DASH Diet Reduces Risk of Kidney StonesA recent study has found that dietary decisions may have an effect on the development of kidney stones, not just your consumption of water. The study looked at participants who were following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, also known as DASH. The diet, which is aimed at lowering blood pressure, consists of an abundance of fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and foods rich in dairy.  It cuts out a lot of sugary drinks, red meats, and also processed meats. Researchers found that despite drinking the same amount of fluids, people who adhered to the DASH diet were able to eliminate more urine from their bodies than people who did not follow the same nutrition guidelines.

How Do Kidney Stones Develop?

Kidney stones develop when people do not have sufficient liquid in their bodies to soften or dissolve salts or minerals that make up urine. Kidney stones can be small enough that they pass through the body without harm, but when they get larger, people who have passed kidney stones frequently say that the experience is the worst pain they’ve ever felt. Kidney stones rarely cause any lasting damage to the body, but they are excruciating and can become a recurring problem for people who do not drink enough water.

The researchers of the study examined urine samples of over 3,400 individuals and found that people who adhere to the DASH diet had, overall, a reduced risk of kidney stones. The researchers believe there were a number of reasons for this. It may be that the increased level of citrate in the DASH dieter’s food helps break down calcium stones. Researchers also believe there may be as yet unidentified kidney stone inhibitors in dairy products and plants. What seems most clear is that dieters who followed the DASH diet consume foods with more water in them, which is a significant way to help reduce the development of kidney stones.

One Millions Cases of Kidney Stones Reported Annually

In the U.S., statistics show that approximately one million people suffer from kidney stones annually.  Additionally, it is known that people between the ages of twenty and forty are the most likely to develop kidney stones and while this condition occurs more frequently amongst men, more and more women are suffering.

Once a person has one stone, medical experts say that the person is very likely to develop recurring stones.  Yet, while more research needs to be done, this new information is good news for people that have recurring kidney stones.  Usually, continual sufferers are left to consider surgical options to treat their condition.  However, with the DASH diet, people with recurring stones may have a much less invasive option for treatment.