I’m doomed to having kidney stones forever. I guess it’s no big deal since I’ve had them for the past 30 years anyway. The doctor got the analysis back from my stones and it’s calcium oxalate and there’s a diet I can follow to hopefully avoid having stones in the future.
Veggies to Avoid:
- Green Peppers*
- Lima Beans*
- Mustard Greens*
- Sweet Potatoes*
Fruits to Avoid:
It doesn’t say have these things in moderation. It says “AVOID”. Everything with an asterisk . . we grow here at home! What on earth can I eat? White potatoes, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, chard. We grow and eat a lot of veggies and at this point, I’m thinking having stones every 6 – 8 years may just be the price I have to pay to be able to eat the veggies that I love and I feel are healthy enough to justify the risk of kidney stones. Am I wrong?
Cola . . AVOID. Right!
Also on the avoid list: Grits and cranberry juice. Nuts! I’d always heard cranberry juice was good! And grits . . that’s the reason I grew corn! I live grits. I eat a few nuts during the day when I’m hungry.
Limit meat, poultry and fish to 5 oz per day! That’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I guess I can live on Reese’s Cups, Almond Joys and boiled eggs! Wait . . can’t have chocolate. I can have boiled eggs . . breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. 🙁
The only thing I saw on the info that was hopeful was that not enough calcium may cause more stones. I’ve been avoiding calcium (milk, ice cream – really!) so I can go back to having more milk than I’ve been having.
It’s pretty frustrating. It seems the more we know about the foods we eat, the more someone is saying we should avoid everything. When fruits, berries and veggies are off limits, I’m just not real sure what to do!
Yes, it is frustrating! Knowing there’s a diet I could follow and possibly avoid having kidney stones for the 11th time (yes, I’ve now had them 10 times but thankfully, only 5 surgeries for them!) and on the other hand, knowing it’s a diet I cannot possibly follow.
Gail Hickam Fines says
Don’t stress about it! The longer I live the more I notice how much dietary guidelines change, next year they could say that they were all wrong and that none of this correlates to kidney stones! They’ve done it with coffee and wine-now they’re good for us. So I’d just go for moderation and drink lots of water!
Oh MAN! That sounds a lot like what my dr. tells me only it’s all diabetes related. EVERY time I have my labs, he writes the same thing on the bottom of the results–‘continue to eat a no fried, low fat, blah, blah’. I always used to say to DH ‘there’s NOTHING left except cardboard’ and he’d say ‘I’ll eat cardboard with you’. Dr. was also assuming I’d been doing that (which I hadn’t). Last time I was in the office (he’s diabetic, too), I asked him if he followed his own advice and he said ‘not really’!! HA
Vicki W says
I think having allergies is easier. My restricted food list is longer than yours but my consequences are immediate. It makes it easy to avoid the foods! Good luck with the new diet. It’s a difficult adjustment but you will get there and will find good substitutions.
I think that since most of the oxalate in your system is created by your liver, that you should continue to eat a healthy diet, take magnesium supplements, eat calcium rich foods (but don’t take supplements) and drink lots and lots of pure water, with lemon juice. You might have to measure out the water you’re going to drink that day in the morning to ensure you get enough to keep the solids in your urine dilute enough to pass.
Here’s the advice I would follow:
Thanks for the link. There’s good info there too. I don’t think my magnesium levels would be low enough to cause a problem because we grow Swiss chard and spinach and eat lots of that. In fact, the chard produces all year here though the spinach dies back during the hottest part of the summer. We eat lots of pumpkin seeds because I roast them with spices and those are some of our main snacks. Almost every day, I’ll eat at least one avocado . . Vince and I split one on sandwiches at lunch and split on in salads at dinner.
I think some people are just more likely to make stones and I’m one of those lucky folks. I do think I don’t drink enough water, especially in the summer when I’m working outside so much.
Diana g in UK says
After many sessions of kidney stones I cut out nuts and onions… Cured it for the past 40+ years so I’ll stick to my ‘diet’
Ranch Wife says
How the heck is anyone supposed to live like THAT?! That’s a crazy list! Those are all the things that are so good and good for you! I wonder if maybe just one or two of those items are triggers for you. Did you look at the doctor like he was nuts?
Teri Jordan says
Yikes…..what a list….there is nothing left to enjoy……
My husband has had bad calcium kidney stones for years and does not want to do the diets, but he has added tons of water and that has eliminated any kidney stones for about 5 years….he might start feeling them starting…..so then he drinks lots of bottles of water and it must flush them out because he hasn’t had any trouble since he started doing that…..
Mary in VA says
Wow – I would starve if I followed that diet. I love the veggies on the list. good luck! i know having the stones is stressful, but not getting to eat anything you like is also stressful.
Leah Spencer says
What about adding lemon essential oil to your water? I got hooked on the flavor when I was pregnant with my first. It’s very good at flushing and detoxing. I started off with like 2 or 3 drops in my water and worked up to 10+ drops every bottle. I love how refreshing it tastes. Or even wild orange, grapefruit, lime, or bergamot essential oils could work.
Did they give you a list of foods to eat? i have heard that lemon, and juice, like w tea, is good to help them break up.
My husband has that same list as his stones were the same type. We have not eliminated those foods, but try to eat less and he does drink lots of water and lemonade or limeade–the citrus is advised to help eliminate them. Also almonds were a culprit and he has mostly eliminated them–used to eat a handful most afternoons for a snack. He still gets a very small amount in his granola I make. Two stones were found in his last episode, one was eliminated and one is still there, almost 2 years later and is so far down in the kidney, urologist says it may stay for years. Gets x-ray every 6 months and when large enough, will have lithotripsy.
