I am nearing the 3 month mark of my keto adventure. All of last week I was experiencing lower back pain and yesterday I had painful urination. Within a few hours I peed again and began to pass a fragment of a kidney stone. Yes I have scheduled an appointment with a urologist but my regular physician is insisting this is a direct result of the keto diet and is urging me to stop. I have lost 25 lbs and hate the idea of stopping. Any input Is appreciated.
Keto gets blamed for pretty much everything. In the case of kidney stones it is generally blamed because those who know nothing about it, which includes most doctors, think keto is a high protein diet - and everyone knows that high protein causes kidney stones, especially lots of meat because people who eat keto are chowing down on multi-pounds of meat daily. Therefore, keto is bad; keto causes kidney stones.
Most stones occur when calcium combines with oxalate. Stones can also form from uric acid, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism.
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones.
- Eat calcium rich foods: Dietary calcium binds to oxalate in your intestines and thereby decreases the amount of oxalate that gets absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted by the kidney.
- Reduce sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine.
- Limit animal protein: Eating too much animal protein, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, boosts the level of uric acid and could lead to kidney stones.
- Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones.
Drink lots of water. A carb-centric diet is a water retention diet. Keto helps you pass more water, which is good since it takes away lots of waste and debris. But it can also remove water soluble minerals. So you may need to increase intake of these minerals. Drink sufficient water that your urine is pale in colour. Dark urine indicates too little water.
If you’re prone to kidney stones, you will probably have to be careful supplementing minerals, especially sodium and calcium. Eating lots of dairy - especially had cheeses - is probably the best way to do it.
Keto is not a high protein / high meat diet. It’s an ‘adequate’ / normal protein diet. That said, you will probably eat more protein on keto than on a carb diet. Most carb diets contain too little protein. The official protein RDA is meant to prevent kwashiorkor not produce optimal health. The primary component of a keto diet is fat not protein.
Since you’re not eating carbs, keto helps you avoid the oxylate-rich stuff that causes most of the problems.
Are you eating carnivore or keto?
Are you drinking enough water throughout the day?
Are you eating spinach or other greens?
I remember years ago. My brother’s cat developed kidney stones after he started feeding him grain free cat food with spinach.
So, let me get this straight: you ate the standard, government-recommended high-carb diet for how many years? And you’ve been eating a ketogenic diet for three months? And your doctor says that your kidney stones all developed during those three months, and not at all during the years of eating the standard diet? He knows absolutely for sure that if you hadn’t started this new way of eating you would never have passed that stone?
Seriously, the fact that your new ketogenic diet precedes your trouble with kidney stones is by no means proof that the new diet caused the stones. Kidney stones generally take years to develop, after all.
There is some indication, however, that embarking on a ketogenic diet can start to dissolve your kidney and gall stones and allow them to cause trouble because they are no longer jammed in place. Dr. Annette Bosworth has some interesting stuff about this on her Web site that I won’t try to duplicate here. But she basically says that, while it is painful, the fact that these stones are being passed means that the ketogenic diet is actually helping, not harming.
Keto is not a magic bullet for every medical condition, but I believe it helps you be strong and healthy to handle problems when they arise…
Your doc is just using an easy go-to to assign blame. Just check over what you’re eating and your hydration levels. How much are you drinking daily? If your doc’s not a quack he’ll check your eGFR, without that number ignore anything he says. Aside from lots of water NAC helps the kidneys as well and isn’t expensive.
What Paul said, plus, you doc is leaping to conclusions. (That was the nicest way to say it).