what diet should you follow? The fundamental rules


I kidney stones o lithiasis renal (kidney stones) are solid agglomerates of various chemical nature that tend to form, grow and obstruct the urinary tract; can cause symptoms painful at the renal and/or urethral level.

This is an uncomfortable, sometimes pathological condition – it may require preventive pharmacological therapies, medical interventions such as shock waves or even surgery – which mainly affects the subjects “prepared“.

The editable variables (lifestyle), such as diet, physical activity, incorrect and predisposing behaviors (e.g. alcohol abuse), and especially the state of hydrationhowever they always perform a decisive role.

Renal lithiasis can occur only once in life or recur with a certain frequency.

The most frequent stones (70-80%) are calcium-based, which can combine with other substances such asacid oxalic (organic compound with the formula C2H2O4) and the of phosphorus (mineral ion). If on the one hand it is not possible to modify the plasma concentrations of calcium and phosphorus – otherwise, we would die – on the other hand it is instead desirable to control the levels of oxalic acid in the diet.

Less common (5-15%) but rather annoying, are those of uric acid – typical of people”gottose“, o hyper-uricemic uncompensated (occur with a certain frequency in overweight and sedentary subjects). Uric acid increases due to an insufficient system to metabolize purines and/or to expel uric acid itself.

The reaction underlying the calculations is, ultimately, one precipitation sedimentary.

Use: Stones may also be of mixed nature or have an infectious or cystic etiology.

In this article we will try to understand better what diet to follow to prevent the formation of kidney stones and, possibly – if possible – how to act to expel them more effectively.

Attention! Different types of calculations may require different precautions; Below we will summarize all the guidelines indiscriminately, in order to reduce the margin of error.

To know more:
Diet and kidney stones: what to eat and what to avoid? What to drink to expel them?

What to eat and what to drink

The best way to fight kidney stones is to try to prevent them. Even if this phrase is used many times in the medical field, in this case it takes on an additional value.

This is because, once formed, stones cannot be destroyed pharmacologically, and require either great suffering or more invasive interventions.

In preventing kidney stones, knowing which diet to follow is a fundamental aspect. So: what to eat? What to drink? What to avoid? Let's find out.

Rule #1: Always stay well hydrated

Water dilutes the chemicals responsible for stone formation and increases the effectiveness/efficiency of stone excretion.

Water is introduced both by drinking and eating. In total, it would be desirable to consume approximately 1.0 ml of water for every kcal consumed in a normocaloric diet.

Obviously, the level must be taken into account sweating (from thermoregulation and sporting activity), exhalation (especially in training) e defecation (especially when the stool is soft or watery, as in irritable colon with such prevalence) – in some cases, even vomiting.

In the summer period and in the presence of desirable physical movement, the water requirement can easily double up (or more).

For an “average” person, in addition to a diet rich in liquids, it could be useful to drink around 6-12 glasses of water a day.

Rule #2: Increase your intake of cooked vegetables and fresh fruit, especially lemon

After milk and yogurt, the fruit and the fresh vegetables they are the foods richest in water.

However, some raw vegetables can provide non-negligible levels of oxalic acid. To remedy this problem it is advisable to eliminate or significantly limit foods richer in oxalates – see below.

On the other hand, eating raw fruits and vegetables is essential for satisfying the requirement nutritional of thermolabile compounds such as vitamin C e folates. For this purpose, we recommend choosing foods a basso oxalic acid content.

Lemon, whole or in juice, thanks to its high content of citratescan help reduce the formation of stones (especially calcium and phosphorus).

Rule n° 3: don't neglect your calcium intake

Because of bad information which has been rampant for many years, some people still try to reduce calcium levels in their diet to prevent the formation of renal lithiasis.

This is wrong and even dangerous, since calcium is crucial for the integrity of the skeleton.

Furthermore, what is perplexing is the great attention that most consumers place on typology Of water to drink. Starting from the assumption that there are still doubts as to whether the calcium contained in water is absorbable or not, the total amount of calcium present in the “absolute richest” water is however negligible. It therefore makes no sense to focus on this variable.