I should have said the lemonade helps prevent them from forming, not eliminate them–I think that is correct.
Stephani in N. TX says
Welcome to Heartbreak Farms. How can you not eat what you grow, knowing you are avoiding the pesticides, etc. that is on so much of our bought-food. I must say, having worked in the medical field, I have seen more cases of stones here in TX that I have attributed to small towns with well water use or the nitrates being more common in well water. That might not be the case with your well water, but I imagine you have it tested for that. Otherwise, eat to your hearts content. Maybe by the next siege of stones, you will be 10 years older and not be farming like you do now. If stones occur more often, then get out that restricted list. I have restrictions as I have gotten Medicare age, and I have to really pay attention to them. But, not unless and until I really have to do so.
I think the only things I could give up from that list is lima beans and mustard greens! (The two items I dislike). 🙂 That would be a tough diet for me to follow. Good luck!
glen in louisiana says
I am like you, surprised that cranberry juice is not good. I thought it was like a potential cure!
Many many years ago I remember a conversation with a now deceased uncle. My sister had had kidney stones as had he, numerous times for him. He was telling me he determined the best ‘treatment’ was to drink a six-pack of beer whenever he felt them coming on. He said something in the beer opens the channels better to allow passage and I imagine having 6 beers probably dulled some of the pain, and beer of course does make one need to urinate. I cannot vouch for this method and know of no scientific testing. BTW, the uncle was not a drunk – he was a very upstanding citizen in his community involved with school boards, Kiwanis, and was an air traffic controller. Hope this brings a chuckle, and I don’t think I’d enjoy giving up (?) all those favorite foods that you grow!
Byron suffers with kidney stones too. He has one now but it is not on the move so he is not in pain so far. He did some research online about preventing them and read about lemon or lime juice. The citrates in the juice is supposed to keep the oxalate crystals from joining together to make stones. He has started adding a half cup of lemon juice concentrate to 7 cups of water and drinks that every day. The blood in his urine has stopped and so far he is feeling good. Not sure if this is the answer or not but it is what he is trying for now. Hope you can be stone free for a long long time!
Gail Frenz says
Looks like you can go back to making that yummy yogurt. You know the one. It’s the one you posted recently showing us all your Cuisinart yogurt maker. I was so caught by that post that I immediately purchased the same maker and have probably been eating too much yogurt ever since. It’s absolutely wonderful drained to make it Greek yogurt, with a teaspoon of the peach jam I canned last summer, and a heaping tablespoon of granola (made from the recipe in the book that came with the maker). And I wonder why I can’t stay on my diet.
Speaking of diets, I think I’d be looking at yours in the same way as you are. Yikes! You tempt us all every day with your delicious meals using wonderful things from your garden, and now he says you have to give up those things I’ve always though were so healthy. Good luck with that, Judy.
Gayle Bong says
Wish I had a solution for you. You have my sympathies. I was on a yeast free diet for a year. Yuk.
wanda j says
Judy once again the calcium part has come up. Take calcium citrate make sure it has that on the front of bottle. It binds to the oxalate and keeps them form forming stones.
Yes everything good we eat forms oxalate . Sad but true and who can live a lifetime without greens?
I know you might have had this checked but just a reminder. Have your parathyroids checked. Not thyroid but parathyroids.They sit right on top of thyroids on either side of your neck. Not something most doctors know about. If out of whack they cause your body to suck out calcium out of your bones and make kidney stones. It is an easy test. Just and Necular medicine test ( type of test in Xray department)to see it one is or isn’t working. They might do an ultra sound too. But it is better to test for this and make sure they are ok. (Been there done that) . They can take out bad one and the problem stops right then. Just google and see.
Wish you had gotten better news on this.
I think I’d eat the same and just get checked more frequently so that you can have less invasive intervention sooner. Good luck!
Rebecca in SoCal says
Our bodies sure are a puzzle, aren’t they? I’ve not had kidney stones, but I think I can understand your resignation to repeats: that food is GOOD!
Does Dr. Pepper count as a cola? At least you have cut way back on that!
As a fellow sufferer of kidney stones of the calcium/oxalate kind, I have found that I can supplement with calcium as long as it is the calcium citrate and I only take half the recommended dose. I need to supplement as I can’t tolerate a lot of dairy. Lime juice is recommended more than lemon juice. You can eat most anything in moderation as long as you drink enough water to keep your urine clear or very pale yellow. I am surprised that spinach was not on your list as that was on mine. I find I can eat it though if I drip some lemon juice or vinegar on it before eating it.
Angie S. says
Judy – Sorry to hear about your kidney stone type! I have had the same. My surgery was in December ’11 and the list I was given was similar to yours, other than I was told to not have sesame seeds (hence no tahini or hummus, which I love) and kale was acceptable…also, I was told to drink a lot of water, so I have drunk about a gallon per day since then. When I went back for my 1 year check up, my oxalates were up almost double what they were when I had the stones, so he told me to start taking calcium citrate as has already been mentioned here. I also didn’t have any sign of stones from my ultrasound. The next year, my oxalates were down, and my calcium was up too high, so he told me to cut back on my calcium supplements, but still keep up the water intake.
Hope your stones don’t come back too soon! I know I don’t want to have another surgery myself….taking the stent out is the worst for me. I’ve decided that some of the list items are acceptable in moderation and I still have some things rarely, rather than never. My water, I think, made all the difference for me.