CSMC advocates for better kidney health during the holidays

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CHRISTMAS is not just a holiday for Filipinos – it is a time of celebration and revelry, of coming
home and spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. That is usually done in a variety of
ways, like throwing parties, singing karaoke, and of course, eating and drinking. A Filipino
Christmas is not complete without a feast!

While Christmas is indeed the season to be jolly, it is important to keep oneself in check,
especially when it comes to what we eat and how much. Delicious and savory meals might also
be high in sodium or sugar content, which may actually increase the risk of developing kidney

Sometimes, even our favorite food can cause harm to our bodily functions if we eat too much of
,” said Cardinal Santos Medical Center’s (CSMC) Chief of the Section of Urology, Dr. Jason
Letran. “An uptick in dietary sodium content increases the amount of calcium excretion in the
urine, while an excess of sugar can cause increased urine calcium and decreased urine volume,
a perfect scenario for urinary stone formation

Kidney stones are usually formed when urine has an abundance of crystal-forming substances
in it, like calcium, oxalate and uric acid, and not enough fluid to dilute them. This can cause
them to bind together and harden.

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

It’s also a common misconception that milk and dairy products can cause kidney stones,
because it contains calcium. That’s only partially true
,” he added. “The body still needs calcium,
and proteins and oxalate can be found in foods that are actually healthy for the body, like
peanuts, beans, spinach and strawberries. The solution is to consume a moderate amount of calcium-rich foods with oxalate-rich foods, so that they bind together in the gut and get digested
properly, instead of being excreted in the kidney

Finally, in the event that you come to pass a kidney stone or suspect you may have one, it is
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
https://cardinalsantos.com.ph/. CSMC is also on Facebook, like and follow them at

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