Can Calcium Supplements Cause Kidney Stone?
The role of calcium supplementation on kidney stone formation is currently controversial. Few studies have shown that people with a history of kidney stones may have a higher chances of stone formation if they use calcium supplements. This may be because these patients may have abnormal intestinal calcium absorption either due to an inherent tendency, or due to differences in calcium intake.
But people taking calcium under a doctor's advice should not stop taking calcium on their own, as there is evidence that dietary calcium intake is a protective factor against stone formation.
New studies have found that recurrence of kidney stones is higher in stone-formers who are on a low dietary calcium or if they have calcium deficiency.
In cases where calcium supplementation is medically necessary, patients should take calcium supplements and monitoring can be done for changes in the activity of stone disease.
It is best to get calcium from food and if supplements are prescribed by doctor, then take it along with meals.
Drink lots of fluids every day, it keeps the urine diluted, and helps flush away materials that can form stones. Typically, people with history of kidney stone should drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water and other fluids each day.
A diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, moderate in low-fat dairy products and low in animal proteins and salt can also help in reducing the chances of kidney stone formation.
In elderly a diet rich in calcium (1200 mg/day) is useful to maintain skeletal wellness and to prevent kidney stones. Reduction in sodium intake and a higher intake of potassium, magnesium and citrate is also helpful in reducing the risk factors for stone formation.
But higher supplementation of calcium should also be avoided as it may increase the risk for both the formation of kidney stones and cardiovascular diseases.