Food and health

Calcium Oxalate Stones – Who Is At Risk

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Any person can be at a risk of some form of kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stones are the most prevalent type of kidney stones.

One out of ten people is becoming susceptible to some form of kidney stones and the studies show that 80% of those stones are caused by too much calcium in the bloodstream and urine, hence calcium oxalate stones, among other stones.

Without further ado let’s unpack what calcium oxalate stones are and the impact they have during urination and how they can be mitigated.

What are calcium oxalate stones

There are different types of kidney stones, according to studies calcium oxalate stones, are the most common kidney stones accounting for 80% of all the stones formed.

Kidney stones are the solid masses that form due to high concentration of some chemicals in the urine with little fluid to prevent the crystals from sticking together, these include: uric acid, calcium, oxalate, etc.

Citrate in the urine plays a vital role in preventing crystals to form stones, the inadequacy thereof may create a conditition in which new stones may develop.

Kidney stones are described as the most excruciating pain when they pass. This is due to the reason that a stone can be large enough to block the flow of urine as it moves through the urinary tract. The recurrence is likely to happen when you are susceptible to kidney stones.

Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance found in foods and can be excreted internally by the liver as well. Oxalate impairs the proper absorption of calcium in the intestinal tract due to calcium oxalate salts. When oxalate overaccumulates in the urine, it can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

Ideally, consume your oxalate rich foods together with foods rich in calcium. This way the oxalate will bind together with calcium during digestive process and will prevent urinary oversaturation with these substances.

Well, not all is doom and gloom, the person who have a history with some form of kidney stones can always consult their doctor to arrange a diet plan on how to limit foods rich with oxalate, as they have been linked to the increased risk of kidney stones including other health issues.

What causes the risk of calcium oxalate stones 

There are certain factors which are associated with the increased risks of calcium oxalate stones formation. These includes:

  • Certain diets such as too much sodium, oxalate and high animal protein can contribute to kidney stone formation.
  • Medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism among others, causes high levels of calcium in the bloodstream due to an overproduction of parathyroid hormone, this contributes to new stones development.
  • Family and personal history, if you are prone to kidney stone its because you’ve developed a kidney stone before or its common in your family. This puts you at an increased risk to develop another kidney stone.
  • Dehydration is the result of insufficient fluids in your diet, this can therefore create an environment conducive to kidney stone formation.
  • Surgeries and digestive diseases inflammatory bowel disease and gastric bypass surgery impairs the absorption of calcium during a digestive process thereby contributing to the development of calcium oxalate stone.
  • High body mass index, large waist and overweight has also been linked to increased risks of kidney stones.

Calcium oxalate stones and supplements

While supplements contrbute to our daily nutrients intake, its ideal to get those nutrients from foods as opposed to supplements.

Vitamin C is coverted to oxalate once consumed and taking too much vitamin C supplements can result in the overaccumulation of oxalate in the urine which leads to the development of new stones when combined with high amount of calcium.

On the other hand calcium supplements can lead to calcium overload in the urine. Studies have linked supplements to increased risk of kidney stones. Too much calcium in the urine can form crystals which may lead to calcium oxalate stones formation when bound to high levels of oxalate.

Vitamin D supplements have been linked to high levels of calcium in the blood and urine, they thus increase the risk of kidney stone development.

Consulting your healthcare provider before embarking on any supplements intake, may help.

Your doctor will assess your overall health, lifestyle and so forth to determine what is suitable for you, besides it always helps to make an informed decision about anything at all.

Foods rich in oxalate

Some oxalates come directly from the foods we consume whereas some are excreted internally by the body.

  • Spinach
  • Rhubard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Swiss chard
  • Beats
  • Seesame seeds
  • Chocolate with cocoa
  • Peanuts
  • Buckwheat flower
  • Almonds

Foods low in oxalate

  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Brocolli and cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Onions and pepper
  • Mushroom
  • Brown rice

The precautionary measures to keep calcium oxalate stones at bay

Prevention is always better than cure. It helps to create an environment that makes it harder for kidney stones to form.

