A high incidence of Kidney stone disease, is seen these days with reports suggesting a prevalence of 1 in 7 people suffering from it.

Q: What is single most Important aspect of diet to reduce chance of stones

A: Drinking enough fluid is the most important aspect. As a rough guide one should try to keep urine colourless throughout the day; this equals to a urine output of at least 2 litres per day. All extra loss by sweating must be replaced.

Q: What can be taken to drink?

A: Water is the best drink. Herbal tea is okay but Caffeinated tea, coffee should be consumed only in moderation Cola drinks and alcoholic beverages are not suitable.

Q: Is there a specific dietary advise you give to your patients ?

A: A well-balanced diet without excessive amount of calories. A high fibre diet is also important, Most important is a diet low in salt. Avoid high-salt, tinned, packet and processed foods (e.g. soups, salted chips, pickles and papad.

Q: Can stone formers eat dairy products and other protein?

A: Yes, but intake of protein should be restricted. A high intake of animal protein appears to increase the risk of stone formation. 

Q: I’ve heard that calcium is a bad thing to have in the diet if you have kidney stones. Is this true?

A: Kidney stones usually contain calcium. Traditionally it was thought that it was beneficial to restrict calcium, but it has now been shown better to have a moderate or even slightly higher calcium intake. The reason for this is that calcium binds oxalate in the gut and prevents it being absorbed. A daily intake of up to 1000mg per day is recommended for calcium stone formers. It might be important to reduce the calcium in your diet, in certain specific conditions.Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, curd, cream and cheese. A normal, varied diet will give the average person about 500mg of calcium before adding in any dairy products. Milk and curd contain about 120mg per 100cc.

Q: An age old adage is “Avoid green vegetables, tomatoes and nuts”. Is this true?

A: These are oxalate rich food products. It is not necessary to exclude oxalate-rich foods completely; simply eat them in small amounts. Other foods high in oxalate are: Beetroot, Strawberries, Black Tea, Chocolate.

Q: Are there any other tests that can be done to investigate why stones form?

A: Yes. In all patients who have had a kidney stone blood tests are done to check the kidney function and also ensure that the levels of uric acid or calcium in the blood are not too high. In high risk stone formers, or those who have had recurrent stones, then collection of two 24hr urine specimens for analysis is important. Your doctor can tell you more about this.