Is there a Connection between Diabetes and Kidney Stones?
There are many reasons, and risk factors for why kidney stones form. If you have a family history of kidney stones, you’re likely to suffer the same thing. Obesity, urinary tract disorders, chronic bowel inflammation, and a diet high in animal protein are a few other risk factors.
In some cases, kidney stones form due to disease and conditions that affect the kidneys or the number of certain acids and calcium in the body.
Diabetes, for one, is a major risk factor. It is highly likely that someone diabetic will have the misfortune of having these painful formations in their kidneys.
What exactly are Kidney Stones?
When certain substances in your urine have high concentrations, there are bits of grit that form. Some of them form due to excess uric acid, struvite, cystine, or calcium oxalate.
Depending on the size, stones may pass from the kidney through the urinary tract and out of your body with little or no pain.
But it’s a different story with larger ones as they can cause a great deal of pain when lodged in the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine and possibly causing bleeding and infection.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
- Abdominal or back pain
Why is Diabetes Linked to Kidney Stones?
As already mentioned, kidney stones are formed from minerals in your urine.
Considering that your urine becomes very acidic if you have type 2 diabetes, stones may not be far behind.
Worse, the more severe diabetes is the higher the risks of stones forming in the kidneys.
Analysis of data in the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) participated by adults showed that:
- Self-reported history of type 2 diabetes increases the risk of kidney stone disease by 2.4 times.
- Self-reported history of insulin use increases the risk of kidney stone disease by 3.3 times.
- Subjects with levels of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) greater than 126 mg/dL have an increased risk of 28% in a fully adjusted model.
- Those whose values of HbA1c is at 5.7%-6.4% have an increased risk of 34%
- Those whose values of HbA1c is higher 6.4% have an increased risk of 92%
- Patients in the highest FPI tertile have an increased risk of 28%.
- Patients in the highest HOMA-IR tertile have an increased risk of 51%
With all these factors in play, it’s easy to see how a diabetic patient is likely to suffer from kidney stone disease.
Kidney Stone Prevention
The good news is there are ways to keep stones off your kidney even if you have diabetes.
Follow a DASH diet
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH means the high intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats.
Your meals will practically consist of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, fish and poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts.
You can still enjoy added sugar and sweets, red meat, fat, and sodium but in tiny amounts.
DASH also puts emphasis on portion control.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is beneficial in several ways.
It helps in weight loss that can help release acids that may contribute to the formation of stones. And if you urinate often, stones can’t form or grow to a size that will block the urinary tract.
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