Kidney stones due to sugary soft drinks

Kidney stones due to sugary soft drinks

The formation of kidney stones could be promoted by sugary soft drinks

The formation of kidney stones can have a variety of causes. Above all, the increasing meat consumption is associated with the increasing number of affected patients, which according to the German Society for Urology (DGU) has tripled in the past ten years. A US long-term study has now uncovered another cause of kidney stones: sugar is the culprit. So drinking a lot to prevent kidney stones is correct, but you should avoid sugary soft drinks such as lemonade or cola.

Drink a lot to prevent kidney stones - but no soft drinks containing sugar. Kidney stones or bladder stones are deposits that occur in the area of ​​the kidney ducts or urinary tract. The causes of the development of kidney stones have not yet been fully clarified. Basically, numerous metabolic processes are involved, which lead to an increase in the concentration of poorly soluble ions or other urine components. If the so-called solubility product is exceeded, the substances precipitate and form conglomerates. Depending on the size, these can then clog the kidney ducts and urinary tract so that the urine is stowed in the kidney. Such kidney colic is accompanied by seizure-like, very severe pain and can cause lasting damage to the kidney. Most often there are sweats, nausea and vomiting, chills and fever. Blood is also visible in the urine or can be detected in the laboratory. Those affected also have an increased urge to urinate. Stones less than five millimeters in size are 80 percent more likely to come off with urine alone. From seven millimeters, medical intervention is usually required.

To prevent kidney stones, urologists advise drinking 2.5 to three liters of fluid a day. Because this flushes the kidneys and ureters well. But it depends on the type of liquid, as US researchers recently demonstrated. According to this, sugary soft drinks should even promote the development of kidney stones.

The cause of kidney stones mostly lies in eating habits and living conditions. “The number of new cases has tripled in the past ten years. Today almost every 20th German citizen is affected once or several times in a lifetime, "reports the German Society for Urology (DGU) on its website." Around 1.2 million patients have to be treated for this disease every year. "There are many factors as causes "The reasons lie in changed living conditions, modern eating habits, but also an improved basic medical care," explains Professor Dr. Thomas Knoll, chief physician of the Urological Clinic Sindelfingen and chair of the "Urinary Stones" working group at the Academy of German Urologists. In addition to meat, salty food, alcohol and lack of exercise are also beneficial for kidney stones. Vegetarians have a significantly lower risk of unpleasant deposits. Their stone frequency is only 10 percent of that of the normal population, and stressed city dwellers on average have more kidney stones than people living in the country, and academics are affected more often than physically active people.

Researchers at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston have recently discovered sugary soft drinks as triggers for the development of kidney stones. Like Dr. Pietro Manuel Ferraro and his team report in the journal "Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology", the scientists analyzed the data from three studies with 194,000 participants, which were observed over a period of eight years and had to provide information about their drinking habits. The result was clear: The study participants who drank at least one sugary cola daily had a 23 percent higher risk of kidney stones than the test subjects who drank the sugary drink less often. With other sugary soft drinks (“noncola sodas”) the risk was even 33 percent higher. In contrast, the researchers saw a positive effect from coffee, tea, wine and beer. Accordingly, coffee reduced the risk of kidney stones by 26 percent, tea by eleven percent, red wine by 31 percent, white wine by 33 percent and beer by 41 percent.

Diagnosis and therapy of kidney stones Kidney stones can permanently damage the kidney. Since those affected usually have severe pain, therapy is usually given in good time. If kidney stones are suspected, excretion urography is often performed, in which the patient is given a contrast agent. The urologist can then follow the excretion of the agent via the urinary tract using X-rays and, if necessary, determine the position of the stones. If the kidney is already jammed, the extent of this examination can be seen. Another way to diagnose kidney stones is the retrograde ureteropyelogram (UPG), in which the urologist inserts an instrument through the urethra into the bladder, thereby introducing a contrast agent into the ureter.

If the kidney stones are not excreted in the urine, there are various treatment options. Open stone surgery is only required in one percent of cases. In about 70 percent of the cases, the stones are crushed with shock waves (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy ESWL). 15 percent of those affected receive a combination of shock wave therapy and an endoscopic procedure. In the latter, a thin channel is created through the skin or through the urethra to the kidney through which an instrument is inserted. With this, the stones can be smashed and finally removed.

To prevent kidney stones, the DGU advises above all to drink a lot regularly. This also applies before going to bed so that there is no “dry spell” at night. "Urination at night should be normal for urinary stone patients," says the company's current guidelines. Kidney and bladder tea, low-sodium mineral water and diluted citrus juices are suitable for hydration.

Iced tea can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Those who tend to develop kidney stones should avoid iced tea in summer. The chairman of the professional association of German internists, Dr. Wolfgang Wesiack. Because black and green tea contain oxalic acid, which has been shown to promote the formation of certain kidney stones if the acid is supplied to the body in large quantities. On the other hand, water, to which fresh lemon slices or lemon juice is added, is better than iced tea. The acidity of the lemon has a positive effect and prevents kidney stone growth, reports the internist. The doctor advises those affected to avoid foods containing oxalic acid if possible. These include coffee, cola, wheat bran, rhubarb, spinach and nuts. Foods like quark, cheese, milk, yoghurt and potatoes that are high in calcium are better. Studies had shown that calcium reduced acid absorption in the intestine. Excessive consumption of fat and table salt is also not advisable, according to Wesiack. Obesity and calcium deficiency could also increase the risk of kidney stones. (No)

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