Although most patients describe Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stones as “the most painful thing they have ever experienced,” the compliance with typical restricted diet recommendations is still very low.
As high as 50% of prior Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stone suffers will have a recurrence within five years of experiencing their first Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stone.
▶ Choose A Low Salt Diet – Choose a diet low in salt. Consider using a salt substitute. A high-sodium diet can trigger stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. So a low-sodium diet is recommended for the stone prone. Current guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg. If sodium has contributed to stones in the past, try to reduce your daily intake to 1,500 mg. This will also be good for your blood pressure and heart.
Continue eating calcium-rich foods, but use caution with calcium supplements. Calcium in food doesn’t have an effect on your risk of stones. Continue eating calcium-rich foods unless your doctor advises otherwise. Ask your doctor before taking calcium supplements, as these have been linked to increased risk of Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stones. You may reduce the risk by taking supplements with meals. Diets low in calcium can increase stone formation in some people.
▶ Limit High Amounts Of Animal Proteins – A high-protein diet reduces levels of citrate, the chemical in urine that helps prevent calcium oxalate crystal stones from forming. If you’re prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity that is no bigger than a pack of playing cards. This is also a heart-healthy portion.
▶ Colas – Do they cause Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stones? Dark colas contain phosphoric acid, which has in some studies been linked with an increased incidence of calcium oxalate crystal stones and also kidney disease. Phosphoric acid is believed to be linked with stones because it creates an acidic environment. When your urine becomes too acidic, stones are more likely to form in the kidney or kidney tract.
Colas have about 17mg of phosphorous in only 100mls (3.38 ounces). A 12 ounce cola therefore has about 60mg of phosphorous and a 20 ounce cola has about 100mg of phosphorus. If you drink several 12 to 20 ounces of cola sodas a day, you can be consuming a considerable amount of phosphorous. For this reason, many physicians recommend avoiding drinking dark sodas because of their potential to cause stones.
Important Information About Citrus Sodas: While colas have been linked with causing calcium oxalate crystal stones, diet citrus sodas may help prevent them. When citrate is present in the urinary tract, it has an alkalizing effect that can keep kidney stones from forming. While regular citrus sodas contain citrate as well, the study researchers cautioned against drinking these due to their high calorie and sugar content.
Overall, the risk of forming stones from cola drinking appears to be somewhat questionable. The risk, if true, applies to only phosphoric acid containing sodas, found mostly in dark colored sodas. So if you want to play it safe, you can elect to avoid colas and choose non-cola sodas or other non-soda beverages instead. Cola-loving stone formers might choose colas that do not use phosphoric acid. (You can easily check whether this is in your beverage by reading the ingredients list on the side of the bottle or can).
Restrictive Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stone Prevention Diet
Diet can help and should complement any preventative measures to prevent Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stone Growth.
Oxalates Naturally Found In Many Foods
Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, and even chocolate and tea. Some examples of foods that contain high levels of oxalate include: peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes. (see chart for easy reference). Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate crystal stones.
A common misconception is that cutting the oxalate-rich foods in your diet alone will reduce the likelihood of forming calcium oxalate crystal stones. This approach may not be the best from an overall health perspective.
Most Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.
It is optimum if you eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that Calcium Oxalate Crystal stones will form.
If your doctor prescribes a low oxalate diet, he or she will likely limit your oxalate intake to 40 to 50 mg each day which is extremely difficult to obtain for many people because the typical diet contains 200mg to 300mg of oxalate per day.
Regardless of the oxalate diet that is maintained, you still should drink plenty of fluids, and preferably water, to help prevent calcium oxalate crystal stones. People likely to get stones should drink at least six 8 ounce cups of fluid each day.
Please also note that your body may turn extra vitamin C into oxalate. Avoid high doses of vitamin C supplements (take no more than 1,500 mg of vitamin C per day)
Outside of oxalates, it is recommend by many physicians that you also avoid high salt intake, high amounts of animal proteins and also colas when trying to prevent calcium oxalate crystal stones. (see below)
Oxalate Information for Various Food Groups
▶ Dairy – Dairy products do not contain oxalate. They are a main source of calcium so you should include them in your diet. They can however add a lot of salt (i.e. cheeses) and can be caloric, so moderation is also advised. Dairy also reduces oxalate absorption and helps maintain healthy bones.
▶ Drinks – Chocolate, soy milk, carrot and other vegetable juices as well as tea are generally high in oxalates. Coffee and water have no oxalates! For alcoholic drinks, beer has the most oxalates and the rest have much lower content. High citric acid drinks like lemon juice are low in oxalate and actually assist in the prevention of calcium oxalate crystal stone formers
▶ Meat and Fish – Meat and fish do not contain oxalates since oxalates are only found in plant foods. For vegetarians, please note that tofu and veggie burgers are generally very high in oxalates!
▶ Nuts – In general, most nuts are very high in oxalates and therefore it is best to avoid nuts.
▶ Potatoes – Potatoes are very high in oxalate. One ounce of potato chips has 21 mg of oxalate. An average baked contains close to 100 mg of oxalate.
▶ Sweets – Chocolate is high in oxalates. Sugar loads increase urine calcium loss which increases stone risk.
▶ Vegetables – Spinach and rhubarb are very high in oxalates per serving so it is best to avoid these vegetables.
Monitoring Your Oxalate Food Intake
Kidney COP – Calcium Oxalate Protector
Due to the Calcium Oxalate Crystal Stone prevention diet being so restrictive and so difficult to follow, using a supplement like Kidney COP is highly recommended.
Kidney COP is patented and contains active ingredients shown to have positive outcomes in clinical studies in treating and preventing calcium oxalate crystal stones. The patented and innovative Kidney COP formula has been optimized to reduce calcium oxalate crystal stone growth by 99%!