Kidney stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that form small "pebbles." Stones can form in the kidneys and the ureters (the tubes that lead from the kidneys to the bladder). They can also form in the bladder.
Stones may not cause a problem as long as they stay in the kidneys. But they can cause sudden, severe pain. Pain is most likely when the stones travel from the kidneys to the bladder. Kidney stones can cause bloody urine.
Kidney stones often run in families. You are more likely to get them if you don't drink enough fluids, mainly water. Certain foods and drinks and some dietary supplements may also increase your risk for kidney stones if you consume too much of them.
Changing what you eat may not prevent all types of kidney stones. But for people who have a history of certain kinds of kidney stones, some changes in diet may help. A dietitian can help you set up a meal plan that includes healthy, low-oxalate choices. Here are some general guidelines to get you started.
Plan your meals and snacks around foods that are low in oxalate. These foods include:
You can eat certain foods that are medium-high in oxalate, but eat them only once in a while. These foods include:
Limit very high-oxalate foods, including:
Here are some other things you can do to help prevent kidney stones.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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