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Can Stress Cause Kidney Stones

Previous Investigations Of Mitochondria In Kidney Stone Disease

Can Stress Cause Kidney Stones? The Importance Of Gratitude Meditation to prevent kidney stones

Previous studies have shown that the pathogenic processes of kidney stone disease are associated with oxidative stress condition . The involvement of oxidative stress in kidney stone disease has been found in various in vitro studies and animal models as well as stone formers . Such oxidative induction leads to several downstream cascades, particularly inflammatory response and tissue injury . More importantly, there is increasing evidence demonstrating that the tissue injury induced by oxidative stress enhances retention of the causative crystals inside renal tubules and/or kidney interstitium that is one of the crucial steps for kidney stone formation . While a number of reports have shown overproduction of ROS in renal tubular epithelial cells followed by cellular injury, many antioxidant compounds have been introduced to cope with such oxidative stress, to reduce cellular/tissue injury, and to inhibit kidney stone formation . Because cellular oxidation is mostly associated with mitochondrial activities, mitochondria are thus directly involved in such cellular oxidative stress.

What Causes Kidney Malfunction

A major culprit of kidney problems is an acidic diet . A brand-new study sheds light on the renal problems that can be caused by a high-acid, meat-rich diet.

The study followed 1,500 people with kidney disease for a period of 14 years. Participants who ate a diet high in meat came very close to experiencing complete kidney failure, while those who ate more fruits and vegetables did not even come close to kidney failure. Researchers estimate that an acidic diet can make it three times more likely for your kidneys to fail.1

Says lead study author Dr. Tanushree Banejee,

Patients with chronic kidney disease may want to pay more attention to diet consumption of acid rich foods to reduce progression to kidney failuredialysis treatmentsmay be avoided by adopting a more healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.1

What Does Modern Research Say About The Effect Of Stress On Kidneys

According to the research conducted by Dr. Kaushik Shaw at Austin Neurology Institute, problems in the kidneys and urinary tract occur whenever the person suffers from stress, anxiety, and malnutrition, especially mineral deficiencies.

So undoubtedly stress indirectly relates to the formation of kidney stones as the team of Dr. Kaushik sees a lot of patients on a daily basis who face issues like concentrated urine, urinary tract infection, and kidney stones. Simultaneously, they go through psychological and stress-related issues.

Here it is important to mention that stress is not the only factor in causing stones. When the stressful behavior occurs in the body of the person, the person not only experiences dehydration issues but also becomes a victim of internal unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy chain reactions within the body that cause long-term problems and may result in various other diseases as well. So it is mandatory to avoid stress-causing factors as much as possible.

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Physical Stress Management Techniques


Exercising can be a great way to relieve stress! Pick a favorite type of movement to get the heart rate up.

That can mean biking, walking, going to the gym, tai chi, yoga- whatever you would look forward to!


Having a pet or companion animal has been associated with decreased loneliness and anxiety. If you are at risk for falls, looking at pictures of animals or petting a friend or neighbors animal can be just as beneficial.

Eating Well

Does a diet have to be perfect 100% of the time? No. But that doesnt mean that we cant focus on nourishing the body, including the kidneys, properly.

Focus on a balanced diet and dont overdo it on caffeine.

One of the best ways to improve this area is to work with a renal dietitian. The Kidney Stone Nutrition School is an online course created and taught by renal dietitian Melanie Betz. We have partnered with her in the course to offer this to more kidney warriors!

Youll get 6 weeks of video content, meal plans and recipes, and worksheets to help you find the best kidney stone nutrition plan for you.

Soda Causes Kidney Stones

Can Kidney Stones Be Caused By Stress?

MYTH BUSTED: While we are tempted to let you believe this one as Soda is a nutrient empty, sugar-laden drink, we must inform you this is NOT the case. The fact is phosphoric acid is the culprit that is an ingredient in SOME sodas, typically colas, and pepper sodas such as Coke or Dr. Pepper and Pepsi. The other issue with Soda is that it is a diuretic because of the caffeine. This makes the salt content in your urine rise, which promotes kidney stones. So have a soda, but also follow it with an equal amount of water and you will decrease that concentrate. Alternatively, you could avoid soda altogether and replace it with healthier alternatives.

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Treatment And When To See A Doctor

If a person suspects that a kidney stone is the cause of substantial pain or discomfort, it is important to see a doctor.

Although most people experience no long-term consequences from kidney stones, they can be extremely painful and require medical monitoring.

In most cases, treating kidney stones involves increasing fluid intake, taking pain medications, and using medications that make the urine less acidic.

People with smaller stones may be able to go home and wait for the stone or stones to pass. People with larger or more severe stones may need to stay in the hospital.

Stones that are too large to pass or that become stuck in the urinary tract may require surgery. Surgery to remove the stones may also be necessary if an infection has developed around it.

