Kidney Stones: Solutions For Prevention/Passing
Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders that affect the urinary system and results in more than 1 million doctor’s visits annually. Statistically, you have a 1 in 10 chance that you will have a kidney stone within your lifetime. If you have already had the “luxury” of encountering a kidney stone, don’t think that you are in the clear – in fact, there’s a 70% chance of a reoccurring stone in your future! Use the tips in this article and you can significantly reduce or eliminate your likelihood of ever having to deal with one.
What Are Kidney Stones
Simply put, they are urinary precipitations of minerals and or acids that form hard pebble-like deposits inside the kidney. These can be made of calcium, oxalate, and phosphates. The size, shape, and location differ in almost every individual, some as small as a spec of sand or other as large as a quarter or golf ball! Most are small enough that they become dislodged over time from within the kidney and travel down the ureter to the bladder and eventually out the urethra to the toiled. Some can get stuck or scratch/inflame the tubule as its traveling and that’s where the issue continues.
The “Feeling” Of A Kidney Stone
Sometimes kidney stones form and pass without you feeling a thing (asymptomatic). Others can feel as if you are in “Hell Itself” which usually results in a trip to the ER or Urgent care resulting in hospitalization. Generally speaking, they result in intense pain at the location of your kidney (in your back, along the outer sides just below your ribs or where your elbows hang when arms are relaxed to your side). The pain is often rhythmic, ranging between 5 and 15 min and often travels down to the groin or inner thigh (the path of the stone as its passing). Urinary changes are common, ranging from cloudy and bloody, to the persistent urge to urinate, often unsuccessfully.
Types of Stones
Calcium: 80% of stones passed are calcium oxalate usually caused by excessive calcium intake, low urine volume (dehydration) and low urinary ph. Foods high in oxalates include spinach, beets, rhubarb and these should be limited or avoided if you have a previous history of kidney stones
Uric Acid: 15-20% of the stones passed are precipitation of uric acid. Uric acid stones are formed when the levels of uric acid in the urine are high and the urine pH is low (below 5.5). Foods highest in uric acid include alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, processed meats (specifically bacon) and some organ meats (liver).
Struvite: These commonly occur in people with reoccurring urinary tract infections, as Sturvite is a mineral that is produced by bacteria within the urine. It can precipitate out and often forms stones deep within the core of the kidney, which usually requires surgical removal.
Cystine: Cystine stones are caused by an autosomal disorder where cystine (a naturally occurring amino acid) “leaks” into the urine at high concentrations and can form stones. Food high in cystine (eggs, grains, poultry, and beef) should be limited or avoided.
Natural Remedies to Prevent and Resolve Active Kidney Stones
– Hyper-hydration: The average American is dehydrated, with a percentage of water by total body weight well under 50% (Ideal being 60%). To hyper-hydrate, consume more than 1/2 of your body weight (often 25% additional) and always add absorptive enhancers to prevent yourself from simply urinating the added water out. Enhancers include trace liquid minerals, Himalayan salt, apple cider vinegar, lemon/lime juice.
– Lemon Juice: Lemons are high in citrate, which prevents calcium from precipitating in the urine. Citrate is also known to dissolve small stones and allow larger stones to pass easier. Lemon juice is most effective for stones when consumed indirectly as opposed to simply adding to water. Lemon juice is also an exceptional liver detoxifier and carries its own natural antibacterial properties. Sip on the juice of 3 to 4 lemons throughout the day, consuming 1/2 cups daily.
– Apple Cider Vinegar: Acetic acid helps to dissolve kidney stones. In addition to flushing the kidney itself, ACV has also been shown to decrease the pain caused by passing. Recommended dose: 2 TBSP in 6oz of water 3-4x daily
– Basil Juice: Basil contains acetic acid, which helps to break down the kidney stones and reduce pain. Chop fresh or dried basil leaves to make tea, consuming 3-4 cups daily. Another exceptional way to use basil is to simply add a few leaves to celery juice (see below). Note: Basil can also lower blood sugar and pressure naturally.
– Celery Juice: Celery juice has the ability to improve kidney function and also help dissolve kidney stones. The naturally occurring mineral salts provide a cleaning/detoxing effect to the kidney and have also been shown to increase its overall function.
Supplementation for Kidney Stones
Horsetail: Horsetail can be used to increase urine flow to help flush out stones and can also soothe swelling and inflammation. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that aid in overall urinary health. Recommended dosage: 450mg 3-4x daily, maximum duration of 4 weeks.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a known inhibitor of the formation of calcium oxalate crystals in the urine and was the proposed treatment in disease as early as the 17th and 18th centuries. Several studies confirm that patients with kidney stones are often magnesium deficient. 3-400mg of Magnesium Glycinate, taken just before sleeping
Dandelion Root: Dandelion root contains compounds that increase the production of bile and urine, helping to rid the body of waste. 500 mg of dandelion extract can help prevent the formation and decrease the symptoms of passing kidney stones.
White Kidney Bean: Outside of the fact that these beans have a mirror image of the kidney, white kidney bean extracts have been shown to increase urinary output and help dissolve kidney stones. In capsular form 1000mg taken just before eating, 2x daily has been shown effective.