Eating bananas, cucumbers, mushrooms and apricots could help recurrent incidents of kidney stones, new research has shown.

A new study into the dietary changes people could make to reduce the risk of kidney stones coming back has found that eating calcium and potassium-rich foods could help.

As well as being extremely painful, kidney stones have been linked to the development of kidney disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in America set out to examine the impact dietary changes can have on a single incident of kidney stones, compared to the effect on recurring episodes. For people who have had one episode, they have a 30% chance of having kidney stones again within a five-year period.

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 recurrence.”

The study saw a questionnaire answered by 411 people with first-time kidney stones and a control group of 384 patients seen between 2009 and 2018. It showed that people who consumed less calcium and potassium-rich food were at a greater risk of having a first-time kidney stone.

Not drinking enough fluid can increase urine concentration, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones, but this was found to be less of a predictor of kidney stones during the study than low calcium and potassium intake.

First author Dr Api Chewcharat said: “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.”

Dr Rule 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 prioritise.”

Other foods high in calcium and potassium include oranges, grapefruits, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, potatoes, peas, and zucchini.

Read the study in full in the journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

 

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