In more good news, I think I passed the kidney stone that was giving me problems/pain the last few days. Kidney stones are terrible and anyone that has them knows how much it sucks to have one causing you constant pain.
Kidney Stone Prevention
So that part of this terrible, awful, no fun journey of kidney stones is over. But it’s far from over for me really. I still have two more kidney stones hanging out in my kidney. As long as they are hanging out and not moving then I don’t have a problem. They can stay there forever and cause me no pain. But if they decide they want to make the journey out then the pain will come back.
And now that I’ve had kidney stones, specifically multiple kidney stones, I’m at a much higher risk for developing more. Lucky me, right?
That increased risk has made me realize that I need to make even more changes. It’s not enough that I’m trying to be healthier to lose weight. Now I need to do the things that make me lose weight and also prevent kidney stones.
While it is not terribly exciting to learn that you have to change the way you eat because of an illness, it is good to know that you can take control of the situation. Changing how you eat and following the right diet tips to prevent kidney stones is a great first step in preventing kidney stones.
Any anyone who has ever had kidney stones before knows that preventing more from developing is very important!
Diet Tips For People With Kidney Stones
The following are guidelines for eating to prevent kidney stones and in parenthesis my thoughts about them.
- Drink more water. Lots of water. 8 to 10 glasses day, or about a gallon a day and at night too. (I’m a big fan of water luckily. This one won’t be too hard for me. But there have been days in the past where I let myself get relatively dehydrated. This can no longer happen. I HAVE TO DRINK MORE WATER.)
- Limit food high with oxalates. Foods with oxalates include: rhubarb, spinach, beets, swiss chard, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra, chocolate, sweet potatoes [high content]…as well as, grits, grapes, celery, green peppers, raspberries, fruit cake, and strawberries . (This is the part that makes me sad. All of this stuff is “healthy food” for the most part. I can still eat it obviously, but now need to limit it. I love spinach and sweet potatoes and chocolate and everything on the medium content list. These are things I eat pretty often, so now I need to completely change what I eat a lot of as I limit these items. Hard.)
- Limit animal protein (beef, pork, poultry, seafood). From Nicole: Because animal proteins can cause a build up of uric acid, decreasing meat and seafood intake helps prevent kidney stones many times (~15% of your calories from protein). This will probably result in an increased mono and polyunsaturated fat intake – nuts, seeds, nut butters, etc, and carbohydrates should comprise 50-55% of your intake. (This one is hard for me too and something I’ll have to work on over time. I’m used to eating a ton of animal protein – most of my meals are based off of it. So I need to learn how to eat less/cut back/make some vegetarian meals. Once again this isn’t something I have to eliminate entirely, but do need to cut back on. It’s another thing that will be hard.)
- Limit sodium intake. Sodium should be limited to 2,300 milligrams (1 teaspoon) or less each day. (This won’t be the hardest. I don’t add salt to my food. Just need to be more conscious about sodium content in food products. Junk food is bad!)
- Eat more fiber, at least 25 g a day. Fiber includes oat bran, beans, whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, cabbage, and carrots. (This is fine since I try to eat more fiber anyway. Now I know that it is really important.)
- Eat a moderate or high amount of calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products. Getting your recommended amounts of calcium – at least 1,000 milligrams a day. Recommended between 1,200 and 2,000 milligrams. (I can do this. I like dairy and love to drink milk. I was worried I’d have to cut it out, but I’m thinking I just need to switch up the vitamins I take to make this work out.)
And there you have it. Thanks again to Nicole! Those are the changes I have to make if I want to do my best to prevent more kidney stones and pain. And I do want to prevent them. I do want to be and stay healthy. I suppose it’s just one more reason to do this. One more reason to follow through with all the healthy behaviors and beat back the bad habits that caused me to become obese.
In theory it seems so easy. You have a list of rules and you know what you need to do. But sometimes it’s just so much to think about. That’s what leads me to get frustrated and just give up and eat complete and utter crap like I have the last two days or so. There are so many things to keep in check each day when you are the one preparing your food and trying to keep everything straight (and when you are bad at math like I am). It seems so easy and so hard at the same time. But just like losing weight is something I have to do, so is this. It’s not really an option. It’s what will keep my body healthy and pain free. So I have got to learn how to live with it and how to make it work.
Have you ever had to change your diet due to medical issues beyond just losing weight? How did you do it?