Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I used to eat all the right foods: yams, pumpkin soup, parsley, cilantro, green leafy vegetables, and almonds. Then I got a kidney stone. All the foods that have been called healthy are now supposedly unhealthy. What are your thoughts on this?
A: It is true that some of these foods in high concentrations and under specific conditions may cause kidney stones. However, ruling out any serious conditions with the kidneys or congenital conditions, I believe the cause for stone formation is probably due to lack of sufficient water intake. You need at least 80 ounces of fluids per day to properly flush out the kidneys.
Also, some people tend to overdo supplementation, which can overbuild calcium deposits in the system if not flushed properly. I would suggest first increasing your water intake. Then, moderate these foods and consume a more balanced diet. You should also include fish or other omega-rich foods.
There are specific treatment protocols for stones within traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); you might consult a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist to discuss these options.