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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kidney Stones

I recently wrote an email to a friend who has been suffering from kidney stones. In it, I summarized what I knew about what to eat to try to avoid them. I thought it might be good to share it with my online followers. Here it is...

"Dear XXXX,

Debbie told me that you've been trying to eat healthy -- keeping in
mind your kidney stone.

Here's what I know about the healthiest way to eat for patients who have suffered a kidney stone.

We know that most stones contain calcium oxalate. Contrary to
conventional wisdom, a diet high in calcium is actually helpful. The
dietary calcium binds oxalate and then it is excreted when you poop. This helps reduce the binding of calcium and oxalate in the blood which in turn is filtered by the kidneys where/when stones are then formed.

Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest way to eat for kidney stone formers (also the heart healthiest diet). This
diet consists of high intake of fruits and veggies, nuts and legumes, and low fat dairy and whole grains. The key to this diet is also low intake of sweetened beverages and red and processed meats. A high fat diet (meat and/or dairy) is the worst way to eat.

I hope this helps"


  1. It's good to hear a Doc NOT say "Decrease your calcium intake!" Calcium metabolism, as you know, is much more complicated than that.

    Ken D Berry MD

  2. A kidney stone is a hard mass developed from crystals that separate from the urine within the urinary tract. Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. These inhibitors do not seem to work for everyone,

    kidney stones