Boofar's Fitness and Nutrition Tips

Risks of Kidney Stones Caused by the Atkins Diet

By limiting their carbohydrate intake, people using the Atkins diet can lose weight quickly; however, there can be side effects and many people have complained about problems with kidney stones after using the Atkins diet. The link between the Atkins diet and kidney stones has not been verified, nor has it been invalidated, but experts have raised the point that the effects of no or low-carb diets can have some seriously negative effects on the body. People on the Atkins diet usually develop ketones, which in turn raises the acid levels in the blood, as well as an increased chance of high levels of calcium in their urine.

High acid levels in the blood can in fact weaken the kidneys, and eventually lead to kidney stones. Low-carb diets also consist of a large amount of animal protein, which can boost the excretion of oxalate in the urine, a compound that merges with calcium amongst other things to create kidney stones. Animal protein consumption is generally associated with deteriorated kidney function after a prolonged period of time. These problems are more likely to occur when people already have a form of kidney impairment, and it is thought that many people may have these problems without realizing it. In effect, this means that the Atkins diet does not usually cause kidney stones but rather aggravates a previous condition.

Avoiding Kidney Stones when Using the Atkins Diet

If you do have a pre-existing condition, then it may be impossible to avoid kidney stones when using the Atkins diet. Although it has not been proven that the Atkins diet causes kidney stones, they are prevalent amongst low-carb dieters and it would be wise to consult a physician before starting this type of diet. If your kidney function is weak, even if it is only a mild condition, the Atkins diet will more than likely lead you down the road of kidney stones. It seems that animal protein is the major factor in causing this problem, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that the intake of animal proteins be restricted in order to prevent the occurrence of kidney stones.

Particularly if you already have a weak kidney, the best way to avoid kidney stones is to steer clear of the Atkins diet and similar low carb diets. It is best to find out from a professional just how much animal protein will cause further damage and arrange your eating habits while keeping this in mind. It could be possible to maintain an adjusted form of the Atkins diet, but it is advisable to limit your intake of animal proteins overall.