Diet in Case of Kidney Stones

Personal care in case of kidney stones

A kidney stone is a small solid mass made up of tiny crystals. Your health care provider may ask you to take self-care steps to treat kidney stones or prevent them from coming back. Diet in Case of Kidney Stones

What to expect at home

You went to the provider or hospital because you have a kidney stone. You will need to take some self-care measures. The steps you take depend on the type of stone you have, but may include:

  • Drink more water and other fluids
  • Eating more of some foods and cutting back on others
  • Taking medicine to help prevent stones
  • Taking medicines to help you pass a stone (anti-inflammatory medicines, alpha-blockers)

You may be asked to try to catch the kidney stone. You can do this by collecting all the urine and straining it. The provider will tell you how to do this. Diet in Case of Kidney Stones

What is a kidney stone

A kidney stone is a piece of material that forms in a kidney. A stone can get stuck as it comes out of the kidney. It can lodge in one of the two ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder, or the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder).

Kidney stones can be the size of sand or gravel, as large as a pearl, or even larger. A stone can block the flow of urine and cause great pain. It can also break off and travel through the urinary tract all the way out of the body without causing much pain.

There are four main types of kidney stones.

  • Calcium is the most common type of stone Calcium can combine with other substances, such as oxalate (the most common substance), to form the stone.
  • A uric acid stone can form when urine contains too much acid.
  • A struvite stone can form after a urinary tract infection.
  • Cystine stones are rare. Cystinuria, the disease that causes these stones, runs in families.


Drinking plenty of fluids is important to treat and prevent all types of kidney stones. Staying hydrated (having enough fluid in your body) will keep your urine dilute. This makes it harder for stones to form.

  • The water is the best.
  • You can also drink ginger ale, lemon-lime sodas, and fruit juices.
  • Drink enough fluids throughout the day to produce at least 2 quarts (2 liters) of urine every 24 hours.
  • Drink enough to have light-colored urine. Dark yellow urine is a sign that you are not drinking enough fluids.

Reduce coffee, tea, and cola drinks to 1 to 2 cups (250 to 500 milliliters) per day. Caffeine can cause you to lose fluid too quickly, which can lead to dehydration.

Diet and calcium stones

Follow these guidelines if you have calcium kidney stones:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Eat less salt. Chinese and Mexican food, tomato juice, regular canned foods, and processed foods are often high in salt. Look for low-salt or no-salt-added products.
  • Eat only 2-3 servings a day of foods high in calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters, and tofu.
  • Eat lemons or oranges, or drink fresh lemonade. The citrate contained in these foods prevents the formation of stones.
  • Reduce the amount of protein you eat. Choose lean meats.
  • Eat a low fat diet.

Do not take extra calcium or vitamin D unless the provider treating your stones recommends it.

  • Be careful with antacids that contain extra calcium. Ask your provider which antacids are safe for you to take.
  • Your body still needs the normal amount of calcium that you get from your daily diet. Limiting calcium may actually increase the chance of stones forming.

Ask your provider before taking vitamin C or fish oil. They can be harmful to you.

If your provider says you have calcium oxalate stones, you may also need to cut back on foods that are high in oxalate. These foods include:

  • Fruits: rhubarb, currants, canned fruit salad, strawberries, and Concord grapes
  • Vegetables: beets, leeks, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, and tomato soup
  • Drinks: tea and instant coffee
  • Other foods: grits, tofu, nuts, and chocolate

Diet and uric acid stones

Avoid these foods if you have uric acid stones:

  • Alcohol
  • anchovies
  • Asparagus
  • Brewer’s yeast or baking powder
  • Cauliflower
  • chicken soup
  • sauces
  • Herring
  • Legumes (dried beans and peas)
  • Fungus
  • oils
  • Organ meat (liver, kidney and sweetbreads)
  • sardines
  • Spinach

Other suggestions for your diet include:

  • Eat no more than 3 ounces (85 grams) of meat at each meal.
  • Avoid fatty foods such as dressings, ice cream, and fried foods.
  • Eat enough carbohydrates.
  • Eat more lemons and oranges, and drink lemonade as the citrate in these foods prevents stones from forming.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.

If you are losing weight, do it slowly. Rapid weight loss can cause uric acid stones to form.

When to call the doctor

Contact your provider if you have:

  • Severe pain in the back or side that does not go away
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever and chills
  • vomiting
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
  • Burning sensation when urinating

alternative names

Kidney stones and personal care; Nephrolithiasis and personal care; Stones and kidney – personal care; Calcium stones and personal care; Oxalate stones and personal care; Uric acid stones and personal care.Diet in Case of Kidney Stones

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