Worried about kidney stones? Avoid this food

Worried about kidney stones? Avoid this food

If you’ve ever suffered painful kidney stones, you might want to pass on the beef tenderloin this holiday season.

A new Harvard Medical School study identified animal protein as a contributor to the formation of tiny blood crystals that grow into kidney stones, those hard deposits that block urine flow.

Red meat and other sources of animal protein such as chicken, fish and eggs pump up the acids naturally found in urine. In most cases, our bodies flush them out. However, high levels calcify and block the urinary tract, creating extreme lower back pain.

The stones, ranging in size from 1 to 3 centimeters, send more than half a million people to emergency rooms each year seeking relief through drugs or surgery.

Dr. Julie Taylor, a family physician at Advocate Trinity Hospital, says she sees more kidney stones during the summer when patients are dehydrated. However, the holidays can present diet danger.

“During the holidays, people tend to overindulge – eating, drinking and being merry. That’s fine, but all things in moderation,” says Dr. Taylor.

Another trap is gout, a painful form of arthritis, often seen with kidney stones.

Dr. Taylor says patients should be careful when partaking in the obligatory holiday libations with festive meals. The combination compounds uric acid, which can build up in the urinary tract as well as the joints, especially in the big toe.

The key is prevention.

Dr. Taylor also recommends lower consumption and frequent flushing. Fluids help break down the solids in your urine. She suggests her patients consume enough to pass up to 2 liters of urine.

“Increasing water intake can not only help prevent stones, but flush the kidneys to help pass stones that are already formed.”

Related Posts



  1. What about drinking too much milk and products with lots of calcium in them? That causes kidney stones !!!!

  2. Thank you for reading, Althea. The study indicates too little calcium can lead to the formation of kidney stones. However, each case should be evaluated based on the individual.

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.