  • Drinking sufficient amount of water


Increase your urine volume, enough fluids in the urine will help dilute the waste products in the urine. When the urine is oversaturated with toxic waste, coupled with insufficient fluid, this result in the building up of crystals over time leading to kidney stones formation.

Citrate also plays a vital role in          preventing crystals from clumping up in the urine, this way new stones will be prevented from being formed. It helps to include citrus fruits in your diet or drinks containing citrus, however take note of the sugar content in those drinks as too much sugar spikes the sugar levels in your blood.

  • Limit your sodium intake

According to guidelines the RDA for  sodium is 2300 mg for adults, unless you have some medical conditions in which you are required to restrict your sodium intake further than that. Too much sodium can result in calcium in the urine and when calcium overaccumulates in  the urine, this can lead to the building up of crystals which results in the formation stones.

  • Limit oxalate rich foods.

Oxalate rich foods are linked to increased risks of forming calcium oxalate stones. It helps to minimise  the number of oxalate rich foods in your diet particularly if you are susceptible to kidney stones of course with the advise of  your healthcare provider.

  • Take your daily recommended amount of calcium

It’s worth noting that although calcium plays a vital role in                maintaining the health of our bones, teeth and muscles, however an overload of calcium due to supplements contributes to the          formation of calcium oxalate stone.  Conversely, low calcium in the diet  can cause high levels of urinary oxalate which consequently leads to new stones formation.

  • Consume less animal protein

Certain diets such as animal protein when consumed in high amounts can result in the overaccumulation of uric acid which contributes to stones formation.

Too much animal protein can also reduce the amount of citrate in the  urine which plays a vital role as an  inhibitor to stones formation.

The bottom line

Oxalate rich foods should not be of concern especially when you are generally healthy. It also helps to take some preventive measures listed above to stay healthy.

The individuals who are prone to kidney stones including those with other medical conditions that require strict restrictions, should consult their doctor to help develop a diet plan that suits them after evaluating their overall health, diet and lifestyle.


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  1. Hello,

    I am a physician, I was searching for an excellent medical article, and while doing that, I found your blog! It is a great find. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common kidney stones, and it is one of the most painful conditions anyone can have.

    In my experience, so many people suffer from this condition due to a lack of water consumption, aka dehydration. So I advise everyone to drink the right amount of water every day.

  2. The advice is brilliant. This article is very helpful for people’s health. I love what you have written. This is ultimate guide to prevent kidney stone as far as I know. Rich of information it can really helps if only can follow and your site easy to understand and very nice theme.

  3. Thank you for writing this post. This is something a lot of people don’t consider when looking at what they eat. Some very interesting facts here.

  4. Interesting post!
    I like how much detail you have gone into here and how useful this information could be.
    I have always been interested in preventing kidney stones from occurring mostly because they sound very painful.
    I try to drink plenty of water every day and keep my diet from being too loaded with extra sodium to reduce the risk of building up a kidney stone.
    Thanks for a great and helpful post!

  5. Hello Maggie
    A very interesting article.
    My sister actually had to have a Kidney removed due to the damage a stone made.
    She is ok of course because we have two kidneys but the warning was there for her to change her diet.
    As far as I’m concerned, you are what you eat, and eating plenty of veggies and fruit should prevent the formation of stones.
    I will be passing on your article to my sister because I know she will be interested.
    Have a great day.
    Robert Allan

    1. Hi Robert
      Thanks for your feedback and I’m sorry to learn that your sister has had a kidney stone experience however she can always consult her doctor before making any diet plan changes, especially because of her experience, that way the doctor will be able to assess her situation and help with a diet plan that suits her.

  6. Nice informative information. My mom had kidney stones recently and I felt so bad for her because they hurt every time she went to the restroom. I have booked mark this page. Its very important to stay hydrated

  7. Thank you for sharing this article. From reading through this article, I see the importance of drinking water and also watching what you eat. I’ll think twice when drinking water as it helps to also keep the body hydrated and helps in cleansing the body unwanted waste.

    Keep posting more of these. It is great and many can learn a great deal from your articles.

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