What types of foods cause kidney stones

Foods that cause kidney stones

Kidney stones develop from parts of the urine. In particular, high concentrations of uric acid, phosphorus, calcium and oxalic acid in the urine often lead to kidney stones.

Kidney stones are often the size of a grain of sand, but they can also reach a diameter of several centimeters or fill the entire kidney cavity.

Small kidney stones are usually passed easily in the urine. Larger stones, on the other hand, can narrow the ureter and cause severe back pain. Large kidney stones often also experience pain when urinating, smelly urine, decreased urination, blood in the urine, constant urination, nausea, vomiting and fever.

There are several factors that can cause stone formation in the kidneys. The most common causes include dehydration, obesity, urinary tract infections, and digestive disorders. But the daily diet also has a major influence on stone formation in the kidneys. Often times, kidney stones develop from a diet high in protein, sodium, and sugar.

To support the overall health of the kidneys and reduce the risk of kidney stones, some foods should be reduced or avoided in the diet.

Oxalic acid-rich foods

Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stone and develop when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine. Consuming large amounts of foods rich in oxalates on a regular basis can increase the risk of kidney stones. Foods high in oxalate include spinach, rhubarb, okra, beetroot, cabbage, celery, soy products, strawberries and Swiss chard.

The daily vitamin C intake should also be taken into account. Too much vitamin C can be converted into oxalate in the body.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners have a strong acidic effect on the blood. This increases calcium build-up in the body, which can lead to the development of large calcium-containing kidney stones more quickly. Regular consumption of artificial sweeteners also restricts kidney function.

Honey or stevia are suitable alternatives to artificial sweeteners.

salt

Increased sodium consumption promotes water retention in the body. Since the kidneys are unable to flush large amounts of sodium out of the body, the calcium level increases and citrate (a stone inhibitor) in the urine decreases.

Increased sodium intake also increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease.

If you are more susceptible to calcium stones, you should reduce your salt consumption and use herbs and spices instead. Himalayan salt can also be used instead of table salt.

Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates, such as refined sugar, white rice, or refined flour, increase insulin in the body. This in turn ensures that calcium is drawn from the bones, gets into the urinary tract and promotes the formation of calcium stones.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are digested much longer and cause a small and slow rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.

Excessive caffeine consumption

Excessive consumption of caffeinated foods and drinks increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, which in turn can lead to calcium stones.

The diuretic effects of caffeine also increase the risk of dehydration, which is an important risk factor for kidney stones.

The consumption of beverages and foods containing caffeine should therefore be enjoyed to a limited extent. Caffeinated drinks and foods include, for example, coffee, green tea, sodas, energy drinks, chocolate, cocoa, and some prescription drugs.

Excessive consumption of alcohol

Alcohol acts like a diuretic in the body. It increases urine production and increases the risk of dehydration, which in turn disrupts normal kidney function.

Alcohol also interferes with the body's ability to excrete uric acid, which can lead to kidney stones.

Purine-rich foods

If there is an increased risk of developing uric acid stones, foods high in purine should be avoided. Purines increase the amount of uric acid in the urine and can lead to uric acid stones.

Sardines, anchovies, bacon, scallops, prawns and baker's yeast are rich in purines.

Red meat

Eating lots of protein-rich red meat can increase your risk of kidney stones. The kidneys help metabolize and excrete nitrogen by-products from protein digestion. The consumption of many proteins increases the metabolic load on the kidneys.

Red meat is also high in uric acid, a common cause of kidney stones. Therefore, to prevent kidney stones, it makes sense to reduce meat consumption.

Carbonated drinks

Regular consumption of carbonated beverages, such as sodas, energy drinks, and some juices, increases the risk of kidney stones and kidney disease.

Carbonated drinks often contain phosphoric acid, which changes the urine and increases the risk of stone formation in the kidneys.

Carbonated drinks can be replaced with filtered water, homemade lemon water or freshly squeezed orange juice.

There are several foods that can increase the risk of kidney stones. By reducing or avoiding such foods and instead adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet, the acidity in the urine decreases. Kidney stones are more likely to form in acidic urine.

It is also very important to drink enough water throughout the day. Water helps flush out small kidney stones and at the same time prevents the formation of new kidney stones.

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