Diet Information

Depending on your type of kidney stone, your physician may recommend that you change your diet to help reduce the risk of forming additional stones. 

Below you will find a general overview of the different diet changes your physician may prescribe for you. 

Increase Fluid Intake
A very common question is, “How much water should I be drinking each day?”  You should be producing at least 2.5 liters of urine a day.  How much you need to produce that much urine will vary depending on many things.

  • Activity level (the more active you are the more you perspire and need to replenish your body with fluids).
  • Living/working in a hot/dry environment.
  • Frequent Flying (pilots, flight attendants, business travelers, etc.)  Flying all day can cause dehydration. 
  • Salt intake (high salt intakes increases water retention).
  • Increasing your fluid intake keeps urine diluted and helps keep crystals from forming.

 

Low Oxalate Diet
Unfortunately, oxalate is found in healthy plant foods.  What can become confusing for some patients is that they have already been put on dietary restrictions because of other medical conditions (e.g., heart related problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.).  You may have been told by another physician to “eat a diet low in fat and sugar but rich in vegetables.”  What now?  The key to diets is: Everything in moderation!  If you have been told to “watch your oxalate intake,” remember to cut back on the portion size of the high oxalate containing foods and the number of times a day or week you are eating these foods.  Here and there you will indulge, and when you do, make sure you flush out the extra oxalate with an added 8 oz. glass of water – before and after your treat!

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Low Salt Diet
Your sodium intake should be between 2300-3300 mg per day.

We receive phone calls from patients who swear they have stopped using the saltshaker and they just don’t understand how their sodium levels remain so high.  Unfortunately, sodium has been added to many of our foods that we buy in restaurants or at the store.  A single restaurant meal can contain anywhere from 1000 to 4000 milligrams of sodium!  It is important to read the nutrition labels on all packaged foods and to look at the ingredients listed.  All food labels list the product’s ingredients, in order, by weight.  The ingredient present in the greatest amount is listed first.  As a rule, if salt and several sodium compounds are listed as ingredients, the product contains more salt than is advisable on a low-sodium diet. 

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Low Purine Diet
In order to reduce your uric acid level, you must lower your consumption of purines.  Purine is a compound that is mainly found in animal protein and when metabolized breaks down into uric acid.  When you eat a diet that is high in protein (beef, poultry, pork and chicken), you have higher uric acid levels.  The normal diet contains from 600 to 1000 milligrams of purines daily.  A low-purine diet is restricted to approximately 100 to 150 milligrams daily. 

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