My mother said that passing a kidney stone was more painful than giving birth to both her kids. Do you know how many Americans develop kidney stones in a year? About 1 million. Once you had one, chances are you’re going to have more to follow. We’re talking about 70-80% chances here.
The problem is that this used to be an adult condition and now it shifted to younger and younger individuals down to 5-6 year old children.
Thankfully, most people are able to pass those stones on their own, but it often is accompanied by pain. Better news is that the best prevention and treatment is simple, efficient and cheap = WATER!
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones (renal lithiasis) are abnormal accumulations of mineral salts found in the kidneys, bladder, or anywhere along the urinary tract. Size can vary from as small as a grain of salt to a fingertip and sometimes even bigger than that.
There are 4 different types of kidney stones which contain multiple types of crystals, each type leading us to their cause:
– Calcium stones: most common – 80% of cases – made of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is common in some fruits and vegetables, but our liver produces most of it. With this kind of stones, it’s recommended to avoid foods rich in oxalates, such as dark green vegetables, nuts and chocolate.
– Struvite stones: women have it mostly. Most likely the result of urinary tract infections.
– Uric acid stones: as byproducts of protein metabolism. Mostly seen in people with gout, and may result from certain genetic factors and disorders of your blood-producing tissues. Be aware of high fructose corn syrup, sugar and any kind of fructose which are known to elevate uric acid. There is evidence that fructose consumption is a big culprit in the rising rates of kidney disease.
– Cystine stones: small percentage. These specific kidney stones are the result of a hereditary disorder that causes your kidneys to excrete massive amounts of certain amino acids (cystinuria).
What causes kidney stones?
– not drinking enough water and bad diet
The super-saturation of minerals and acid salts in the urine, like calcium and uric acid, crystallize and form kidney stones. This can only happen in an kidney stones “friendly environment which means lack of enough ingested fluids and a highly acidic or highly alkaline urine.
– most drugs
– too much calcium supplements without the magnesium to go with it. Magnesium helps Calcium absorption, therefore helps not to be excreted and end up in the kidneys. The best combination for proper calcium metabolism with magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin D, and potassium
—> Water, Water, Water!
It flushed the kidneys and dissolves the crystals that form the kidney stones.
Be aware how much water you drink. Too much is not good, but too little is asking for trouble.
Usually the amount one should drink is half your weight in ounces. So, if you’re 120lbs, you should drink 60 oz of water a day.
There are special circumstances that might ask for more water, like living in a hot climate, during the summer, when working out and perspiring.
— Don’t drink SODA!
Studies have shown that children age 5 and 6 now develop kidney stones because soda was introduced o early into their diets.
How to treat kidney stones without drugs – Most Important 5 Steps
1. Drink plenty of water!
As I said before, as a rule of thumb, drink half your body weight in ounces. The easiest way to check if you’re drinking enough is by looking at the color of your urine. It’s supposed to be light yellow. People who take B2 vitamin have a fluorescent yellow urine, so the urine color is not a good indication for them of their water intake.
2. Magnesium & Calcium
It’s Calcium’s best buddy and without it, calcium gets excreted to the kidneys. Best way to get both of them are from your diet (green leafy vegetables, some beans, nuts, seeds – almonds, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame -, avocados).
The magnesium, calcium rate should be 2:1. You might like to add potassium (like in bananas), vitamin B6 and vitamin D to help the smooth and effective absorption of calcium in the body.
3. No Sugar – No fructose – No Soda
Those interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
If you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to calcium leaching out of your bones which can cause kidney stones. High blood pressure was found to double the risk for kidney stones, and regular exercise calms down the blood pressure.
Exercise oxygenates the body more which sizzles down the inner acidity which also leads to calcium leaching out of the bones, into the system and down to the kidneys.
5. Say no to non-fermented Soy
Soybeans and soy-based foods contain high levels of oxalates which are a primary building block for most kidney stones.
You can still enjoy fermented soy, as the levels of oxalates are highly reduced.
Vitamin A – in carrots, red peppers, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables – benefits the urinary tract and helps inhibit stone formation.
Keep a clean diet – steer clear of all the food that will cause an acidic inner environment.
Avoid drinking coffee, black tea, sodas.
Watermelon cleanse: Buy seeded watermelons (organic preferred)
– 30 consecutive days
– first thing you eat in the morning
– collect the seeds and put them into a glass of water to soak for at least 8 hours
– don’t eat anything else for 2 hours (coffee included) – you can have water
– at night before you go to sleep, drink the water that you soaked the seeds in all day long
This cleanse has worked for many people bringing their blood pressure back to normal within a month.
“Consumption of low-carb/high-protein diet for six weeks delivers a marked acid load to the kidney, increases the risk for stone formation, decreases estimated calcium balance, and may increase the risk for bone loss,” said Dr. Shalini T. Reddy from the University of Chicago, who conducted a six-week study on ten healthy adults on a low carb diet.
Reddy, S., et al. 2002. Effect of low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets on acid-base balance, stone forming propensity. AMerican Journal of Kidney Diseases 40
Batmanghelidj, F. 1992. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. Norwich, UK: Tagman Press
Grandjean, A. C., et al. 2000. The effect of caffeinated, non-caffeinated, caloric and non-caloric beverages on hydration. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 19