LisaN62 Asked :
I have been having repeated calcium kidney stones and even though I have tried many drugs, the stones keep coming back. If I am lucky, I will go like 3 months without stones. After reading up on the internet and speaking to the salespeople at a health store, I started up on some vitamin supplements.
This did not stop it and I went back to the clinic. I did not see my regular doctor but another doctor told me that I should stop all the supplements as they could cause stone formation. He did not offer much more advice and just gave me another prescription. I am confused because there is some conflicting advice out there about how to prevent kidney stones.
I have now stopped all the supplements. I was on calcium and magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin D and I take a multivitamin.
This question was posted under the Kidney Stone Medication, Drugs to Dissolve and for Passing Stones article.
Any response by the Health Hype team does not constitute a medical consultation and the advice should be viewed purely as a guide. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your current treatment program. The information provided in this article is not an authoritative resource on the subject matter and solely intends to guide the reader based on the questions asked and information provided.
Dr. Chris Answered :
Calcium oxalate stones are a common type of kidney stones caused by high calcium and oxalate levels in the urine. Calcium in the gut binds to oxalate in the foods that you eat and prevents the body from absorbing oxalate. It is oxalate intake that has to be kept down and this can be done with a normal calcium intake – there is no need to take mega doses of calcium if you are doing so. Extra calcium will be passed out in the urine and this can further aggravate the problem. If you have a high oxalate levels in the urine, then the calcium will bind with it to form kidney stones.
Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption as it helps to form a hormone known as clacitriol which is needed to absorb calcium from the gut. Vitamin D should be avoided if you are having recurring kidney stones as it promotes the absorption of vitamin D and if you body does not need this calcium, it will pass it out in the urine. So you should focus on a normal calcium intake rather than a high intake. Vitamin D would not be necessary unless you have other diseases related to vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps to decrease oxalate production in the body which ultimately reduces the levels in the urine. This vitamin can be beneficial if your doctor confirms that your urine has high levels of oxalate (hyperuricosuria). You should be aware that vitamin C may increase oxalate excretion – you would want to avoid this. It does not usually occur with low doses of vitamin C but considering the supplements that you are taking plus your regular diet, you could be having too much of vitamin C.
If you are eating a healthy diet, you should not need these supplements. Before considering supplementation, speak to your regular doctor who knows your history and ask for a referral to a reputable dietitian/nutritionist. A well balanced eating plan is better than any vitamin or mineral supplementation and the dietitian will advise you on which foods to avoid for kidney stones. If your doctor feels supplementation is necessary, he/she will advise you on which supplements will be best for you.
It is important to ascertain the cause of kidney stones in your case and it is recurring so frequently. Your doctor will conduct the necessary tests to confirm or exclude any condition that may be contributing to kidney stone formation.
Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on May 29, 2010