Avoid Kidney Stones

January 31, 2017

Kidney stones are becoming a more common occurrence - find out some supermarket solutions for preventing stones to share with shoppers.

Diet and weight play strong roles in the development of kidney stones. Low fluid intake and high intakes of sodium as well as animal fat and proteins can contribute to kidney stones as well. Share the tips that follow with your shoppers to help them avoid this painful occurrence.

While kidney stones are most common after age 40, they can develop at any age, and the numbers are increasing. The number of Americans getting kidney stones has nearly doubled since 1994, according to UCLA and the RAND Corp.  According to the study, 1 in 11 Americans, or 8.8 percent, suffer a kidney stone. The study reviewed responses collected from 2007 to 2010 from 12,110 individuals. In 1994, the ratio was 1 in 20. 

The dietary factors associated with kidney stones are the same as those related to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. To add to that, once a person gets more than one stone, other stones are likely to develop. 

Why the increase in kidney stones? While it is possible that better reporting and treatment options for kidney stones may have contributed to the numbers, there are other factors that might lend themselves to the development of kidney stones in children and adults - the increase in obesity and poor nutrition.

Kidney stones are a hard mass developed from crystals that separate from the urine within the urinary tract. The most common type of stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate. These chemicals are part of a person’s normal diet and make up important parts of the body, such as bones and muscles.

What can you do to help your shoppers prevent kidney stones? 

Hydration and a proper diet are the best ways to prevent stone formation. Drinking fresh lemon in water may help reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Lemon juice increases the level of citrate in the urine, which in turn may prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Additionally, for some, avoiding certain high-oxalate foods* can aid in prevention. Those foods include: rhubarb, spinach, beets, Swiss chard, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra, chocolate, and sweet potatoes. Medium-oxalate foods include: grits, grapes, celery, green pepper, red raspberries, fruitcake, strawberries, marmalade and liver.

*Source of oxalate-rich foods: The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation