately, there's a lot you could do to keep your kidneys free from stones for good…

According to Dr Jonathan Wright of Nutrition & Healing, your fight against kidney stones starts with paying close attention to your diet. This means there are certain foods you must add or limit in your diet.

Reduce your kidney stones risk with the right diet

#1: Add calcium in your diet. While two-thirds of all cases involve calcium oxalate stones, traditional medicine tries to prevent these by calling for dietary calcium restrictions and sometimes diuretics. But restricting calcium intake isn’t actually helpful in preventing calcium oxalate kidney stones. And it could even make the problem worse.

#2: Add vitamin A in your diet: Vitamin A (not betacarotene) promotes healthy functioning of your urinary tract, so if you’re deficient in it, kidney stones could form. You'll find vitamin A in most good general multiple vitamin and mineral supplements.

#3: Add magnesium in your diet: Magnesium helps your body dissolve calcium. If you're deficient in this mineral, it can cause calcium to accumulate into deposits, which increases your risk of forming kidney stones.

“Decades ago, Harvard researchers found that taking magnesium along with vitamin B6 could reduce calcium oxalate stone formation dramatically,” says Dr Wright.

#4: Limit meat from your diet. Vegetarians tend to form significantly fewer calcium oxalate kidney stones than meat eaters. Vegetarian diets include more bulk and fibre, which lowers calcium output. And, vegetable protein contains fewer sulphur-rich amino acids than animal protein and those amino acids promote calcium excretions. Calcium oxalate isn’t the only type of kidney stone. The less common type are uric acid kidney stones. As with the calcium oxalate, cutting back your intake of animal protein while increasing bulk and fibre in your diet could help prevent them from forming.

You don’t have to give up meat entirely, but it could help you to increase fibre sources in your diet, such as root vegetables and to cut back on how much meat you eat.

#5: Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. Sugar and salt can also increase the excretion of both calcium and oxalate in the urine. This can result in the formation of kidney stones.

So limit sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet and cut back a bit on salt.

Make this your basic kidney-stone prevention programme and reduce your risk. As always, speak to your doctor before taking any of these supplements.

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