A Diet to Prevent Kidney Stones: Foods Vary
If you’ve had a kidney stone, here’s what you can eat to avoid getting them again.
People who have suffered through the pain of passing a kidney stone might be all too eager to eliminate any and all foods from their diets that have been linked to kidney stones. However, experts say this isn’t a good approach.
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“Unless your doctor suggests you should avoid certain foods, your prevention attempts may limit your diet unnecessarily,” says urologist Manoj Monga, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Endourology and Stone Disease.
Dr. Monga says kidney stones are not all the same. “There are five types of kidney stones, all caused by different things in a person’s diet,” Dr. Monga says. “Even the same type of stone can be caused by different foods in different people,” he adds.
Also, some foods associated with kidney stones are very healthy and shouldn’t be restricted unless shown to be a problem.
“We know certain foods are very good for general health, especially foods that contain oxalates, like spinach, nuts, and strawberries,” he says. “When people find out they have kidney stones, sometimes they restrict these foods from their diet without a full evaluation.
The moral of the story? Don’t restrict your diet until your doctor performs a full evaluation to determine what is causing your kidney stones, Dr. Monga advises.
This typically involves collecting an entire day’s worth of urine, which is then tested for various metabolites. Based on the results, a doctor can then make recommendations about any dietary changes that need to be made.
Kidney stones are caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and diet, Dr. Monga says.
Some risk factors include:
Only your doctor can tell you what is causing your kidney stones. But there are some dietary changes that can reduce your risk and are safe for anyone to make.