At the International Kidney Stone Institute, our goal is nothing less than the cure.

General Recommendations for Kidney Stone Prevention

You can prevent kidney stones! To reduce your risk of forming new stones, please follow these guidelines:

Increase Urine Volume

The number one thing you can do to prevent stone formation is to drink more fluids, thereby diluting your urine. Your goal should be to urinate more than two liters per day. All fluids (water, coffee, juice, soda) count towards this goal, but you should avoid grapefruit juice. Water is the best choice. To avoid issues related to certain types of water (hard water with high calcium content, softened water with high sodium content), purified bottled water is highly recommended.

Consume Adequate Calcium

Stone formers sometimes think they should restrict calcium intake. There is no research that supports this practice. Your body needs dietary calcium to support the skeleton. We encourage you to consume two servings of dairy (but no more than two) or other calcium-rich food per day to maintain bone stores of calcium. If possible, avoid calcium supplements in tablet or capsule form.

Decrease Salt/Sodium Intake

The human body carefully regulates its sodium levels. When excess sodium is excreted in the urine, calcium is also excreted proportionally. In other words, the more sodium you take in and excrete, the more calcium you waste in the urine. Excess calcium in the urine can lead to new stone formation. Try to reduce dietary sources of sodium, including fast foods, packaged or canned foods, and salty snacks. Watch out for “silent sources” such as softened water and sports drinks. Your goal should be to consume less than 2 grams (2000 milligrams) per day of sodium . It may be helpful to see a registered dietician to accomplish this.

Decrease Protein Intake

Most Americans exceed necessary protein intake. This can lead to uric acid stone formation. As a general recommendation, limit your daily protein intake to 12 ounces per day of beef, poultry, fish and pork. Twelve ounces is equivalent in size to about three decks of cards. This will be plenty to meet your body's needs.