The idea that drinking beer could aid in flushing out kidney stones is a misconception because beer can cause calcium oxalate crystals to form, increasing the possibility of kidney stones, Tainan-based urologist Su Chia-chen (蘇家震) said on Thursday last week.
Although beer is a diuretic, it would only help flush small kidney stones that happen to be stuck in the urethra, but it was an option best used only in an emergency, and was not an alternative to actual medical treatment, Su said.
The only way to help the body remove kidney stones is hydration, Su said, adding that a daily intake of at least 1.5 liters of water was the only to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Males have a higher chance of developing kidney stones than females, with a greater percentage of patients being adolescents or adult males, said Su, who works at Chi Mei Medical Center.
People prone to excessive perspiration might also experience urinary concentration and are among those who have a higher risk of developing kidney stones, as well as people who drink little or no water, habitually delay urination until they feel they cannot hold it anymore, and those who overeat, Su said.
Other high-risk groups include people who avoid eating breakfast or are fond of midnight stacks, those who work in high-temperature environments, those with jobs that require less physical action and those with chronic metabolic diseases, Su said.
Having a kidney stone once and having it removed raises the chance of a recurrence, Su said.
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