10 Surprising Things That Increase the Risk of Kidney Stones

The thought of passing a kidney stone makes me cringe. Chances are you feel the same way since the pain of kidney stones has been†compared to childbirth.

While kidney stones mostly affect men, in recent years, more women are forming stones due to increased obesity rates and other factors Iíll discuss below.

Kidney stones usually form when minerals like calcium, oxalate and phosphate become concentrated in the urine and form crystals.

Itís important to know what causes kidney stones if you want to prevent them. Here are things that increase risk of kidney stones.

1. Taking too many vitamin C supplements

According to a recent study, vitamin C supplements can cause kidney stones. The study tracked records of more than 22,000 men, over a period of 10 years, and found that those who toke high doses of vitamin C doubled their risk of kidney stones.

Those taking more than 7 vitamin C supplements a week had the highest risk. This is because vitamin C is excreted in the oxalate form, which may lead to stones.

Note that there was no link found between foods rich in vitamin C and kidney stones.

2. Not eating enough citrus fruits

If you havenít eaten an orange or grapefruit in the last few weeks, you may have higher risk of forming stones.

Citrus fruits contain citrate, a compound that lowers risk of kidney stones. Adding lime or lemon to drinking water is great way to get this nutrient.

3. Climate change

You may be surprised to find out that the number of patients seeking treatment for kidney stones is rising, as daily temperatures increase.

In a study that analyzed records of 60,000 adults and children with kidney stones, between 2005 and 2011, researchers found that as the daily temperatures rose in different cities, so did the risk of kidney stones.

The researchers said itís possible that high temperatures increase risk in people who are predisposed to stone formation.

4. Low calcium intake

Most people assume that reducing calcium intake will prevent stones since calcium binds with other minerals to form stones. But this assumption is wrong. Research shows that people on low-calcium diets have higher risk of kidney stones.

Itís safer to get calcium from foods since calcium supplements have been linked to kidney stones.

5. Eating too many leafy greens

Leafy greens such as spinach, beets and rhubarb contain oxalates. As I mentioned earlier, oxalates bind with calcium to form kidney stones.

Even though leafy greens are healthy, stick to low-oxalate veggies like kale, especially if you have a family history of kidney stones.

6. Dehydration

Not drinking enough water can increase risk of kidney stones. Make sure you drink 8 glasses or 2 liters of water a day.

7. High salt intake

Eating too much salt increases the amount of calcium excreted by the kidney, which makes it easier for stones for form.

Most of the salt we consume is hidden in processed foods, so cut out processed foods from your diet. And avoid adding too much table salt to food.

8. Genetics

You have a higher risk of forming stones if either of your parents had them. For some people, the body canít efficiently absorb oxalate due to genetics.

9. Drinking soda†

If youíre thinking of drinking soda to stay hydrated, thatís bad idea. According to research, the fructose in sweetened drinks increases risk of kidney stones.

One study found that drinking a can of soda a day increased risk of kidney stones by 23 percent.

10. Eating too much meat

Eating too much red meat and poultry boosts uric acid in the body, which consequently increases risk of stones. In fact, fish-eaters and vegetarians have 30 to 50 percent lower risk of kidney stones.

Avoid eating meat every day or eat small quantities (pieces smaller than a deck of cards).

Have you ever suffered kidney stones? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Marie W
Marie W5 months ago


Kay M
Kay M11 months ago

THANK YOU- for this article-and videos -great information- sincerely KAY M.

Danii P
Past Member 11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie s
Stephanie Y11 months ago

Thank you

Janet B
Janet B11 months ago


Amanda M
Amanda McConnell11 months ago

thanks for sharing

Amanda M
Amanda McConnell11 months ago


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Naomi R11 months ago


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Ruth S11 months ago


Elisabeth T
Elisabeth T11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.