Think again if you think dehydration, bad genes, overweight, gout, hyperthyroidism, urinary tract infection, Crohn's disease, and cystinuria are the only things that can give you kidney stones. In 2014, researchers at the University of Parma, Italy, made an interesting observation from their study; they found out that generous consumption of a compound present in almost all foods could increase your chances of developing kidney stones. Guess what this substance is? Sodium Chloride! Table Salt!

In this study, the researchers collated and analyzed data on the association between the odds of developing kidney stones and salt consumption rates. The research team observed a high incidence of kidney stones among individuals on high-salt diets. The findings of another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that reduction in salt intake decreases the rate of calcium excretion and consequently the odds of developing kidney stones.

Kidney stones are relatively common. Approximately, 6% of women and 11% of men will develop kidney stones at least once in their lifetime. Kidney stones are hard, pebble-like pieces of materials that develop in one or both kidneys. The size of a kidney stone varies; it can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Some of the symptoms associated with kidney stones include pain, nausea, difficulty in passing urine, and in severe cases kidney disease. Of the different types of kidney stones, calcium stones are the most commonly occurring type. A high-salt diet promotes the excretion of calcium via the kidney and increases the risk of stones forming in the kidney.

In order to lower our risk of developing kidney stones, we need to remove salty foods from our diets. Cheese, processed meats, chips, restaurant dishes, and baked goods made from refined flour are high-sodium foods that should come off from our plates. Processed foods are the greatest sources of salt in the American diet. Getting these salt mines out of our diets can substantially decrease the incidence of kidney stones among Americans.

Additional Information:

(1) Can a Plant-Based Diet Prevent/Treat Kidney Stones?

(2) Salt and Nephrolithiasis

(3) Kidney Disease and Kidney Stones