If you or someone you know has ever passed a kidney stone. you probably have an idea of the intensity of pain you have to go through until the stone is thankfully out of your system. While the reasons why kidney stones from are still unclear, knowing the implications of having a kidney stone, we would be looking to prevent it occurring any way we can. Understanding the influence that diet has on your predisposition to develop kidney stones can be quite confusing and complex. Basically, If a person is at risk of developing kidney stones, diet plays a significant role, on other hand if a person does not fall under the risk group of producing kidney stones, diet has little to no effect.
There are numerous risk factors of kidney stones the primary one being a genetic link. Kidney stones tend to be hereditary. For a person whose parents have suffered with kidney stones, the chances of developing a stone can be quite high.
For this person, diet can certainly increase the risk of developing a stone. Other factors include your environment as well as being affected by other non-related diseases. Additionally, people who have had kidney stones in the past are also considered at risk as they may very well develop another kidney stone in future.
For these individuals, following a strict “kidney stone diet” can reduce the possibility of passing a solid object when urinating any time in the near future. To understand the kidney stone diet, you need to have a basic idea of the formation of kidney stones.
Kidney stones occur when certain materials crystallize or harden due to some reason within the urinary tract or kidney. Limiting the intake of food that is high in these materials is the principle theory behind the kidney stone diet.
Ironically, these foods are otherwise good for your body. Kidney stones are commonly made out of calcium oxalate (other stones may be made out of uric acid, Struvite or Cystine). Limiting foods that are high in calcium oxalate is an effective method to reduce the possibility of crystallization in your urinary system.
Foods that are high in Calcium Oxalate include spinach, beetroot, strawberries, chocolates and nuts. Another component that should be avoided that is commonly added to virtually all hot foods is salt. Salt increases the possibility of formation of calcium based crystals. Another mineral that should be avoided is Sodium. Sodium in combination with Oxalate contributes to the formation of stones. Sodium is found typically in fast food as well as other processed foods such as sausages.
Protein intake should also be limited. The limitation is only for animal based protein. Plant protein can still be consumed without restriction. Potassium aids the prevention of kidney stones and thus should be increased in consumption. All fruits and vegetables are relatively high in potassium but pay attention to the ones that are high in calcium oxalate.
Finally, keep water intake as high as possible. Being hydrated makes the urinary tract concentrated reducing the possibility of materials solidifying which eventually leads to stones.