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Kick kidney stones

health-and-fitness Updated: Nov 21, 2011 01:40 IST
Anjali Mukerjee
Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times
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Kidney stones cause excruciating pain to the sufferer. They form when minerals and salts are present in excess in urine. The undissolved portions of the minerals form crystals, which together grow into hard stones and are usually formed in the kidneys.

Diet is one of the factors which can promote or inhibit kidney stone formation. There are five types of kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stones are the most commonly found stones, which form when the urine is acidic. Person suffering, should maintain the recommended daily allowance of calcium and limit foods high in oxalate such as beans, legumes, beets, chocolates, dark green leaves, spinach.

Calcium phosphate stones are less common and are formed when the urine is alkaline. Those suffering from it should avoid foods rich in phosphates like whole cereals, legumes, nuts, oil seeds, meat, fish, eggs and milk. Those with uric acid stones pass acidic urine. It occurs when diet is rich in animal proteins, so patients should avoid organ meats, asparagus and mushrooms and sweet breads.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee, nutritionist. You can email your health related queries at bodyandsoul@hindustantimes.com

Diet to help avoid the risk of developing kidney stones:
* Drink 2.5 litres of water daily to keep urine diluted
* Opt for wholegrains, avoid refined flour
* Potassium-rich foods help lower the urinary calcium excretion
* Take the juice of half a lemon in warm water each morning
* Cut down on fizzy drinks, coffee and alcohol.