|Dr. Jason Letran of Cardinal Santos Medical Center|
For Filipinos, Christmas is more than just a day off; it's a time for joy and celebration, for going home and seeing loved ones. This is typically done in a variety of ways, including hosting events, participating in karaoke, and, of course, partaking in food and beverages. For Filipinos, a feast is necessary for Christmas to be complete!
Christmas is a time to be merry, but it's also crucial to preserve one's self-control, especially when it comes to how much we eat. Delicious and flavorful meals may also contain a lot of sodium or sugar, which could actually raise the risk of kidney disease stones.
"Sometimes, even our favorite food might affect our physiological systems if we eat too much of it," stated Dr. Jason L., Chief of the Section of Urology at Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC). Letran. "A rise in dietary sodium content increases the quantity of calcium excreted in the urine, but an excess of sugar can result in an increase in urine calcium and a decrease in urine volume, creating the ideal conditions for the development of urinary stones."
When there is an excess of crystal-forming chemicals in urine, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, and not enough fluid to dilute them, kidney stones typically develop. This may lead to
them to unite and solidify.
“Some major dietary aggressors are large amounts of red meat, nuts, seafood, and shellfish
because of the sodium and uric acid content. Junk foods and highly processed foods, too,” said Dr. Letran. “Of course, too much sugar is also bad for the body. It increases your risk of packing on weight, and obesity makes you more prone to developing stones.”
The best way to prevent kidney stones this holiday season, according to Dr. Letran, is to prepare healthier food options, watch your portions, eat responsibly and proper hydration.
“Softdrinks and drinks with alcoholic content are the staples for Filipino families during a Christmas party, so make sure that there is also clean drinking water available. I even personally recommend avoiding those drinks altogether,” said Dr. Letran. “It’s also important not to skip out on the fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, as the citric acid alkalinizes the urine and is a natural inhibitor of stone formation.
According to Cardinal Santos Medical Center's Dr. Letran, "Sometimes, even our favorite food can harm our bodily functions if we eat too much of it. ("It's also a common misconception that milk and dairy products can cause kidney stones because it contains calcium, but that's only partially true," he added. "The body still needs calcium, even in small amounts. Consuming modest amounts of calcium-rich meals with oxalate-rich foods can help them bind together in the gut and get digested, and proteins and oxalate can be found in foods that are actually nutritious for the body, such peanuts, beans, spinach, and strawberries, appropriately, as opposed to being eliminated by the kidney. Last but not least, if you pass a kidney stone or believe you may have one, best to seek advice and treatment from a reputable hospital.
CSMC’s Urology and Stone Center offers some of the most comprehensive urological services, not just in the Philippines, but in Asia. Apart from services such as minimally invasive surgeries of the genito-urinary tract for both benign and malignant conditions, it offers various treatments for prostate cancer such as surgery, external beam radiation and brachytherapy. The center also houses a state-of-the-art Richard Wolf Piezolith 3000 Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) machine which ensures precise and effective disintegration of kidney stones, and is equipped with fluoroscopy and ultrasound imaging to help locate stones more accurately.
“While of course, we advocate for the prevention of kidney stones by making healthier lifestyle
choices, we hope patients know that CSMC is happy to offer its services to those who need it,
especially those who are currently suffering from kidney stones or are exhibiting symptoms,”
said Dr. Letran. “Patients are assured that they will receive the best possible care here.”
For more information about the programs and services that CSMC offers, please visit
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