Kidney stones are extremely common, yet there are a lot of myths surrounding them. You’ll find a lot of inaccurate advice online surrounding kidney stones and their causes.
Here are some of the most common myths about kidney stones and the truth behind them.
Avoiding Calcium Will Prevent Them
One of the biggest myths surrounding kidney stones is that you should avoid consuming calcium. While it is logical to think that decreasing your calcium intake will reduce the likelihood of excess calcium deposits forming into kidney stones, it can actually worsen the problem.
Often, more calcium is needed to prevent kidney stones from forming. This is because when your calcium intake is low, the body can over-absorb oxalates. These compounds are found in many types of food and an excess amount can cause kidney stones to develop.
So, don’t cut back on your calcium intake. Make sure you are getting the minimum daily requirement.
They Feel Just Like Stomach Ache
Talk to anyone who has had kidney stones and they will tell you they are nothing like a standard stomach ache. The pain of kidney stones has been compared to the pain experienced when giving birth. It is a severe pain that sees thousands of people rush to the hospital each year.
The stomach muscles tighten, causing contractions of pain. You’ll also notice the pain changes in severity and location as the stone passes through your urinary tract. It’s also possible to feel pain when you urinate.
You Can Use Cranberry Juice to Flush Them Out
It is often thought that drinking cranberry juice can help to flush out kidney stones more quickly. However, cranberry juice can actually make the symptoms much worse.
The reason this myth exists is because cranberry juice can be really useful at flushing out urinary tract infections. Some kidney stones are caused by infections in the urinary tract so it could seem like a good idea to drink cranberry juice to clear up the infection and get rid of the stones. However, when kidney stones are present, the oxalates found in cranberry juice will add to the problem, potentially even making the kidney stones bigger.
So, use cranberry juice to eliminate and prevent urinary tract infections, but don’t drink it if you have kidney stones.
Soda Is a Common Cause of Kidney Stones
This is one of the myths that does have some truth behind it. However, it isn’t the soda itself which increases the risk of kidney stone formation. It is the phosphoric acid in some sodas which causes the problem. Generally speaking, cola and Dr Pepper-style drinks are the worst culprits for contributing to kidney stones. Most sodas, however, will not cause them to develop. That being said, it is still best to limit your fizzy drink intake.
So, there you have it – some of the most common kidney stone myths busted. It’s important to know the facts about kidney stones, particularly if you develop them. If you suspect you may be suffering with kidney stones, consult your doctor. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to treat and prevent them.