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“COVID-19 diet” lowers salt levels, a boon for kidney stone patients

May 2, 2023 – Your kidneys could welcome the “COVID-19 diet.”

Some patients are inclined to Kidney stones reduced the quantity of sodium and calcium They consumed in 2020 as they switched to cooking at home during pandemic lockdowns, and the reduction has continued even after restaurants reopened.

Researchers from the Department of Urology at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, NY, reported the results recently on the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Urology Association.

“Subjectively, we found that our friends, families and patients reported cooking more at home and eating less at restaurants. One patient called it the 'COVID-19 diet,'” said David Schulsinger, MD, associate professor of urology at Stony Brook and senior creator of the study.

As of March 2020, restaurants in New York State were closed.

Schulsinger said that reducing sodium intake may reduce the chance of hypernatriuria or hypercalciuria (an excessive amount of sodium or calcium within the urine, respectively), and thus reduce the chance of kidney stones because patients have more control over the seasoning of their food when cooking at home.

The study involved 93 patients with kidney stones (54 men and 39 women; mean age, 60.1 years) undergoing 24-hour urine tests at three time points: before March 16, 2020, through the subsequent 10-month period, and in a “post-COVID-19” period between January 1, 2021, and October 31, 2022.

Urinary sodium levels fell by about 10% through the pandemic and were about 17% lower within the post-COVID-19 period. Urinary calcium levels also fell by about 10% through the pandemic, and within the post-COVID-19 period, levels remained improved and were about 13% lower, in keeping with the researchers.