Stress And Kidney Disease

Hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney disease.

Having high blood pressure can damage blood vessels, including the blood vessels in the kidneys. When the vessels in the kidneys arent working properly, the kidneys cant work like they need to.

As mentioned above, chronic stress increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. When high blood pressure develops, the risk of kidney damage increases.

So while it is difficult to prove that stress directly causes kidney disease, the potential outcomes from chronic stress can cause kidney disease and further kidney damage.

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Regulation Of Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is mostly induced by excessive cytoplasmic and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species emission . Electron transfer at complexes I and III has been proposed as the main source of ROS overproduction . Mitochondria can consume oxygen for ATP production, leading to generation of ROS such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide . These ROS are important for cellular signaling pathways as well as cell cycles , apoptosis , protein kinases, and protein phosphatase . Under physiologic condition, mitochondria have highly efficient antioxidant systems to keep the balance with ROS . For example, superoxide dismutase rapidly reduces O2 to H2O2 faster than the rate of O2 production . Subsequently, glutathione peroxidase completes the reduction processes by converting H2O2 to water . During oxidative stress , excessive ROS emission occurs because the mitochondrial scavenging system is overwhelmed by the perpetual increase in ROS production, the so-called ROS-induced ROS release . As a result, mitochondrial functions are altered, leading to mtDNA damage and oxidative modifications of mitochondrial proteins and enzymes in TCA cycle and ETC .

Kidney Stones Feel Like A Stomachache

Do Really Food Cause Kidney Stones ???

MYTH BUSTED: Kidney stones are more along the lines of a contraction, and some people it is more severe than labor, so go ask your mom if labor is just like a stomachache and send us her reaction. Trust us, the pain can range from a stabbing sensation to pain along the lines of menstrual cramps. Its definitely not a tummy ache.

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Can Stress Affect The Kidneys

Stress can affect the kidneys, but not always in the ways we might think. There are still not enough studies that prove a direct pathway between stress and a kidney problem. However, it is known that stress and its psychological effects lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms that directly harm the kidney.

Usually, people with stress are prone to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity because of anxious behaviors. These anxious behaviors could be, for example, stress-eating unhealthy foods, sedentary lifestyle, use of drugs and alcohol, amongst others. There are also other diseases that doctors correlate to stress like lupus, which is an autoimmune disease.

All of these conditions directly affect the kidney in a great manner and can go hand-in-hand with each other. Although there are not enough studies about stress and kidneys, its known that stress releases molecules that increase inflammation. So it is probable there is a direct biological effect over the kidney, mainly due to chronic stress.

How Do I Know I Have A Kidney Problem

Some symptoms can be quite specific to illnesses of the urinary system, such as:

  • Severe pain: When there are kidney stones, they usually cause intense pain doctors to call nephritic colic. It originates from the lower back and can go down and upfront following the pathway of the ureters. This severe pain can also lead to nausea and vomits.
  • Frequent urination: If there is renal failure, the kidney cannot absorb back the blood that filtrates, and there is an increase in the frequency of urination. Or, if there is also a urinary tract infection besides the kidney stones.
  • Difficulty to urinate: When there are bladder stones, they can obstruct the way from the bladder to the urethra, making it hard for the patient to urinate. It can also cause pain or a burning sensation when the patient goes to the bathroom.
  • Fever: Infections can be common in the urinary tract, especially for women, in which doctors associate it with fevers.
  • Fluid retention, also known as edema, causes swelling in the lower parts of the body because of kidney failure.

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Mental And Emotional Stress Management Techniques

Deep Breathing & Meditation

Deep breathing, whether through a guided meditation or just a few self-guided deep breaths can do wonders for the body.

So often nutrition and exercise are thought of as having the biggest impact on health, but being connected with breathing can do wonders for health too!

One study found that deep breathing helped reducestress and improveproductivity. Practicing some deep breathing before heading into a big project may help you out a bit!

Gratitude Meditation

Find a quiet spot. Close the eyes. Take a deep breath and get reconnected. Focus on things to be grateful for in life, big or small.

Struggling to find gratitude in your life?Download this FREE 4-minute guided gratitude meditation. Get reacquainted with yourself and your body while lowering stress levels!

Can Really Stress Cause Kidney Stones

Can Stress Cause Kidney Stones?

A very simple and easy answer to this question is that stress is indirectly involved in causing kidney stones. However, the situation can get worse when the patient is also suffering from severe dehydration. The reason is, as the concentration of the urine increases and it becomes more and more concentrated.

Here it is important to understand that dehydration is not only the result of low consumption of fluid but also results from disturbance of the food cycle due to stress, weight gain reduction in sleep quality, and malnutrition.

However, stress is the major contributor that can result in dehydration and the burning of water content. It is also a common observation that people trigger stress by taking caffeine and energy drinks whenever they are confused, anxious, and depressed. They also further enhance the risk for kidney stones.