Not only blood calcium levels non are in no way related to the etiology of renal lithiasis but, paradoxically, if dietary calcium intake is low, the levels of oxalates can increase.

Good sources of calcium include latte e yogurt (which, moreover, are rich in water), ricotta and cheeses – it is better to prefer lean ones, especially in slimming diet therapy. Vegetable sources – in which calcium is less absorbable – such as beans, cabbage and green vegetables, soy, nuts, etc. – on the other hand, they are rich in oxalates, which is why it is better not to overdo it.

Fortified “vegetable milk” is a good alternative for those who do not consume foods of animal origin.

Use: for correct absorption and metabolism of calcium, it is important to enjoy optimal levels of vitamin D – from skin synthesis in the presence of sun exposure, fish and egg yolk.

Foods and drinks to avoid

Rule #4: Limit salt

High levels Of sodium in the diet can favor the accumulation of calcium in the urine.

It is advisable to avoid adding discretionary salt to food and limit products processed by salting or pickling.

It may be advisable to maintain this habit even when eating at a restaurant.

Rule #5: Reduce your intake of purine-rich foods

The metabolism of purine involves the formation of uric acid.

Purines are abundant especially in foods of animal origin, such as offal, blue fish, crustaceans, bivalve molluscs e carnebut also in some vegetables, such as legumes eh damn (Brassicacee).

It is good practice to follow the guidelines for a healthy and correct diet, trying to favor – within the relevant food category – foods less rich in purines.

Rule #6: Don't overdo your protein intake

Large amounts of protein increase kidney function, but also require a certain I commit of the system swab endogenous and food alkalizing agents – such as citrates.

In healthy subjects – even if within the limits of reasonableness and subjectivity – this is absolutely not a problem. For a person who tends to form stones, however, it may be good practice to limit proteins to the amount necessary to cover specific needs, without exaggerating.

Rule #7: Limit your oxalate intake

Eliminate oxalates is impossible.

However, it is advisable to eliminate or significantly limit foods richer of the same, or, if necessary, eat them cooked – since cooking degrades oxalic acid.

I am foods rich in oxalates: cocoa and black chocolate, beets, nuts, tea, rhubarb, spinach, chard, sweet potatoes etc.

Some fruit juices, even citrus-based ones, may contain significant amounts of oxalates.

Soaking dried legumes helps reduce their oxalate levels, as does boiling them in water and throwing away the cooking liquids – although this also reduces mineral and vitamin levels.

Rule #8: Limit your alcohol intake

Alcohol is a diuretic nutritional factor and, in this sense, increases renal filtration.

In the chronic however, it is responsible for dehydration and greatest concentration urinary of all the factors that predispose to renal lithiasis.

Rule #9: Monitor your intake of added fructose

Excess fructose interferes with the expulsion of uric acid and promotes hyperuricemia.

It is therefore good to consume fruit sensibly, avoid sweetening drinks or foods with granular fructose or sucrose (which contains 50% fructose) and avoid consuming sweet syrups based on this monosaccharide or sucrose.

summing up

If you suffer from kidney stones or are at risk, after consulting your doctor, follow these few simple rules:

  1. drink water regularly throughout the day;
  2. prefer foods rich in water to processed ones (e.g. bread is better than crackers);
  3. eat fresh fruits and vegetables and use lemon juice (for seasoning or in drinks);
  4. do not neglect the intake of calcium and vitamin D;
  5. limit foods rich in oxalates and, if necessary, eat them cooked;
  6. limit foods rich in purines, both animal and vegetable – they increase uric acid in the blood;
  7. with the total protein intake, do not go too far beyond the requirement;
  8. limit foods rich in salt and don't add too much when cooking and seasoning;
  9. do not use fructose as a sweetener (or syrups), limit added sucrose and foods containing it as much as possible;
  10. avoid or significantly limit alcohol.

Attention! Not only urine that is too acidic, but also when it is too alkaline can promote the synthesis of kidney stones.


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