Diet conflictions- any advice or ideas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-24-2010, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all! =)

I have introduced myself once, but haven't said much else on here. I am planning a UC in September.

Here is my background and then the question.
I have been doing my own prenatal care, including the urine stick tests. I had one test show non-hemolyzed blood (really 2, as I took 2 at one time to be sure). The other thing that showed up "off" was specific gravity at 1.005. so just off by 1 color. After reading and talking to others I found it was most likely a UTI but could be kidney stone problems. At that time I decided to treat it as a UTI and took several natural measures to try and clear it up. The next 2 tests were clear. Then I had it show up again, with both the blood and specific gravity being off. I decided I should see a Dr. and made an appointment even though I have had no other symptoms. When I went in they took a urine sample and did a culture. Everything returned back normal and they suggested seeing an OB, or if I wasn't going to do that to follow up with them at a later date. I asked what they would do, and it was the same urine test I've been preforming at home and another culture. By this time I've had another 2 tests at home showing no blood. I decided to talk to the urologist I had 5 years ago, when I had a kidney stone instead. When I saw him, he also did a urine test that did not show the blood. He said I can follow up with him for most urine tests, but that if I have a stone forming the best things I can so is drink LOTS of water (already in my plan) and try to stay away from a list of foods that might cause another stone to form. If I have a stone forming they will do nothing unless it becomes seriously painful and requires surgery. They do not want to X-ray or do surgery while pregnate, obviously. Thank God! I asked about the diet for the kidney stone and told him how it contradicts greatly with my pregnancy diet. He said that he doesn't know of any required diet for pregnancy and eating this diet for the kidney stones may help but isn't a hard fact that it will stop anything either. I can choose to eat any way I think is best.

So my question to you is: What insight might you have? Any advice, thoughts and ideas for me to consider? I am mainly frustrated as I feel I've turned to the professionals when I felt I needed to and they don't seem to have had any great knowledge or guidance. I know I have not looked in the right place for these answers and need to search them out.

Thank you for any advice you may have for me. Let me know if there are any follow up questions to this story that may help you!
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#2 of 9 Old 06-24-2010, 08:03 AM
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First, urine dipstick tests are not foolproof by any means. If you're not sufficiently hydrated at the time of testing, for instance, then any of the tests could show a 'problem' that doesn't actually exist. If you are not getting a really 'clean catch' of urine, that can also skew the results.

So--drink 8-16 oz of water 1/2 hour or so before testing. Then, rinse your yoni, and be sure that you are a) holding your labia and hair well out of the way of the urine stream and b) getting a midstream catch--let the pee emerge for a couple seconds before catching the urine (or before putting the stick into your stream, if you're doing it that way).

Also, hard to comment on the dr's dietary recommendations since you didn't mention them at all. I imagine that you want to avoid excessive calcium--but to me that means avoiding foods that inhibit calcium absorption (like spinach and chard), and avoiding poorly-absorbed forms of calcium--since calcium can form stones in the kidneys when it's not properly absorbed.

But anyway, if you give some of the highlights of that diet, it will be easier for any of us to respond to it.
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#3 of 9 Old 06-24-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response! Let me give you the two diets and maybe that will help.

Here is the list of foods to avoid.

Oxalate and calcium kidney stones

Have little to none of these in your diet to avoid more stones:

black pepper
ice cream
beer or other alchahols
cola drinks
black tea
kidney beans
black beans
pinto beans
other soy products
purple grapes
summer squash
grape juice
other berry juices
8oz or less daily of meats as they form uric acid
swiss chard
green beans
wheat bran
wheat germ
do not take a calcium suppliment

The dairy items have a note saying to eat them in small amounts in a day and only with a meal, not as a snack.

The diet that I have been trying to do for this pregnancy, as I did with my last is the Bradley diet. This is what I mark off daily to see how I'm doing for the day.

4- 8oz. servings of milk or dairy
2 Eggs
7- 7 gr. servings of Protein: usualy beef, chicken, wild salmon, bacon or tuna
2- servings of Dark green Vegetables: usualy broccoli, brussle sprouts, spinach, sprouts, asparagus, or swiss chard
6- serving of Whole grain, fruits, Starches or Carbs: usualy bread, muffin, bagel, pasta, rice, different fruits
2- serving of Vitamin C: usualy cabbage, cantelope, orange, potatoes, strawberries, tomato
3- servings of Fats and oils: butter, mayonaise, avacados, PB, sausage, salad dressings, cream cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, cream cheese, sour cream
1- serving of Vitamin A: Apricots, cantalope, carrots, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potato, watermelon, butternut squash

Other than that, I salt to taste as I believe it is important to build my blood volume, drink between 64-96 oz a day of water, drink 1-2 liters a day of red raspberry, nettle, alfalfa, peppermint and alfalfa tea, and have been taking HomeFirst prenatal vitamins.
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#4 of 9 Old 06-24-2010, 09:03 PM
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I swear I thought asparagus helped dissolve stones.

Wife to Dh and homeschooling, mother to DD16  DS12  DS9  DS5  DS3. Due with 6th child in March 2014.


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#5 of 9 Old 06-24-2010, 10:16 PM
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I've had a couple tests be off why 1 color for the bilirubin and did some research specific to bilirubin. Have you searched the web specifically for non-hemolyzed blood and specific gravity? Maybe that would give you some insight. I test every week so I'm really not concerned about a couple things being off by one color every now and then. (Sometimes I think it may be just my interpretation of the colors too because DH and I dont always agree when he looks at it too.) What I would be alarmed by is being off by 2-3 or more boxes suddenly.

