by Joseph Patrick Jakubal
Kidney stones are calcified deposits which impede normal operations of the urinary system. A major cause is inadequate intake of water. A major problem with kidney stones is that they reappear time and again. Statistics in the year 2001 reveals that 80% of sufferers have a recurrence within five years of the first stone.
Kidney stones are actually deposits of mineral salts lodging themselves in the urinary tract. Three components of human urine are: uric acid, phosphates and calcium oxalate. When these components are in abundance, (or the immunity system weakens) crystals can gather and bind together to form kidney stones (also called nephroliths, renal calculi, lithiasis, calcium oxylate stones).
There are four types of kidney stones ... 1) calcium oxylate stones, 2) uric acid stones, 3) struvite stones (consisting of magnesium ammonium phosphate), 4) Cystine stones.
The calcium oxylate type stones are by far the most common ... in fact they comprise 80% of all stones. They are caused in one of two ways: ... 1) by excessive absorption of calcium into the blood from the intestines, which in turn causes an increase in the calcium content of the urine, which in turn causes the formation of kidney stones, 2) a malfunctioning parathyroid gland, 3) a high ingestion of sugar and other refined carbohydrates (sugar causes activity of the pancreas to increase the manufacture of insulin, which results in extra calcium to be dumped into the urine, 4) vitamin D intoxication, 5) dehydration, and 6) multiple myeloma.
The second most common stones are made from uric acid (10% of all stones). Uric stones are formed when the level of uric acid in the blood is high (symptom of gout) and/or the amount of urine production is limited.
Struvite stones usually afflict women after repeated urinary tract infections.
Cystine stones are formed due to an abnormality occurring since birth, which results in kidney or bladder stones which are made from the amino acid cystine.
RISK FACTORS: 1. A review of the family history of those with calcium oxylate type stones reveals that they run in families. 2) Crohn´s disease. 3) Irritable bowel syndrome. 4) Low urine output. 5) Low body pH level. 6) The body normally produces chemicals which inhibit the formation of crystals in the urine, people who do not manufacture adequate amounts are at risk for kidney stones. 7) A high intake of vitamin C or oxalic acid in those with a family history for stones. Oxalic acid is found in eggs and fish. 8) White males between the ages of 30-50. 9) People living in the southeastern United States (reason unknown).
RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommendations include drinking an abundant amount of liquids daily (ten 10-ounce glasses of fluid). Drink at lest three quart of quality water (distilled) per day because water dilates urine and prevents stones from forming.
Also, decrease the intake of salt (which increases calcium in the urine). The drug hydrochlorothiazide prevents calcium from entering into the blood. Calcium restriction is not suggested because it promotes the absorption and secretion of oxalate which is much more significant in the formation of stones than calcium. Foods to avoid are spinach, parsley, cocoa, rhubarb, strawberries, purple grapes, raspberries, chocolate nuts. Also, avoid grapefruit juice.
Increase the acidity of the urine by drinking unsweetened cranberry juice (unless you are susceptible to uric stones).
Once a day (preferably in the morning) drink a warm glass of lemon juice made by juicing half a fresh lemon in eight ounces of water.
Vitamin A inhibits stone formation ... increase consumption ... carrots, apricots, alfalfa, cantaloupes, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes.
Animal protein encourages excess calcium, uric acid and phosphorus to excrete into the kidneys ... must be limited or eliminated from diet.
Eliminate calcium from entering the body by stopping the consumption of antacids and dairy products.
Eliminate soft drinks, salt or the salt substitute called sodium chloride since they contain phosphates and potassium which lead to stone formations.
Eliminate foods that contribute or contain oxalic acid ... asparagus, beets, beet greens, eggs, fish, parley, rhubarb, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard cabbage family vegetables.
Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, cocoa, dried figs, nuts, pepper, poppy seeds and black tea.
Eliminate all refined sugar from the diet since it stimulates insulin production by the pancreas.
Exercise because studies have found that people who live a sedentary life typically have high levels of calcium in the their blood
If you tend to form cystine stones then avoid that amino acid.
HERBAL REMEDIES: Ginkgo biloba and goldenseal help circulation through the kidneys and also have anti-inflammatories. ... should be taken as an extract for kidney stones.
To expedite the passing of stones use three to four drops of lobelia tincture combined with 15 drops of wild yam tincture in a glass of warm water to relieve pain, relax the ureters.
To reduce the size of a stone take aloe vera juice in amounts that do not produce a laxative effect.
Drinking a quart of marshmallow root tea every day cleanses the kidneys and stimulates the expulsion of stones.
Uva ursi assists in the reduction of pain and bloating.
MEDICAL REMEDIES: Stones can be broken up with the use of ESWL (electroshock wave lithotripsy) ... laser device threaded into the urinary tract.
Medications which contain sodium cellulose phosphate are used to treat calcium type stones while potassium citrate is used for those stones which are of other constituents.
Taking daily zinc prevents crystal formation which leads to stone formations but keep in mind that consuming over 100 milligrams a day may lead to a depressed immunity system.
Raise the pH of the body for calcium stones.
Lower the pH of the body for uric stones.
RECOMMENDED NUTRIENTS: Magnesium 500 mg daily reduces calcium absorption and lowers oxalate in the urine.
Take B vitamins to reduce oxylate.
RECOMMENDATION PLUS: Kombucha tea since it contains all the B vitamins According to the Moscow Central Bacteriological Institute, it can dissolve gallstones. It has a reputation for being an important part of the treatment of kidney stones.