The Consumption of Tea Cannot Fully Replace Water Intake: Potential Risk of Stone Formation


Kidney stones have different causes and compositions.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), kidney stones can primarily be categorized as calcium stones (calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate), uric acid stones, infection-induced stones, and bladder stones. The main contributing factors may include familial predisposition, low fluid intake, high sodium diet, high purine diet, consumption of high-oxalate foods, or medication use, such as long-term calcium supplementation and vitamin C.

The most common types are calcium oxalate stones and calcium phosphate stones, accounting for about 80%. Followed by infection-induced inorganic alkaline stones (10-15%), uric acid stones (10%), and a small portion caused by hereditary conditions .

In fact, the materials for stone formation often come from everyday dietary sources. Therefore, dietary adjustments should be made based on the composition of the stones:

1. Calcium oxalate stones:

Reduce or avoid consuming excessive amounts of foods high in oxalate content, such as strong teas, coffee, cola, beer, peanuts, chocolate, lentils, spinach, asparagus, and radishes. Also, avoid excessive intake of vitamin C-rich fruits like citrus , grapes, strawberries, and apples.

2. Uric acid stones:

Similar to managing gout, a low-purine diet is necessary, reducing intake of animal organs, meat gravies, oily fish, seaweed, legumes, and alcohol. If necessary, take uric acid-lowering medications under medical guidance.

3. Calcium phosphate and ammonium magnesium phosphate stones:

Consume fewer foods high in phosphorus, such as yeast and mushrooms. Ammonium magnesium phosphate stones are often due to urinary tract infections and require infection control.

4. No need to restrict calcium intake:

Previously, it was believed that calcium was a major component of stones, leading to recommendations to limit calcium intake. However, recent research indicates that consuming adequate calcium can actually inhibit calcium-containing stone formation. A low-calcium diet may stimulate the body to Release more calcium from bones, increase oxalate absorption, elevate urinary oxalate concentration, and consequently promote calcium oxalate stone formation.

5. Reduce salt intake, avoid excessive meat and fish:

Reducing salt intake can increase calcium reabsorption. Excessive animal protein intake can increase uric acid and calcium excretion, decrease urine pH, and raise the risk of stone formation.

How to prevent stones?

Drinking plenty of water is not only the best way to prevent stones but also aids in metabolism and waste elimination. Limiting water intake should only be considered for individuals with heart conditions or impaired kidney function.

Additionally, exercise is not only a key to maintaining overall health but also an excellent preventive measure against stone formation. In some cases, exercise can facilitate the passage of small stones or stones located at the end of the urinary tract.


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