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People who drink less fluids than this every day more likely to develop kidney stones

Kidney stone patients should also add more fruits and veg that are high in calcium and potassium to their diets.

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Attractive young dark skinned sportsman with short beard drinking water from bottle looking far away with thoughtful face expression, dressed in black sleeveless shirt, relaxing after morning run
Doctors recommend drinking about six pints of fluid per day. (Cast Of Thousands via Shutterstock)

By Stephen Beech via SWNS

People who drink less than six pints of fluids a day are more likely to develop kidney stones, according to a new study.

But diets higher in calcium and potassium may help prevent a recurrence of the painful condition, say scientists.

Kidney stones cause not only excruciating pain but also are associated with chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

People who have experienced a kidney stone once have a 30 percent chance of having another within five years.

Changes in diet are often prescribed to prevent recurrent symptomatic kidney stones.

However, little research had been conducted until now regarding dietary changes for those who have had a kidney stone compared to those who have recurrent incidents.

Researchers in the United States designed a study to investigate the impact of dietary changes.

Their findings, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, show that enriching diets with foods high in calcium and potassium may prevent recurrent kidney stones.

healthy eating, drinks, diet and detox concept - close up of glasses with different fruit or vegetable juices and food on table
Fluids can also be from fruit and vegetable juices which are also high in calcium. (Ground Picture/Shutterstock)

Dietary factors were based on a questionnaire taken by more than 400 patients who had experienced first-time symptomatic kidney stones and a control group of 384 people - all of whom were seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Mayo Clinic in Florida between 2009 and 2018.

The findings show that lower dietary calcium and potassium, as well as lower intake of fluids, caffeine and phytate, are associated with higher odds of experiencing a first-time symptomatic kidney stone.

Study senior author Dr. Andrew Rule, a Mayo Clinic nephrologist, said: "These dietary findings may have particular importance because recommendations for preventing kidney stones have been based primarily on dietary factors associated with first-time rather than recurrent stone formation.

"Patients may not be likely to adjust their diet to prevent an incidence of kidney stones, but they are more likely to do so if it can help prevent a recurrence."

He said fluid intake of fewer than 3.4 liters per day (six pints), or about nine 12-ounce glasses, is associated with first-time stone formation, along with caffeine intake and phytate.

Daily fluid intake includes intake from foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Rule said: "Low fluid and caffeine intake can result in low urine volume and increased urine concentration, contributing to stone formation.

"Phytate is an antioxidant compound found in whole grains, nuts and other foods that can lead to increased calcium absorption and urinary calcium excretion."

He added: "Changing your diet to prevent kidney stones can be very difficult.

"Thus, knowing the dietary factors that are most important for preventing kidney stone recurrence can help patients and providers know what to prioritize."

health food- various of fruit and vegetable
Many fruits and vegetables are high in calcium. (Chatham172/Shutterstock)

Study first author Dr. Api Chewcharat said low dietary calcium and potassium were more important predictors than fluid intake of recurrent kidney stone formation.

He added: "This is not to say high fluid intake is not important.

"We just did not find benefits of increasing fluid intake among those patients with a history of kidney stone formation."

The study concludes that diets with daily intake of 1,200 milligrams of calcium may help prevent first-time and recurrent kidney stones.

Dr. Chewcharat says kidney stone patients should add more fruits and veg that are high in calcium and potassium to their diets.

Fruits high in potassium include bananas, oranges, grapefruits, cantaloupes, honeydew melons and apricots. Vegetables include potatoes, mushrooms, peas, cucumbers and courgettes.

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