By: Dr. Gary Bellman on June 9, 2017
There are multiple causes of kidney stones
, some of which are inherited and others of
which can be controlled. One main controllable cause of kidney stones is a high-salt diet.
When your body excretes the salt you eat in urine, calcium is excreted as well
. Thus, the more salt you eat, the more salt and calcium will be excreted in urine. When calcium levels
in the urine become too high, the calcium spills out into the urine and form kidney stones with sharp edges that may lodge in the kidney or ureter; higher calcium excretion
may lead to kidney stone formation
, particularly if fluid intake is inadequate
Our bodies do need some sodium to help to regulate the amount of water in in the body and for the muscles to work correctly, but most Americans eat more salt than is required, which is no more than 2,300 mg a day for healthy individuals and less than 2,000 mg for those with certain diseases. This amount is the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.
Tips to Limit Salt Intake
Limiting salt intake is easier said than done, as this seasoning is present in many foods, especially processed foods. The first straightforward tip is to remove the salt shaker from the dinner table. Additionally, salt is often present in excess levels in processed foods, such as cured meats, canned goods, and many snack foods.
Individuals who are trying to limit their sodium intake can also keep in mind for ingredients and hidden sodium content, such as:
monosodium glutamate, or MSG
sodium bicarbonate, the chemical name for baking soda
baking powder, which contains sodium bicarbonate and other chemicals
sodium nitrate or nitrite
Almost all kidney stone patients will benefit from simple dietary changes
which include increasing their fluid intake
and limiting certain types of food. Together, these simple steps have been shown to decrease the risk of forming another stone and will also improve overall health and well-being.