My daughter has calcium oxalate crystals in her urine? What should I do?

Question

My daughter had a few calcium oxalate crystals in her urine sample. What does that mean and what should we do? The doctor said her urine was dark yellow, hazy and concentrated. She hadn’t been drinking much before the sample. Could this have caused calcium oxalate crystals to form?

Dr. Greene's Answer

If your daughter was dehydrated at the time of the test, this could have caused the calcium oxalate crystals – but if they are found again it’s worth paying a bit of attention,, because kids who have ongoing high levels of oxalate in the urine are more likely to develop kidney stones later on in life.

Oxalate is found in many foods, and oxalate levels in the urine can often be decreased by changes in the diet. Your daughter may not need to do any of these things, but I’m including them here for reference.

1) Increase fluids. Pretty much any fluid helps, with the exception of grapefruit juice, which doesn’t seem to help and may even raise the risk of stones. And because your daughter hadn’t been drinking much at the time of her urine test, staying well hydrated may be important for her.

2) Avoid high animal protein diets. Animal protein as part of a balanced diet is fine, but a diet that focuses on large amounts animal protein can increase oxalate.

3) Increase (most) fruits and vegetables in the diet. This decreases oxalate in the urine, probably from the extra potassium and citrate, among other things.

4) Decrease high oxalate foods. Spinach and rhubarb are the classics, but some nuts and legumes are also pretty high.(Check Harvard’s spreadsheets with the oxalate concentration of foods for a detailed list. Many of these are healthy foods, so I wouldn’t even think about decreasing them unless someone is having a problem. If it were ever an issue, there are low-oxalate alternatives to all of the high-oxalate foods (like choosing chicken noodle soup instead of lentil soup, or oatmeal instead of Cream of Wheat).

5) Limit added sodium in processed foods.

6) Limit added sugar and high fructose corn syrup in foods.

7) Encourage foods that contain calcium.

8) Avoid calcium supplements and high-dose vitamin C supplements.

Again, someone with oxalate crystals may not need to do any of these things in the short run. They may never have this result again. But either way, increasing fluids, fruits and vegetables, and calcium-rich foods and also decreasing added sodium, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup are good for all of us (and each also happens to reduce oxalate levels and/or stone risk).

Published on: December 10, 2014
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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This is the most dangerous advice I have ever heard. One should avoid vegetables that contain oxalates, that is almost all of them. Nuts should also be avoided, as they are high in oxalates, as is black tea, and many other items that we eat on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with meat, and no foundation for the advice to avoid it.

Dear Sir,
Good day,
Sir my son is 4 year old and he has both side kidney stones , right side was 13 mm which i have taken to Pakistan, Northwest hospital for operation in December-18 and then after operation they sent the stone to Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi Pakistan, i have the report the stone was made from:

  1. CA Oxalate Mono hydrate 30 %
  2. CA Oxalate Di hydrate – 50 %
  3. STRUVITE – 20 %

And now the left side kidney which is 11 mm stone. I am going to take him again very soon to the same Hospital for operation.

Please advice me what should I do in the future (Food can eat and which cannot eat)?

Calcium oxalate crystals have a higher tendency to form in urine the more acidic it is. A diet high in meat keeps urine acidic. A diet rich in citrus fruits, most vegetables, and legumes will keep urine alkaline.

what does it mean crystals : ca- oxalate (few) in test .

HOW can meat that does NOT contain oxalates increase oxalates??

The only people that claim this are regular doctors. Otherwise, others I have talked to and read articles state that meat does NOT increase oxalates.

Calcium oxalate crystals have a higher tendency to form in urine the more acidic it is. A diet high in meat keeps urine acidic. A diet rich in citrus fruits, most vegetables, and legumes will keep urine alkaline.

My cal-oxilate range 6-8when I urine test my age is 36 more Time urine throughout .need your advice

sir, what would you advice for a patient of 46years who has just been told through a test that his urine has protein (+) and calcium oxalate crystal (++). ofloxacin was prescribed to the patient for 10days. need your advice sir

My cal-oxilate range 6-8when I urine test my age is 36 more Time urine throughout .need your advice

sir, what would you advice for a patient of 46years who has just be told through a test that his urine has protein (+) and calcium oxalate crystal (++). ofloxacin was prescribed to the patient for 10days. need your advice sir

hi am ulcer patient taking medication regular last month I went test due to penal pain and it detected that I have calcium oxalate 3+ ,an they say is nothing but at pharmacy near by I was giving doxycycline and euroclok wish for five day wish make we weak I need help on what to do.

Sir, from last five years there is presence of calcium oxilates in the urine ,I consulted the doctors but they said it is nothing ….what I should to do because particularly during morning time the colour of urine remains deep yellow which puts me in depression.