Talk with the Doc: Caffeine can prevent kidney stones
Let us first take a look at what causes kidney stones, and who of us are at risk to develop these very painful kidney stones in our body. Kidney stones are a byproduct of our body’s inability to adequately flush waste products out our body when we urinate. When certain minerals in our urine are not flushed out of our body, they can form crystals. These small crystals may then continue to collect other types of waste materials in our body until they develop into a kidney stone.
Following is a brief review of the classic symptoms of kidney stones. Kidney stones may cause severe pain. Symptoms of kidney stones may not occur until the stone begins to move down from the kidney into our bladder. Our urine passes from our kidney down to our bladder as it goes down a small diameter tube known as our ureter. This kidney stone pain may be present on either side of our back or on either side of our belly. This moderate to severe pain may also radiate down to our groin area. This pain may come and go and can be very intense.
Other symptoms of kidney stones may also include blood in the urine, vomiting, nausea, chills, fever, frequent need to urinate, and urinating only small amounts of urine. In the case of a small kidney stone, you may not have any pain symptoms at all as the small stone passes through our urinary tract and out of our body.
Here is a brief review the recent research on caffeine and the prevention of kidney stones. Because coffee has diuretic properties, meaning it may cause you to urinate more often, recent research shows that the caffeine in coffee may decrease our risk of developing kidney stones. Of interest, this recent medical research on kidney stones has now shown that by consuming some caffeine, we may actually prevent kidney stones. Let us now take a look at this current information from the National Kidney Foundation.
According to a 2021 study reported by the National Kidney Foundation, whether the caffeine is contained in coffee, tea, or soda, the caffeine may actually decrease the risk of kidney stones. These studies now show that even drinking only about 2 cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by up to 40 percent.
An additional study, also published in 2021, showed that those who drank coffee or tea were less likely to develop kidney stones than those who didn’t drink caffeinated liquids. In this study, water was also shown to increase our urinating frequency and our volume of urine flow, and this also led to increased protection against developing any kidney stones.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of the best-selling SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet book and his new Joke Book, entitled “Laughter Is Good Medicine.” Dr. Jim’s website is sosdietbook.com.