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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What simple measures can I take to reduce the risk of forming kidney stones?

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  • Mr Pras Sivam (Prassannah Satasivam) is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and a member of the Society of Urologic Oncology. He … View Profile

    Some people have medical conditions that predispose them to forming kidney stones. These patients may require specific treatments to prevent stones forming in the future.

    Most patients who form kidney stones may benefit from general measures to reduce their risk:

    Increase fluid intake to greater than 2 to 3 litres per day. Lemon, orange and grapefruit juices increase the concentrations of stone-inhibiting chemicals in the urine.

    Decrease oxalate-rich food such as chocolate, nuts, spinach and Coca Cola. Avoid taking high doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin D, as this can also increase urinary oxalate.

    Try to maintain a moderate calcium intake (800 to 1000 mg/day). Too much calcium can lead to excess calcium absorption by the body. Too little calcium can lead to an increase in oxalate absorption, which can result in calcium oxalate stones.

    Try to reduce salt in the diet, as a high sodium diet can lead to high levels of calcium in the urine.

    High protein diets increase urinary calcium, uric acid and oxalate and reduce pH and citrate, all of which contribute to stone formation. A 70 kg male should aim to have less than 60 to 70 grams of protein per day.

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