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U.S. News and World Report: America's Best Hospitals, Urology, 2012-13

 

Sodium

For Patients

If you suspect you have stones, visit your primary care provider or urologist.

If you've been diagnosed with stones and would like to be seen in the Metabolic Stone Clinic, please call (608) 263-4757.

Excessive sodium contributes to the recurrence of any type of kidney stone, particularly calcium and cystine stones.
 
For the treatment of hypercalciuria, a reduction in sodium intake is most important. Getting your sodium intake low enough can reduce the amount of calcium lost in your urine. Medication will not be 100 percent effective unless your sodium intake is reduced. The salt shaker only contributes to about 15 percent of sodium intake. Therefore, multiple strategies must be employed.
  • First, eliminate or reduce the amount of salt (sodium chloride) you add to foods. You are in control of the salt shaker. Also note that certain spice mixes and blends (such as garlic salt, onion salt, and lemon pepper) contain sodium.
  • Second, reduce your intake of high-sodium foods, including: cheese and cottage cheese; salted meats (sausage, bacon, ham, pastrami, luncheon meats); salty snacks (salted nuts, chips, pretzels, salted popcorn, crackers); convenience foods (Hamburger Helper®, flavored mashed potato mixes, frozen entrees); canned soups and vegetables; soy sauce and other high-sodium condiments; and eating out, especially at fast food restaurants. Also be aware that sports beverages are relatively high in sodium. Drink these only if you are engaged in rigorous physical activity that causes excessive sweating.
  • Third, rely more on fresh or frozen vegetables, fresh meats and poultry (which are not preserved with sodium), and home-prepared foods.