Diet for urinary tract stone former
Maintain adequate fluid intake
One of the predisposing factors for stone formation is poor hydration. It is essential to maintain an adequate fluid intake at all times and keep the urine as clear as possible. Approximately 3 litres per day may be necessary.
Avoid Red Meat
The protein present in red meat has been shown to increase the risk of stones. White meat such as poultry is an alternative.
Low Oxalate diet
Below is a list of food high in Oxalate concentration. A reduced intake of these is recommended
- greens (spinach, collard, beet and turnip greens)
- organ meats (liver, kidneys, brains)
Reduce table salt intake
Table salt (sodium chloride) increases the chance of stones. Reduce the risk by not adding salt to food. Food rich in sodium include:
- convenience food (canned or boxed soups or noodle)
- processed meats (ham, hot dogs, sausage)
- snack food (crisps, crackers, pretzels, popcorn)
Daily calcium intake
The amount of calcium that should be consumed in a day depends on the amount of calcium present in the urine. This is determined by collecting a 24 hour sample and determining the amount present. Contrary to what you might think, reducing calcium intake alone results in more not less stones unless oxalate in the diet is reduced also.
If the amount of calcium in the urine is more than normal, then decreasing the amount of consumed calcium and oxalate is helpful.
Avoid Vitamin C and vitamin D supplements
It is best to avoid excess vitamin C and vitamin D supplements as this increases the chance of new stones formation.
Drink orange or grapefruit juice in preference to cranberry or lemon juice
Orange juice is the most effective way to keep stones from forming. This is because it increases the alkalinity, and so the potassium and citrate content of the urine. Grapefruit, pineapple, and apple juice also help, but not quite as much as orange juice. Cranberry and lemon juices do not increase the citrate content, although they may reduce the rate that stones form.