Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Kidney plush toy (When Urine Love) can be purchased here.

I've commented previously about my history of kidney stone formation. Not a fun experience. My dietician and urologist have encouraged me to follow a low oxalate diet to reduce the chances of having to deal with additional calcium oxalate stones, as explained by the Mayo Clinic website:

If you tend to form calcium oxalate stones, your doctor may recommend restricting foods rich in oxalates. These include rhubarb, star fruit, beets, beet greens, collards, okra, refried beans, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, almonds and soy products. What's more, studies show that an overall diet low in salt and very low in animal protein can greatly reduce your chance of developing kidney stones.

Today I read an interesting article from Medscape, which reports results of a recent study which examined incorporating a DASH - style diet to prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. A DASH diet - or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet - has been found to not only decrease high blood pressure, or hypertension, but also effectively reduce the formation of these kidney stones.

Strategies in the DASH diet include:

"The [DASH] diet, which is high in fruits and vegetables, moderate in low-fat dairy products, and low in animal protein represents a novel potential means of kidney stone prevention. The consumption of fruits and vegetables increases urinary citrate, an important inhibitor of calcium stone formation, and a diet with normal to high calcium content but low in animal protein and sodium decreases the risk of calcium oxalate stone recurrence by 51%," the researchers state.

So what's the differences in these diets? The DASH diet does not restrict certain fruits and vegetables, unlike the low oxalic acid diet, but suggests that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables encourages the body to naturally adjust urine components to prevent stone formation.

Lower blood pressure and reduced risk for kidney stones? I like it. I'll discuss this with my urologist before I throw my prescribed diet out the window, though.

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