Diet & Kidney Stones!
The human body works in strange ways and one of the very strange and docile workings of the body includes the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts within our kidneys. The peculiar thing about these kidney stones is that they develop from the food we consume and aren’t felt until they move. It is only when they move within the kidney that sharp pains shoot out to inform the patient about their existence. Though these kidney stones do not cause any permanent damage, their passing is extremely painful. There is no definite, single reason for the formation of kidney stones, but it is mostly attributed to an excess of crystal forming substances (such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid) in urine.
The precautionary diet to follow stated below in this article are just some of the examples of the products that should be avoided for people with a tendency to developing kidney stones, but some general rules regarding the diet of the patient would exclude foods high in calcium, oxalates and animal protein. Drinking a lot of water also helps the kidneys to clear out the waste easily, which in turn prevents the risk of developing kidney stones.
Precautionary Diet to Avoid Kidney Stone Formation
The precautionary diet to avoid the formation of kidney stones would exclude the following components:
This fish is known to be a rich source of purines, which is the cause of formation of kidney stones in case of patients with a higher risk of uric acid stone formation.
Furthermore, the purine rich foods can trigger calcium-oxalate stones too. The consumption of sardines should be restricted to a maximum of one to two times in a week as a precaution against kidney stones.
Never falling under the category of healthy foods, carbonated drinks (soda, cola, energy drinks and certain bottled juices), have phosphoric acid that causes urinary changes and promotes kidney stones. These drinks can easily be replaced with plain water, flavoured water or fresh juices to avoid kidney stones.
High protein diet is not suggested for people prone to kidney stones, as the protein waste is hard to discharge from the body and can easily cause kidney stones. In addition to this, the red meat is rich in uric acid too which is another cause of kidney stones. To avoid formation of kidney stone, the intake of red meat should be limited to once or twice a week.
Salt Can Cause Kidney Stones
The use of excessive table salt or processed food is another cause of kidney stones. Salt is nothing, but sodium chloride, which causes water retention in the body, which in turn does not let the urine flushes out the excesses. The accumulation of the excess sodium in the body leads to the risk of kidney stone formation and imbalanced blood pressure.
Excessive Caffeine Can Cause Kidney Stones
An excessive consumption of caffeine rich drinks like tea, coffee and sodas leads to an excess of calcium in urine, which is bound to trigger the formation of kidney stones. In extreme cases, the excessive consumption of the caffeine may even lead to kidney failure because of exhaustion of the organ. Caffeine also has a diuretic effect, which causes frequent urination and leads to dehydration, which again is a premise for formation of kidney stones.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Another ingredient of the oxalate rich foods list is green leafy vegetables. The oxalate in these vegetables combines with calcium to form kidney stones. Some of the vegetables that should be avoided as a precaution against kidney stones include: spinach, okra, kale, celery and swiss chard.
Consumed on regular basis artificial sweeteners used in tea, coffee and other drinks can cause damage to the kidneys and result in kidney stones. Furthermore artificial sweeteners have acid forming effect on the blood, which in turn increases the calcium deposits in the body. Such deposits can cause the formation of large calcium based kidney stones.
Dairy products are known to be a rich source of calcium, and as stated earlier, any excess of calcium in the body leads to the formation of kidney stones. Excess calcium is hard to dispose from the body and therefore, leads to kidney stone formation.
The consumption of refined carbohydrates such as refined sugar, white rice and refined flour indirectly leads to the formation of kidney stones in the body. The inclusion of these products in the diet causes the insulin levels to rise in the blood. This insulin further causes the calcium from the bones to enter the urinary tract. Once in the urinary tract, this excess of calcium can turn into kidney stones. People with the risk of developing kidney stones should avoid products made of white or all-purpose flour.
One of the food items with high quantity of oxalates is Rhubarb. The intake of rhubarb leads to an excess of oxalates in the urinary tract which creates favourable conditions for the formation of the kidney stones. Therefore, people with tendency to developing kidney stones should steer clear of rhubarb in their diet.
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