Kidney Stones: The Painful Truth

Published on 8 December 2023 at 22:32

Kidney stones are hard deposits that form in the kidneys.

They can be very painful and can cause a variety of symptoms, including:


  • Severe pain in the side or back


  • Blood in the urine


  • Nausea and vomiting


  • Fever and chills


Most kidney stones are small enough to pass on their own, but some may need to be treated with medical intervention.


What Causes Kidney Stones?


The exact cause of kidney stones is unknown,

but there are a number of factors that can increase your risk, including:


  • Dehydration

Not drinking enough fluids is a major risk factor for kidney stones.


  • Diet

A diet that is high in salt, animal protein, and sugar can increase your risk of kidney stones.


  • Family History

If you have a family history of kidney stones, you are more likely to develop them yourself.


  • Certain medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as obesity, gout, and inflammatory bowel disease, can increase your risk of kidney stones.

The Standard American Diet and Kidney Stones


The standard American Diet (SAD)

The SAD is high in salt, animal protein, and sugar, all of which are risk factors for kidney stones. In addition, it is often low in fiber and fluids, which can further increase the risk of kidney stones.


How a WFPB Diet Can Help


A whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet is low in salt, animal protein, and sugar, and high in fiber and fluids. This makes it an excellent diet for preventing kidney stones.


Here are some specific benefits of a WFPB diet for kidney stone prevention:


  • Reduces Salt Intake

A WFPB diet is naturally low in sodium and usually focuses on limiting extra salt.


  • Zero Animal Protein Intake

Animal protein is high in purines, which can break down into uric acid. Uric acid is a major component of kidney stones.


  • Reduces Sugar Intake

Sugar can contribute to dehydration, which is a risk factor for kidney stones. Like sodium, a WFPB diet refrains from extra added sugars.


  • Increases Fiber Intake

Fiber helps to bind to minerals in the urine and prevent them from forming stones. Plants are the ONLY source of fiber.


  • Increases Fluid Intake

Drinking plenty of fluids and eating hydrating fruits/vegetables helps to flush out the kidneys and prevent stones from forming.


In addition to these benefits, a WFPB diet can also help to improve overall health and well-being.

This can help to reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.


If you are at risk for kidney stones, talk to your doctor about a WFPB diet.


Here are some additional tips for preventing kidney stones:


  • Drink Plenty of Fluids

Aim to drink eight to ten glasses of water per day.


  • Eat a Healthy Diet

Follow a WFPB Diet & choose plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


  • Limit Your Intake

Avoid extra added salt, sugar, oils & animal-based products (meat, dairy, eggs, ect).


  • Get Regular Exercise

Exercise can help to prevent kidney stones by promoting weight loss and reducing the risk of dehydration.


By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of developing kidney

stones and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.


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