Harvard Health Letter

New recommendations about kidney stones


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The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued new recommendations to prevent kidney stones from recurring. The guidelines, published Nov. 4, 2014, in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest that people who have had a kidney stone increase their fluid intake so that they pass at least 2 liters of urine per day. If that doesn't prevent kidney stone recurrence, the ACP recommends adding medication. ACP doctors also say that dietary changes may help prevent kidney stones, such as maintaining normal calcium levels and reducing dietary sodium, animal proteins, and oxalate (a substance in chocolate, beets, nuts, spinach, and rhubarb). A kidney stone occurs when tiny crystals in urine stick together to form a stone. About 13% of men and 7% of women in the U.S. population will develop a kidney stone during their lifetime. Studies show that the recurrence rate of kidney stones within five years of an initial stone ranges from 35% to 50% without treatment. 

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