Can changes to your diet help avoid kidney stones?

About half of those who develop kidney stones will go on to develop them again.
About half of those who develop kidney stones will go on to develop them again.

Q. My husband has been diagnosed with kidney stones. Are there any diet changes he can make to reduce the risk of more developing?

Dr Dawn Harper says: "We don’t really know why kidney stones form, but they are more common in men than women, affecting around three in 20 men.

"About half of those who develop kidney stones will go on to develop them again, so you’re right to think about how to help your husband lower his risk.

"Diet advice usually focuses on reducing the amount of oxalates in the diet – natural substances present in foods such as rhubarb, beetroot, celery, asparagus, chocolate, berries, leeks, almonds, peanuts, soy products and grains.

"Oxalates prevent calcium being absorbed in the body, which can then accumulate in the kidneys and form stones.

"The best thing your husband can do is have plenty of fluids, especially water (not alcohol), as dehydration increases the risk of developing stones. A good indicator as to how well hydrated we are is the colour of our urine – it should be light and clear, not dark or cloudy."