Can Keto Diet Cause Kidney Stones? | Is Keto Bad for Your Kidneys?

What Foods Cause Kidney Stones on Keto Diet?

Via Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash

These days, most people use the keto diet to lose weight. No doubt, it is an effective way. As per the modern research, kidney stones on keto are rare, but your diet must be well-formulated. There are several causes of this problem. The most common chemicals which are in these stones of the kidney are uric acid, oxalate, calcium and others.

Due to low dietary magnesium, dehydration, and other genetic factors, people suffer the problem of kidney stones. The level of uric acid level increases during the keto diet. It is due to the less excretion of waste material.


What Foods Cause Kidney Stones?

Food that contains oxalate and a high amount of calcium can cause this problem. So, if you want to avoid stone in the kidney, you must avoid stone-forming foods. Most nuts, tea, rhubarb, spinach, chocolates and beets are rich in oxalate.

Do you know colas are rich in phosphates? All the carbonated drinks can cause kidney stones. If you are using nuts, then you may suffer from kidney stones on keto. You must avoid taking this type of food when you are on a ketogenic diet. It causes stones formation in the human kidney.

If you drink or eat calcium-rich in your ketogenic diet at the same time, then there are more chances of having kidney stones on keto. Taking calcium-rich food helps your body can handle oxalate without converting it to a kidney stone. [1]

  • During a keto diet, you can prepare your spinach salad with low-fat cheese.
  • Mixing berries and nuts into yogurt is a good idea.
  • You can save yourself from this problem by drinking milk.
  • Salt can produce stones in the kidney as well as packaged meat is the prime cause of kidney stones.


Is Keto Bad for Your Kidneys?

Is Keto Bad for Your Kidneys?
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With a lot of fat for metabolizing, the keto diet can make any present kidney condition worse. If you are already suffering from kidney stones, then it’s on keto will be at its peak. You know very well that kidney function is to consume protein, but keto overloads your kidney, so there are many chances of stones forming in the kidney. Not only this, but people also face;

  • Tachycardia,
  • Irritability,
  • Anxiety,
  • Confusion,
  • Hunger,
  • Fatigue,
  • Frequent urination,
  • Excessive thirst,
  • Shakiness,
  • Lightheadedness,
  • Sweating
  • Chills

People with diabetes can suffer kidney stones on keto. It triggers a risky situation that is famous with the name ketoacidosis. It happens when the human body contains a high number of ketones in it. This acid produces byproduct fats, and the human blood contains a high amount of acid in it. The PH level of the blood is more than 11, which means blood is acidic. It damages the brain, kidneys and liver so that this condition is fatal for the patient. [2]

Some fatty keto options are like meat, and butter is hard on kidneys. It increases high blood pressure, and a high intake of protein can cause stress on kidneys. It includes more acid and is harmful to it.

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Why Do You Get Kidney Stones on Keto?

The prime cause of this problem is the high amount of oxalate, protein and calcium in food. The prevalence of renal calculi in consumers on the keto diet is higher as compared to the others. [3]

  • Fat malabsorption,
  • Low urine Ph,
  • Dehydration,
  • Chronic acidosis and others are the prime reasons for the kidney stones on keto.

It contributes to the formation of calcium oxalate and uric acid stones. As we know, the formation of kidney stones contains many reasons. The most common chemicals are uric acid, oxalate and calcium. This diet is famous for instant weight loss, and it helps with certain medical conditions like Type 2 diabetes and seizures. How long will it be safe to be on keto? If someone follows this diet for an extended period of time, it is hard to avoid its harms

People on keto use the protein, fat and nuts during the ketogenic diet. It contains ketones in the body to lose weight. This chemical puts a load on the kidneys. So, using a keto diet for a long time is not easy to manage. It can damage human kidneys, liver and other functions. You need to use a well-formulated diet; otherwise, you will suffer from this problem on keto.

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Does Keto Hurt your Kidneys?

Does Keto Hurt your Kidneys?
Via Anh Nguyen / Unsplash

Yes, it does. Some people feel pain in kidneys. Keto puts stress on them, and it gives you kidney stones that cause pain. It is a potential side-effect of the keto diet. This is a low-sugar and high-fat weight loss strategy that puts your body into its natural starvation mode. [4]

It causes us to rely on fat for getting energy and fuel for the body and activities in routine life. The prime cause of kidney stones on keto is a low carb diet because people do not take carbohydrates and sugars for fuel. So, this type of food can put a load on kidneys.


How Do You Prevent Kidney Stones in Keto?

First of all, you must know how long you must be on keto; almost thirty to sixty days on keto is a safe period for everyone to avoid kidney stones on keto. If you prolong your keto diet more than this time, then you may suffer kidney problems. Moreover, you must choose a well-formulated diet that can save you from kidney problems for a long time. It is important to avoid nuts, high-amount of protein intake, food that contains oxalate and uric acid.

On the other hand, potassium citrate reduces kidney stones. There are some supplements available in the market that can prevent you from kidney stones. All these things will be helpful for you to get rid of kidney stones. [5]

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What Should I Eat to Avoid Kidney Stones?

The high acidic blood and urine mean stones in the kidney. To prevent your body from kidney stone formation, you must not take the food that contains high-purine like shellfish, organ meats, red meats and others. You must follow a healthy diet that is based on fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. [6]

To avoid this problem on keto, you must focus on combining oxalate and calcium-rich food because both of them can deduct the harms of each other. So, you are safe to eat these types of food.



If you want to avoid kidney stones on keto, you must focus on eating well-formulated food. Moreover, sweating and taking a sauna bath will help you lose weight as well as getting rid of the uric acid in your body. Calcium is not your enemy all the time; you can combine it with oxalate. Moreover, a little amount of sodium in your food can save you from the stone formation in the kidney. As a result, it is very important to consult your doctor before starting a diet.

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