How to Prevent Kidney Stones after Bariatric Surgery

How to Prevent Kidney Stones after Bariatric Surgery


Obesity is probably one of the biggest medical problems the United States has to deal with every year. One solution that has become very popular during the past decade is the usage of bariatric surgery as a way to treat obesity with few side effects.

Despite all the good things bariatric surgery may imply, there is one side effect that has been studied recently since more patients are presenting it, and it is kidney stones. The reason why this happens is due to the changes in the chemistry of the urine caused by metabolic changes in the body.

If you are an obese patient and you really want to stay away from kidney stones, here Joe Cosgrove will give you a list of tips and things that you can do in order to stay stone- free after going under a bariatric surgery.

Utilization of bariatric surgery continues to be high in the United States. Recent large, randomized trials confirm that patients have sustained weight loss, less mortality, and a decrease in obesity-related complications, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. Consume more calcium

After going under bariatric surgery, patients may experience a lot of positive changes, such as weight loss and controlled blood pressure. This happens because there is part of the gastrointestinal tract that is removed and the body loses its capacity to absorb substances that may be harmful to your diet.

However, when this part of the gastrointestinal tract is removed, the body also loses the capacity to absorb calcium as it used to and oxalate levels simply go up. This can cause your kidneys to form oxalate stones which can block the urinary tract.

A good way to prevent this from happening is to increase the amount of calcium you consume, this way you will be able to absorb more of it and the oxalate levels will remain controlled.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water

This advice applies not only if you had bariatric surgery. You should always try to consume at least two liters of water per day. A positive thing is that patients who had gone under bariatric surgery are required to drink lots of fluids during the day. So this should not be a big deal for them.

Consuming water is such an important thing to prevent kidney stones because it helps you dilute oxalate located in the urinary tract, that way you will be able to stay stone free.

Related: Intelligent Dieting

  1. Watch out for food with Oxalate

Since you are more prone to get high oxalate levels in your urinary tract, try to avoid foods that may contain this substance. Foods like black tea or dark leafy foods contain a great deal of oxalate. Also, try to avoid nuts, since they are high in calories and oxalate. These two factors may make it hard for you to lose weight and stay stone free.

  1. Try to Avoid Sodium

Kidney stones can also be caused by high levels of sodium, so reducing its intake is quite important. If you went under bariatric surgery, try to consume less salt and eat less processed and packaged food.

Consuming organic foods is a good way to stay stone free, also limiting your sodium intake to 1500 mg per day is a good way to go. So, you better read the food tags and labels to know if you can consume it.

  1. Have fewer Red Meat

Animal protein can also be harmful to your kidneys so cutting off its consumption can be rather helpful. After having a bariatric surgery, most patients are advised to consume lots of meat and protein, because this can help in the weight loss process.

However, most patients who had undergone bariatric surgery should avoid eating red meat and animal protein in general since it can cause you to get kidney stones. The best way to deal with this situation is by simply consuming more vegetable protein and less animal protein. Plant- based protein can be easily found in beans and legumes.

  1. Other tips

Image courtesy of Amy Sellers at

The best way to stay stone free for patients who have had bariatric surgery is to have a healthy diet. Since your gastrointestinal tract has changed and your metabolism is working in a different way, all the components that are filtered to your urine are also different. So may want to consume large amounts of fluids to help improve your diet.

One common problem that patients have when they are trying to consume healthy food is the time they need to dedicate to the process of preparing it. To deal with this matter, many specialists recommend patients to buy organic fruits and vegetables and canned legumes. It is important to keep in mind that canned beans need to be rinsed to avoid consuming a high concentration of sodium.

* Featured Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee at


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