Kidney stones in urinary tract and bladder (urinary tract calculi) is one of the most common urological problem for people. They are about 10-12% of the world population affected with kidney stones. Men are affected three times more often than women.
Kidney stones is a chronic kidney disease, where there are ‘stones’ in some parts of the kidney: kidney or renal pelvis cup. Kidney stones occurs slowly and after they increases and deforms the cavity in the kidney through which urine flows.
Many factors influence the formation of kidney stones and some of them are:
- Genetic predisposition,
- Nutrition (Excessive intake of animal protein and sodium, salt intake, lack of vitamin B6),
- Decreased water intake and dehydration,
- Urinary tract infections,
- Congenital defects of the urinary tract,
- Crohn’s disease,
- Climatic factors.
People who already have kidney stones should:
- Drink plenty of clean water,
- Consume magnesium citrate and B vitamins daily,
- Add few tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice or vinegar in everyday drinks,
- Consume foods naturally rich in calcium,
- Reduce the amount of foods rich in oxalate,
- Stop drinking carbonated beverages.
In this article we bring what kind of food can cause kidney stones or increase the risk of getting them, also food which need to be avoided if you already have kidney stones.
Foods That Trigger Kidney Stones
Food rich in animal protein
Food that is rich in animal protein leads to negative changes in the excretion of calcium, uric acid and cystine, which favors the formation of stones. Here we talk about any kind of meat and shellfish, of course, there is no need to stop consuming them, just consume them in small amounts and not very often and if you already have kidney stones, you should stop until you remove the stones. Example, If you have 60 kg, for example, you should not consume more than 60 grams of protein throughout entire day.
Limit daily intake of oxalate
The list of foods that contain oxalate are the ones that are recommended for good health, foods as kiwi, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, figs, blueberries, almonds, walnuts and other nuts, soy and soy products, as and wheat germ, some vegetables as cucumber, carrot and especially spinach. They are no solid evidence which shows that the intake of oxalate from food is one to blame for the formation of kidney stones, so, there is no need to restrict completely the intake of these beneficial and healthy products, just optimize their intake, do not overdo it.
Refined food low in fiber
Fast food, pizza (because of the flour in the dough), instant oatmeal, white rice, polished rice, instant rice, corn starch, potato starch, white sugar, fruit juice concentrates, waffles, pies, pastries, fried vegetable snacks like carrot chips (usually contain added dextrin, a sweet starch), ice-cream, frozen yogurt etc.
Foods rich in calcium, especially milk and cheeses, have effect for occurrence of kidney stones. Consummation of this products increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, which is associated with a higher risk for developing kidney stones.
Large doses of vitamin C should be avoided because they can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. The daily recommended dose is 100mg for man and 75 mg. for women, which means that one or two oranges or 1 glass of lemon juice for example per day are more than enough to protect you from viruses, bacteria and kidney stones.
Kidneys in general, do not like sodium chloride and it burdening them if they have to eliminate a large amount of sodium chloride. Recommended daily sodium intake is maximum 2,5 g.
If used in a long term, artificial sweeteners can impair kidney function. If you want to use non-caloric sweeteners, use honey which is also very healthy or use stevia as a sugar substitute.
Caffeine in any form, for example in coffee, soda or energy drinks can exert stress on the kidneys and that way to lead to development of kidney stones due to higher level of calcium in urine.
If you have some symptoms for kidney stones or think that your diet is leading to kidney stones, consult with your doctor or physician.