Kidney Stones Home > Kidney Stones and Diet

Although there is no evidence linking diet and kidney stones, maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids may help reduce a person's risk of developing them. People with chronic kidney stones may need to limit the amount of protein they eat. Scientists have discovered that lowering calcium intake is not beneficial (as was previously thought), and may even cause other problems, like osteoporosis.

An Introduction to Kidney Stones and Diet

Health experts believe that you may be able to reduce your risk of getting kidney stones by taking an active role in your healthcare. This could include:
 
  • Maintaining a healthy diet, with normal amounts of calcium
  • Drinking adequate amounts of fluids
  • Seeing your doctor for regular checkups.
 
In order to recommend a specific diet that may help prevent future kidney stones, your doctor will have to first identify the type of kidney stones that you already have.
 

Is There a Link Between Diet and Kidney Stones?

In general, scientists believe that food does not cause people to form kidney stones. However, for people who are more susceptible to the condition, a diet high in protein may lead to kidney stones. This occurs because protein causes calcium to be excreted from the body and raises calcium levels in the urine.
 
People with urinary tract infections, kidney disorders such as cystic kidney disease, and certain rare, inherited metabolic disorders are also more likely to develop kidney stones. If you are at risk for any of these conditions, you should avoid food that contains higher levels of oxalate, which includes:
 
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Beer
  • Dairy products
  • Some fruits and vegetables.
 
If you have a uric acid stone, your doctor may ask you to eat less meat, fish, and poultry, because these foods increase the amount of uric acid in the urine.
 
(Click Gout Diet for more information about foods high in uric acid.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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