Does drinking soda cause kidney stones? If not, what does? – Stan
Well, there is no direct cause and effect established between soda and kidney stones. That said, colas containing phosphoric acid have been linked to recurrence of stones by default. An American College of Physicians review of available research found that kidney stone patients’ risk of recurrence dropped by about 15 % when they changed their beverage habits and abstained from soda. It’s proposed that an acidic environment might be conducive to stone formation.
Kidney stones related to diet are predominantly crystalized calcium, oxalate or uric acid clusters. (Other types of kidney stones are the result of injury, infection or genetic disorder.) How these clusters form is a matter of too great a concentration of the crystal-forming compounds versus the fluid in your urine, or a lack of the substances that keep the crystals from sticking together.
As far as food goes, there are dietary factors that can contribute to an accumulation of calcium, oxalate or uric acid in the urine. Nuts, chocolate, tea, beets, spinach, rhubarb, strawberries, wheat bran, and all beans (excluding lima and green beans) increase urine oxalate levels. Supplemental Vitamin C may contribute to oxalate metabolism; keep the dose at 500 mg or less. High doses (100 mcg = 4,000 IU) of Vitamin D might increase calcium levels. A high sodium diet causes the kidneys to filter more calcium than normal. Uric acid from a high protein diet or poor hydration can contribute to this type of kidney stone.
In all situations, increasing consumption of pure fluid water is advised! It is the main recommendation and the most effective strategy to dilute urine concentration.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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*Dietary and Pharmacologic Management to Prevent Recurrent Nephrolithiasis in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Qaseem, A et al. Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine November 2014: volume 161, pages 659-667.