Kidney stones diet

•  Keeping your intake of water and fluid high helps to continually flush your kidneys. Recommendation: Drink 2 to 2.5 liters of fluid per day (1 liter is about a quart, so this means a little more than 1/2 gallon of fluid as a daily minimum). Your fluid intake doesn't have to come as eight 8-ounce glasses of water, but neither should all 64 ounces be regular soft drinks, beer, or coffee.

Kidney stones dietDietary fiber reduces your ability to absorb calcium, and because this mineral is responsible for 80% of kidney stones, reducing the amount of it helps to reduce stone formation. Recommendation: Aim for an intake of dietary fiber in the range of 40 to 50 grams per day. Please refer to the discussion of fiber under Colon, Spastic, for a guideline of how to slowly increase from your current intake of fiber to this higher level without suffering from the abdominal bloating, cramping, and gas that will occur if you try to accomplish the increase overnight. You should also increase your intake of highfiber foods rich in phytic acid, such as whole grain wheat, corn, rye, barley, and beans, because these foods help to bind up the excess calcium in your diet and prevent your absorbing too much.

•  Deficiency of vitamin B6, necessary for your body to break down oxalic acid (another major component of most kidney stones), promotes the formation of mineral deposits in the kidney. Recommendation: Take 50 to 100 mg of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) daily. Do not increase your intake above this level, because doses of 200 mg per day over several years have caused permanent nerve damage.

•  In laboratory animals, researchers can produce kidney stones simply by making the animals deficient in magnesium. People who tend to form kidney stones may have low levels of magnesium, and this may contribute to their forming the commonest kind of kidney stone—one made from calcium oxalate. Recommendation: Take magnesium glycinate or aspartate in a dose of 250 mg twice a day for 18 to 24 months. Then reduce your intake to 100 mg per day.

•  One of the consequences of low potassium is that it causes your urine to be more alkaline (less acid), a condition that favors the development of kidney stones. Supplementing potassium or eating foods rich in potassium helps to minimize the high levels of calcium in the urine caused by eating a high meat/animal protein diet. Recommendation: Take 99 mg potassium citrate per day; eat more foods rich in potassium, such as broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, and bananas; and sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the potassiumcontaining salt substitute NO SALT into foods when cooking to add more potassium.

•  Kidney stones dietPeople who live in communities where the tap water is "soft" have kidney stones more commonly than in communities with hard water. The hardness of water relates to its mineral content—the higher the mineral content, the harder the water. Many communities or individual homes "soften" their hard water for various reasons. Recommendation: If you live in a community where the water is soft, drink bottled mineral water.

•  Vitamin A promotes healing of the urinary tract lining, which is often damaged by stones. Recommendation: Take 25,000 IU daily. If you are pregnant, use a natural carotenoid complex such as Betatene in place of vitamin A.

• Zinc inhibits crystallization, which can lead to stone formation. Recommendation: Take 50 to 80 mg of zinc gluconate daily. Do not exceed this amount, as it tends to depress immunity.

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