See Also: Kidney Stones Causes And Symptoms

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Origin Of Kidney Health Worries

The kidneys are an unusual organ to worry about, and yet they’re a very common one for those that have anxiety. So why is it that people become so concerned about the health of their kidneys? The answer is the following:

  • Extra Urination Anxiety can cause more frequent urination. When you experience anxiety, the part of your brain that controls the withholding urination slows down because anxiety requires resources to be sent to other parts of your brain. This can lead to concerns over your renal health, although nothing is wrong.
  • Lower Back Pain Lower back pain is also very common with anxiety. Lower back pain comes from severe stress and tension, and yet it’s associated with some conditions that affect the kidneys as well which can have many people worried about their kidney health.
  • Life Experiences Anyone that suffers from anxiety and has had a friend or family member diagnosed with a terrible kidney condition is at risk for developing anxiety over the idea of poor kidneys. Anxiety can turn life experiences into very real concerns, and so kidney health concerns are one of the issues that can come up when you see it in others.
  • Urine Color Urine color is another issue that can cause anxiety. Many people check their urine color for diseases habitually, and every once in a while the color of a person’s urine may be very different than what they expect. This can create concerns that the urine color changes are due to kidney problems.

How To Avoid Kidney Stones

Here are the five ways to help prevent kidney stones:

Drink plenty of water: Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups. It may help to include some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice. The citrate in these beverages helps block stone formation.

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. This lowers the concentration of oxalate in the urine, so there is less chance it can bind to urinary calcium. That leads to decreased risk of kidney stones.

Reduce sodium: A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. So, a low-sodium diet is recommended for the stone prone. Current guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg. If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily intake to 1,500 mg. This will also be good for your blood pressure and heart.

Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones. If you suffer from stones, your doctor may advise you to avoid these foods or to consume them in smaller amounts.

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Gi Issues Caused By Kidney Stones

Normally, kidney stones cause symptoms such as pressure and pain in your lower back, fever, frequent urination, discomfort urinating, and bloody or discoloured urine. However, sometimes kidney stones can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort.

If youre experiencing sudden low back pain and gastrointestinal discomfort, dont ignore the possibility that it might be kidney stones.

How To Overcome Kidney Anxiety

Preventing Kidney Stones With Magnesium. Kidney Disease/CKD and Magnesium

When you experience this level of anxiety over the health of your kidneys, the only true solution is to go to a doctor. There are many easy kidney function tests that take seconds and aren’t very expensive. The kidneys play such an important role in the body that when they’re malfunctioning it’s often apparent to doctors, who can test urine health and other body functions to let you know if something is wrong.

No matter how many times you visit the doctor, there is always going to be that concern that they missed something in the back of your mind. That’s what living with anxiety does to you, which is why you no matter what need to make sure that you are addressing your anxiety as well.

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As Always Consult Your Physician

If you feel you may be suffering from kidney stone symptoms, your first course of action should always be to consult your physician. Dr. Cornell is a well-respected, board certified urologist serving the greater Houston area. Contact our office today to get a referral if you are suffering from urinary or kidney pain.

Treatment For Kidney Stones

In most cases the kidneys stones are eliminated naturally through the urine, this usually occurs without the person noticing however in some cases the stones can clog the urinary tract causing great pain and discomfort, being necessary to go to the hospital as quickly as possible.

The treatment for kidney stones is usually done at home and includes rest, a high intake of fluids and the use of medications indicated by the doctor as analgesics or antispasmodics.

In addition to this, whoever has kidney stones should also be careful with feeding, avoiding salt and drinking a glass of lemonade every day. The fruit that contains more citrates is lemon, which is why it is recommended to drink lemonade, to acquire citrates naturally.

In some cases, patients can opt for laser surgery, which can remove stones up to 5 mm, preventing them from being imprisoned and causing pain. However, in the most severe cases, the hospitalization of the patient may be indicated to inject intravenously analgesic drugs such as Tramadol or perform surgery to remove the kidney stones.

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a procedure used to administer shock waves to the general area of the kidney stone. The shock waves help to break the stone so that it can pass more freely.

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Stress And The Cardiovascular System

There is a positive relationship between stress and the cardiovascular system .

Numerous studies suggest that stress can have a negative effect on the heart- particularly heart rate, blood pressure, and the kidneys. Even when stressed for a short amount of time.

When experiencing what is perceived as a stressful situation, the first response from the heart is an increase in the heart rate.

Next, blood pressure would increase.

The tiny muscles in the walls of the blood vessels get narrower. This results in the force of the blood pumping through the veins to be too high for the vessel walls to handle.

This is what we call high blood pressure, and when we have chronically high blood pressure, it may result in a condition called hypertension.


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