What are kidney stones and how are they formed?
Dr Ashley Winter, a board-certified urologist and Chief Medical Officer at Odela Health, shared her expertise on vitamin C and your health.
After seeing a TikTok video where a cancer patient is ingesting 50,000mg of vitamin C in hopes of improving her immunity, Dr Winter had to step in.
“Excess vitamin C in your diet doesn’t do anything for your immune system because you just pee it out,” said Dr Winter.
More concerning, however, is the health risk associated with overloading your body with vitamin C.
“In your pee, the vitamin C becomes oxalate, which is one of the major causes of kidney stones!”
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Dr Winter reposted the TikTok video to X, formerly Twitter, to tell the young woman: “You are literally following a damn kidney stone recipe.”
There now seems an onus on medical professionals to correct misinformation spread online.
The NHS says adults, aged 19 to 64, only need 40mg of vitamin C daily, which highlights how excessive 50,000mg of vitamin C really is.
“You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet,” the health body states.
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Taking more than 1,000mg of vitamin C daily is linked to:
- Stomach pain
When waste products from the blood form into crystals, they can collect in the kidneys.
Over time, the crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump.
Kidney stones can be “extremely painful”, the NHS warns. They can cause:
- Pain in the side of the stomach
- Severe pain that comes and goes
- Nausea or vomiting.
Large kidney stones can lead to:
- Pain in testicles
- Pain in the groin
- A high temperature
- Feeling sweaty
- Blood in urine
- Urine infections.
Kidney stones can also lead to a kidney infection, which can lead to additional symptoms such as:
- Chills and shivering
- Feeling weak or tired
- Cloudy and bad-smelling urine.
One of the best ways to prevent the development of kidney stones is to drink plenty of water.
It’s very important to keep your urine pale in colour to prevent waste products forming into kidney stones.
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