Kidney stones are small hard substances created from waste products in your urine that haven’t been flushed out from your body. Researchers are still researching the connection between drinking coffee and the risk of kidney stones. However, recent studies show caffeine consumption can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
This article examines the connection between coffee and kidney stones. It also looks at known risk factors and prevention strategies for kidney stones.
What Do We Know about the Connection between Coffee and Kidney Stones?
Coffee has diuretic properties, which can cause you to pee more often. This makes patients think drinking coffee can cause dehydration and increase the risk of kidney stones. However, research has shown that caffeine can prevent kidney stones.
According to a 2021 study by the National Kidney Foundation, caffeine in tea or coffee may reduce the risk of kidney stones. This means drinking 1 cup to 1.5 cups daily reduces kidney stones’ potential by 40%.
What Causes Kidney Stones, and Who Is at Risk?
Kidney stones are a byproduct of your body’s inability to properly flush waste products through urine. When certain minerals are left behind, they can form crystals. These crystals keep collecting waste until a stone is created.
There are four types of kidney stones based on what they are made of:
● Calcium oxalate: This is the most common type seen in patients. You can prevent it by having a low oxalate diet.
● Uric acid: This is the second most common type of kidney stone. It can develop if you have gout or diabetes.
● Cystine: This kidney stone forms from cystine, an amino acid leaking from the kidneys to your urine.
● Struvite: This type of kidney stone happens if you have urinary tract infections or kidney infections.
Known risk factors for getting kidney stones include:
● Having obesity
● A diet high in animal proteins, e.g., sugars and salt
● Health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic skin disease.
● Medications like Warfarin or Acetazolamide
What Is the Best Way to Prevent Kidney Stones?
To prevent kidney stones, you can take the following measures:
Drink more fluids
According to a 2021 study, drinking more coffee or tea lowers your chances of kidney stones. If you are prone to developing kidney stones, drinking water and other liquids is recommended.
Eat more fruit and fiber.
A 2014 study found eating more fruit and fiber decreased the risk of kidney stones in postmenopausal women. However, this diet might not be effective if you have a history of kidney stones.
Reduce your sodium and meat intake.
According to a 2020 study, there is a direct link between sodium consumption and an increase in kidney stones. Similarly, a 50-gram increase in meat consumption leads to a 1.17% increase in kidney stone development. As such, you must watch how much sodium and meat you eat.
Kidney stones have become a common medical occurrence worldwide. You can reduce the risk of developing them by drinking more fluids and eating more fruits and fiber.
Concerning coffee, you can take an occasional cup to lower your chances of having kidney stones.