Is it true that keto diet can cause kidney stones?

What’s Keto-diet?

The nature of the keto diet is very straightforward: avoid eating carbohydrates, consume more fat. It’s a high-fat, low-sugar weight-loss technique that pushes the body into its own deprivation mode, making it dependent on fuel fat instead of sugars and carbohydrates—usually what our bodies prefer to burn off first.

People claim that it raises emotional fog when slimming down their waistlines. Different iterations of the proposal have rounded up a string of actors, from Kim Kardashian West to LeBron James. The diet is particularly common among Silicon Valley tech employees, who see it as a road to improved results and decreased appetite, although with a bad breath.

But, while decades of studies show that keto regimens can treat epileptic seizures and regulate blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, there is very no analysis of what diets can do for the wider public.

When Keto-diet is dangerous?

If keto diets are not vigilant, they will easily get dehydrated, raising the amount of protein and uric acid in their body to harmful levels. The diet itself has not been related to a rise (or decrease) in the risk of diagnosis of kidney stone, but some physicians claim that they are now seeing a difference as more of their patients go keto.

Dr. Koushik Shaw, a urologist at the Austin Urology Institute, told a local Fox affiliate that he had begun to note a disturbing pattern.

“I’ve seen a huge spike in the number of kidney stones that we see,” said Shaw, noting that he hadn’t seen an uptick like this before in his 14 years of practise.
“A lot of it I attribute to a lot of these high-protein, low-carb, keto-type diets,” he said.

He speculated that all of his patients were likely to consume more meat and seafood than they used to, which could increase calcium and uric acid levels and acidify their urine.

“All of these things can contribute to a higher rate of kidney stones,” he said.
Higher levels of uric acid in the body can also contribute to other health conditions, such as gout, which can arise when uric acid builds up in the body, “forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other doctors are not convinced if the keto diet is the real culprit behind the kidney stones.

“Some of the problem might lie in the way that people interpret the keto diet,” Dr. Thomas Chi, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told Raabta.

He said that a mixture of “tonnes and tonnes of meat” and not enough water could lead to kidney stones.
And Chi said that while he had not observed any sort of drastic uptick in patients with kidney stones on keto schedules, he had seen some serious cases of stones in keto diets.

“While that’s a pretty rare instance,” he said, “it may be driven not necessarily by the fact that you’re having low carbs and higher fat but that you’re subbing in other things,” including more meat.
Fatty keto alternatives, such as butter and beef, can raise your blood pressure, while higher protein consumption can place added tension on your kidneys because it adds more acid to your kidneys and upsets your body’s calcium balance.

How to start Keto-Diet?

Dietitians recommend that everyone on the keto diet contact a doctor to determine whether it is the correct option with their body type and medical background, as well as brainstorm the safest foods to eat on the menu to stay healthy.

The Doctor’s Recommended Way to Go Keto

Chi said that with so many patients asking him to lose weight and feel positive about the diet, he didn’t want to deter a helpful-eating move.

“I generally tell people, ‘Everything in moderation,'” he said. “We try to take a pragmatic approach.”

He advises that his patients remain well hydrated and don’t overdo it on the meat.

Lemon Water

Shaw added, “The weight loss is great and lower carbohydrates are great. But you have to balance that with a high fluid intake so you can wash some of the metabolic products out.”

Anything that can help is adding lemon to the bath, said Shaw, since the citrate in the lemon prevents the calcium molecules from binding together.

Children on a keto diet to better manage seizures are often offered oral potassium citrate capsules, all of which may both minimise the amount of stones they produce and prolong the period they take stones to shape.

Can keto diet cause kidney stones?

Our scientific understanding is that kidney stones are uncommon in a well-formulated ketogenic diet as there’s no conclusive proof the keto diet specifically induces more kidney stones, it’s a smart idea to check whether you’re at an elevated risk of getting stones before you go keto.

Kidney stones have a variety of triggers. Calcium, oxalate and uric acid are the most important chemicals present in kidney stones. Genetic (aka inherited) causes, dehydration and poor dietary magnesium are major promoters of kidney stone development. While serum uric acid levels rise in the early adaptation process of a well-formulated ketogenic diet, this is caused by reduced excretion, not increased development. And after a month or two, the kidneys are conditioned to sustain regular excretion of uric acid. At Virta, we pay significant attention to hydration, sufficient but not unnecessary dietary sodium and calcium, and despite abundance of green vegetables, nuts and seeds (dietary sources of magnesium), we substitute magnesium when there are early clinical symptoms of deficiency.

Naeem Ur Rehman

Pakistan's youngest blogger and the CEO of He is currently the student of BS Environmental Sciences at University of the Punjab, Lahore. He is also working as a senior advisor to, Mukaalma, and Pylon TV.

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