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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do fruit punches and sodas lead to Kidney stones?

    Do fruit punches and sodas lead to Kidney stones? I drink lots of them in a day, please advice..
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    Good Nutrition for Life is a private dietetic practice based in Cleveland, Queensland and is owned by Kimberley Davis who is an Accredited Practising Dietitian. … View Profile

    There a number of factors that can increase your risk of having kidney stones. Most commonly, kidney stones form from too much oxalate and calcium in the urine which bind together as crystals to form stones. Foods high in oxalates include orange juice, strong black tea, chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, nuts, berries and beetroot. You do not need to avoid these foods but excessive intake can lead to a high volume of oxalates being excreted in the urine. Having an adequate calcium intake is also important for your bones and teeth so do not avoid calcium. Drinking plenty of fluid, especially water, is important to help flush out the kidneys to dilute stone forming substances which will make stones less likely to form. Limiting salt is also important as salt increases the amount of calcium in the urine. Limit processed foods as they are high in salt e.g. soup, sauces, gravy and snack foods. It is important to limit fruit drinks and sodas as they can be high in oxalates (as explained above with orange juice) and very high in sugar and therefore energy. Drinking large amounts of sugary drinks can lead to weight gain. Lemon juice is a food alternative as it is a good source of citrate which helps to prevent stones forming. Kimberley Davis, Dietitian, Good Nutrition for Life

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    Mr Uri Hanegbi is an experienced Urological Surgeon with a particular interest in the management of kidney stones, prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. Management of … View Profile

    There are no particular foods or drinks which actually cause kidney stones.

    The majority of people are not prone to kidney stones and no matter what they eat or drink, they will not get kidney stones. 

    Dehydration is also not a cause of kidney stones. Many people who live in very hot climates and drink very little will never get a stone.

    The cause of the vast majority of kidney stones is thought to be a genetic predisposition based on an individual's urine chemistry. Some people's urine contains chemicals in particular concentrations which increases their chance of developing a stone. 

    It is very difficult to modify a person's urine chemistry. Dietary modification (eg decreasing intake of oxalate) has little if any impact on the actual risk of developing kidney stones.

    Increasing urine output by drinking more fluid has been prven to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. It does not matter what fluids are consumed (water is no better than tea, milk, juice etc).

    There is reasonable vidence that some dietary advice is beneficial, but only to patients who are prone to kidney stones. Advice includes increasing dietary calcium and reducing salt intake.

    For those who have never developed a kidney stone, there is no need to increase fluid intake ( ie drink when thirsty) and no need for dietry modification.

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