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Healthnotes Index:

Kidney Stones

Also indexed as:Nephrolithiasis, Renal Calculi, Urinary Calculi, Urolithiasis
Find the source and stop the pain of kidney stones. Hard masses that grow from crystals forming in the kidneys, they typically cause severe back pain that may radiate to the groin area. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

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Ask your doctor about bran Bran, a rich source of insoluble fiber, reduces calcium absorption, which in turn reduces calcium in the urine. Ask your doctor if supplementing with bran is right for you.
Drink lemonadeLemons are high in citric acid, which may protect against kidney stones. One study found that drinking 2 liters of lemonade per day helped prevent kidney stones.
Drink plenty of fluidsWater and most fruit juices can help dilute the substances in the urine that form kidney stones
Eat more fruits and veggiesPotassium reduces the amount of calcium lost in the urine, and therefore may reduce the risk of kidney stones. The best way to get more potassium is to eat fruits and vegetables.
Steer clear of sugarPeople who form kidney stones have been reported to process sugar abnormally. As a result, some doctors recommend that people who form stones avoid sugar.
Try a vegetarian dietVegetarians have been reported to be at lower risk for kidney stones.
Use coffee or tea cautiously Coffee and tea increase urinary oxalate excretion, possibly increasing risk of stones. However, observational studies have associated drinking more of either with lower risk. None of this research is strong, so coffee and tea’s role in stone formation is unclear.
Eat the right diet with certain supplementsIn one study, recurrence rate of kidney stones dropped when people restricted salt, sugar, animal protein, and foods rich in oxalate, and after people supplemented with potassium citrate and magnesium citrate.
Sidestep saltSome doctors recommend that people with a history of kidney stones reduce salt intake, but to what extent that would reduce stone recurrence remains unclear.
Avoid foods with oxalates that can help stones formLimit your intake of spinach, rhubarb, beet greens, nuts, chocolate, almonds, peanuts, and strawberries, which appear to significantly increase urinary oxalate levels.
Avoid grapefruit juiceDrinking grapefruit juice has been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones in two large studies.
Halt the soda habitThe phosphoric acid found in soft drinks is thought to affect calcium metabolism in ways that might increase kidney stone recurrence risk.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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