Kidney stones, or urolithiasis, occur when a solid piece of material forms in the kidneys (or urinary tract). When the stone is small (less than 0.5 cm), it may pass through the urinary system by itself with little to no symptoms. If the stone is more than 0.5 cm, the stone can cause blockage of the urinary system resulting in symptoms such as groin or loin pain, blood in the urine, and vomiting.
Approximately 50 percent of those with kidney stones may develop another stone within 10 years. Most stones develop due to multiple genetic and environmental factors. Examples include use of calcium supplements, obesity, high urine calcium levels, hyperparathyroidism, inadequate fluids, and gout. The diagnosis of kidney stones can be made based on symptoms, medical imaging, blood tests, and urine tests. Treatment includes pain control such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids, tamsulosin, or procedures like percutaneous nephrolithotomy, extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, and ureteroscopy.
It is estimated that about 1 to 15 percent of the global population are affected by kidney stones at one point in their lives. In 2015, about 22.1 million cases occurred resulting in 16,100 deaths. Men are more commonly affected compared to women. Surgery to remove kidney stones has been documented as early as 600 BCE. For those at risk of kidney stones, there are also several foods that should be avoided. This article looks at 10 foods that can cause kidney stones.
Kidney Stones Causing Food #1: Organ Meats
Organ meats, or offal, refer to the entrails or internal organs of a butchered animal. It includes the kidneys, liver, heart, tongue, brain, and tripe. While some cultures may consider offal to be inedible, there are others who consider it a delicacy or use it in everyday dishes.
Some examples of offal dishes include sweetbread, pate, and foie gras. Organ meats can cause kidney stones as they increase uric acid levels. When the uric acid level is high, it builds up in the urine and settles to form a stone.