Kidney stones are not just extremely painful but also linked to cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and chronic kidney disease. The likelihood of developing another kidney stone within five years increases by around 30 percent if a person already had one.
According to a recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceeding, changes in diet are often prescribed to prevent recurrent symptoms of kidney stones. However, little research is available regarding dietary changes for those who have at least one encounter with kidney stone formation versus those who have recurrent incidents.
The researchers from the Mayo Clinic designed a prospective study and investigated the dietary changes in the two classes. Their findings show that diets rich in calcium and potassium may prevent the recurrent symptoms of kidney stones in a person.
These factors were based on questionnaires sent out to 411 patients who had experienced first-time symptoms of kidney stones. The study shows that lesser intake of calcium and potassium as well as lower intake of fluids such as caffeine and phytate are associated with higher old's of first-time symptoms of kidney stones.
Out of the first time stone formation, 73 experienced recurrent stones within 4.1 years of the follow up. The further analysis found a lower level of dietary calcium and predicted recurrence.
Andrew Rule, M.D., a Mayo Clinic nephrologist and senior author of the study 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 further 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," said Api Chewcharat, M.D., the article's first author and a postdoctoral research fellow at Mayo Clinic at the time of the study.
However, higher potassium intake is stringently recommended, the USDA does not make a recommendation for daily potassium intake. Moreover, the study also doesn't recommend a daily intake of the same.