Good Luck. Hope you find the info you're looking for.

Also, your list of foods seems to really limit protein and dairy intake...not sure why the doctor thought that would be ok for someone who is pregnant.... Is there extra calcium in the prenatals? Maybe you could see a nutritionist and take specific vitamins based on your diet rather than the general prenatals?

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#6 of 9 Old 06-25-2010, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
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As far as why the Urologist thinks either diet could be ok, I really don't think he is convinced a prego woman needs to eat any specific diet. He wasn't even convinced that eating his suggested diet would mean not producing other stones.

Thanks for the tip of checking the HomeFirst prenatal vitamins. I haven't looked into that yet.

I do know a nutritionist who works at the local hospital and I asked her if I could talk to her sometime. She might help me a little on the side, but really her job is visiting patients before and after surgeries mostly she says so I can't schedule an appointment with her or something like that.

As far as searching the web about specific gravity and non-hemolyzed blood, I did find some info but nothing conclusive. The specific gravity tells you how hydrated you are, and I just found out today that 1.005 is actually pretty well hydrated and considered to be in the norm levels. The non-hemolyzed blood one midwife in my area told me that she looks for in addition to protien when watching for a UTI. I haven't spilled protein once yet. Another friend who is a L&D nurse said they watch nitrates then WBC's and then run a culture while looking to see if there might be a UTI. I also was given an idea by a friend that "rough sex" could make the blood show up in the urine. I hadn"t considered it before, and wouldn't have thought of it as "rough" but.... yeah. I guess that could fit since we don't have a lot of foreplay and have sex daily, or nearly daily. Another thing, I hadn't realized this earlier. But today I looked back at the prenatal records for my last 2 girls, I didn't look through my sons, but I found that I had many urine results like this these during both pregnancies. The OB at the time and the midwife who we switched care to were not anxious about my forming new stones or of the pregnancy problems associated with them. Maybe because I was drinking a lot and can wash the crystals out? Well the OB told me several times it didn't matter at all what I ate.

Sorry if I don't mke sense... I'm falling sleep at the keyboard again and again. I need to get to bed. Thank you again for all your help.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-25-2010, 08:35 AM
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About that diet, and the Brewer diet too--

First, it sounds like the 'anti-kidney stones diet' is aiming to reduce your overall calcium intake, and to me that is silly (or even harmful) for a pregnant woman. What you want to do is try to get calcium from bio-available sources, and avoid calcium from less-available sources. You also want to avoid foods that inhibit calcium absorption (foods containing oxalates)--because they cause the calcium to build up in your kidneys, ultimately helping stone-formation.

You also don't want to avoid salt! Avoid black pepper, perhaps, along with anything with caffiene or other compounds that either irritate the kidneys or interfere with nutrient absorption (such as black tea).

And all those berries are quite good for urinary tract health in other ways.

Might be a good idea to avoid a calcium supplement, or at least to get a high-quality one that is bio-available.

There has long been argument over whether the calcium in cow dairy is much available to us; it is almost certainly true that we cannot absorb as much of the calcium in milk as it actually contains--this may mean that its better for a stone-former to reduce/eliminate dairy. The Brewer diet assumes a couple of things here--one is that dairy is high-protein, and so is a good source of protein. But I believe it also assumes dairy is a good source of calcium, and this is just not true--at least not for everyone. So, you might want to reduce dairy by quite a bit, and seek calcium and protein elsewhere.

As for meat and uric acid--this does not take exercise into account. Uric acid doesn't just build up from ingesting such things as meat--another important factor is lack of exercise. Strong circulation (generally enhanced for those who exercise) prevents such things as build up of uric acid crystals, as I understand it (at least, in the otherwise healthy person). So--if you don't exercise, then perhaps you want to eat less meat....and if you have a sedentary lifestyle, then you may not need as much protein anyway. But if you do exercise, then eating meat is not nearly the issue apparently assumed by the diet you posted.

I also think that the Brewer diet, in general, is pretty much 'over the top' in its recommendations. I don't any client to use it 'routinely' (though might suggest it for someone with particular issues)--and while I don't 'forbid' it either, I do urge women to pay attention to their bodies, to listen to what they need--to remain aware of how the diet feels to them (how any diet feels, really) rather than go with it just because someone said it's best. The 'best' diet for pregnant women varies by many individual factors!

And I want to emphasize that forming kidney stones is not about ingesting calcium, per se--it is about calcium ingested that does not get assimilated into your circulation. We need calcium! So your best bet IMO is to just try to be sure that your ingested calcium is bio available.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-26-2010, 11:36 AM
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here is a related article-
probably the simplest thing you can do is to be sure you are drinking water, I won't just say "fluids" because I think some are dehydrating and go counter to your aim- here in AZ we have higher water recommendations than other places and I would be saying a gallon of water a day here- when specific gravity goes up that is saying that the urine has heavier/thicker if you dilute it then it is thinner and it keeps all the solids in suspension-
some studies show positive results from increased antioxidants like fish oil and vitamin E- I would also say that vitamin K foods (eat the ones with lower oxylates) also have positive effects on kidney function and help to prevent stones by how it regulates calcium- most likely vitamin D will have an action here too-
personally I would not try and go by the brewer diet as far as protein recommendations, but would also be careful that I was not replacing protein with grain or sugars as that puts you at greater risk for all sorts of things including stones
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#9 of 9 Old 08-22-2010, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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mwherbs- Thank you for your interest in this and ideas for me. =) So sorry it took me so long to respond.

Things are and have been going well for me. I am nearing the end of pregnancy and focusing a lot on labor/delivery prep and resting these days.
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