How can I prevent Kidney Stones?

​How can I prevent further stones in the future?

Don’t believe any internet sites that offer to sell you special diets, special water or ways to dissolve stones. These are some general tips and advice to help you prevent further stone formation. If you require specific advice please ask your doctor.

Drink more water

The simplest, easiest and best thing to do is to drink more fluid. Any fluid will work but plain tap water is best and cheapest! There is no set “amount” of fluid that is right as how much you need depends on many other factors such as how active you are. Looking at the colour of your urine is an easy way to check on how much you are drinking. If your urine is dark like strong tea, you need to drink more. Drinking more fluid is the single most important thing you can do to prevent more stones forming.
 
All of us, whether we have had kidney stones or not should try and eat a healthy diet. Most of this advice is simple healthy eating.

Cut down on salt

High intake of salt can lead to more calcium in the urine which can lead to more stones.
 
Add only small amounts of salt during cooking and try not to add salt at the table. It can take time for taste buds to get used to less salt so try cutting down on salt every week.
 
Try to avoid foods containing large amounts of salt eg such as processed foods like sausages, burgers and ready meals. Vegetarian sausages can be high in salt too!

Eat Healthily

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. We should all be aiming for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. A portion is roughly 2 rounded tablespoons, or 1 apple/banana or 2 small fruits such as plums/apricots.
 
Eat moderate amounts of meat and fish.
 
Eat more high fibre foods such as wholegrain cereals, brown bread.

Calcium

Many patients think that they should not east calcium containing foods if they have had stones. This is wrong and can lead to forming more stones not less! Calcium is also good for the bones. You should eat a “moderate” amount of calcium daily. Dieticians say this is ½ pint milk per day AND 50g (2oz) cheese 2-3 times per week OR 1 small pot of yoghurt per day

Oxalate

Some foods contain oxalate, though most of the oxalate comes from our liver not our diet. Eating large amounts of these foods may make you more prone to calcium oxalate stones. Foods high in oxalate are cola, nuts, beetroot, rhubarb, spinach and chocolate. These foods are not “banned” but it is worth limiting your intake if you are forming stones. Eating these foods with calcium (ie milk or cheese) can also help prevent the body absorbing the oxalate.
 
 
 
 

Last Reviewed: 04/01/2013