Kidney stone disease is common in our country. Turkey is one of the countries in the world where kidney stone disease is common especially in children. On average, 2 to 3 out of every 100 people have kidney stone disease. It is four times more common in men compared to women. Kidney stone disease is treatable and preventable, but if not taken care of, it can cause a process leading to kidney failure. A kidney stone patient should know that this disease is recurrent and should learn to live with it.
Genetic predisposition and malnutrition have a significant role in the formation of kidney stone disease, especially in our country. Treatment does not only involve surgery. At least as important as surgery is the prevention of the disease. Of course, we cannot interfere with the genetic predisposition, but we can prevent the occurrence or at least recurrence of this disease. Nutrition is very important. Because unbalanced nutrition can cause kidney stone disease or cause the disease to recur. So how should these patients be fed?
Water Consumption In Kidney Stone Disease
First of all, daily water intake should be given importance and fluid losses should be compensated. It has been reported in studies that increasing the daily urine amount from 1000 cc to 2000 cc prevents kidney stone disease by 70%. Therefore, daily water intake is very important. Especially alkaline water and purified water should be consumed. I recommend that these kidney stone patients consume an average of 3-3.5 liters of water per day. If alkaline water cannot be consumed, I recommend consuming water by adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a 20-liter dispenser-size bottle.
On the other hand, these patients should be careful not to consume too much salt daily. A high salt diet can cause kidney stone formation due to its sodium content. Salt consumption should not exceed an average of 4 grams per day. A diet rich in red meat and animal protein can increase the amount of uric acid in the urine, leading to kidney stone disease. Kidney stone patients should limit their red meat and animal protein intake. Calcium content should not be restricted in the diet, milk and dairy products should be consumed as needed. Unless otherwise stated by the doctor, no special arrangement is required for calcium consumption. The presence of citrate and citric acid in the urine dissolves the stone components and contributes positively to the prevention of kidney stone disease. Therefore, it is important to consume plenty of citrate-containing foods. The amount of citrate in the urine can be increased by consuming a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice daily. Calcium oxalate is the most common type of kidney stone in our country. Therefore, restricting oxalate-containing foods in these patients is a rational approach. This restriction can be achieved by not consuming hazelnuts, chocolate, collard greens, tomato, tea, coffee and carbonated drinks.
In addition to the dietary arrangements above, these patients should develop a balanced lifestyle, do regular and light exercise, stay away from stress, and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. It should not be forgotten that it is more important to prevent the occurrence of a disease than to treat it. Kidney stone disease can be prevented or at least the recurrence periods can be reduced. Diet is very important in the prevention of this disease.
Finally, I strongly recommend my patients to exercise regularly, consume plenty of water and a balanced diet.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kıraç
Urology Department of Koru Ankara Hospital