Uric Acid Kidney Stones- Causes and Prevention
By: Dr. Gary Bellman on August 20, 2013
Good voiding habits, particularly frequent urination, are important. Of all the preventive recommendations, drinking enough fluids is the most important guideline for people with any type of kidney stones.
Patients with calcium or uric acid stones should drink at least 10 full glasses of fluid each day (at least half should be water). Drinking a glass with each meal and fluids at night should produce at least two-and-a-half quarts of urine each day. A high level of uric acid in the urine, (low pH) that is not very soluble, can lead to formation of crystals and thus stones. A high uric acid in the urine can result from too much uric acid in urine or normal levels of uric acid but in small amounts of urine. For the treatment of uric acid stones along with good hydration, increasing the urine pH (alkalization) is also essential to dissolve the stones.
Fluids can be in the form of water, barley water, coconut water, fruit juices, and vegetable juices. However, sure that more than 50% of the fluid is in the form of water is important. This increase in fluid levels will help to dilute the urine, decrease the acid level and flush the toxins from the body.
Uric acid stones can form in people consume a high animal-protein diet and those who have gout. Certain genetic factors may also may increase risks of uric acid stones. There are several other factors in the diet that instigate uric acid stones formation; breaking up of ‘purines’, which are found in the human body tissue and in certain food products such as beans, peas, liver, and certain alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol consumption can be avoided whenever possible– as it causes uric acid build-up in the body. Proteins from low-fat dairy products, tofu, and egg whites can be preferred. Milk and yogurt especially should be included in the daily diet (one serving each minimum) as data shows they have a positive effect on lowering the uric acid levels in the body. Also, incorporating whole grain products into the diet like cereals, pastas, rice, wheat breads (without yeast) are also seen to be beneficial.
Different kidney stone types may require specific dietary changes and patients are recommended to work with their doctors to develop an individualized plan. Nutritional considerations are very important in preventing recurrence.
Before making any drastic changes in your diet or lifestyle, speak with your specialist to weigh the pros and cons of your treatment and choose which is best for you.
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