Kidney Stones - Urinary Tract
Kidney stones have become an increasingly common medical problem in Western
society, mainly due to poor dietary habits. Although many kidney stones are
so small that they pass unnoticed, they may sometimes become very large, up
to the size of a marble. It is not hard to imagine that as these large
stones move through the urinary tract, they cause great-and often
excruciating-pain. Kidney stones are most likely to affect white men over
the age of thirty. People of any race or sex who live in the southern
United States also have a higher risk, probably because of dietary habits
in that region.
Complementary therapies offer effective, natural pain relief for more minor
cases, as well as strategies for keeping the stones from growing any
larger, but on the whole, it is far easier to prevent kidney stones in the
first place. History hold a clue to their prevention: Back in the early
1900s, when Americans ate natural, wholesome foods, kidney stones were
largely unheard of. As the century wore on, and as diets became lower in
fiber and higher in fat, sugar, dairy, and junk, the disorder became much
more common. Now a man living in America has a 10 percent chance of passing
a kidney stone at least once in his life. If you suffer from kidney stones,
take heart in the knowledge that you can prevent a recurrence of this
painful condition with changes in diet and lifestyle and by using specific
There are different types of kidney stones, with 80 percent being composed
of calcium salts, especially the oxalate type. Some stones are also
composed of calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite, cystine, or other
materials. If your stones are mainly composed of uric acid, please follow
the recommendations in the Gout section. This section focuses on the
prevention and the treatment of calcium-oxalate stones.
If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you have kidney stones,
then you should be under the care of a professional. Your doctor will rule
out other conditions or underlying causes and will check for infection. In
cases of very large stones or severe pain, you may need to be hospitalized.
This condition can be a medical emergency when stones block the urinary
tract for a long time, causing urine to back up and distend the kidney
(hydronephrosis). You are also at more risk for a urinary tract infection
during an acute kidney stone crisis. Conventional treatment may involve
breaking the stones up with sound waves (lithotripsy) or surgical removal.
Smaller stones that are not causing symptoms or an infection will usually
pass through without any problems if you follow our recommendations. People
with a chronic susceptibility to this condition should remember that an
effective prevention program generally requires the nutritional approach
outlined in this chapter.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help
Kidney Stones - Urinary Tract:
The Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch,
M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1
- LifeSource Product
Take 250 mg twice daily with meals. Magnesium prevents
the formation of calcium-oxalate crystals.
Super Prescription #2
Vitamin B Complex
- LifeSource Products – See All of our
Vitamin B Products.
Take 50 mg daily. Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce
calcium-oxalate levels, and studies show that people
with kidney stones tend to be deficient in B6.
Super Prescription #3 IP-6 (inositol hexaphosphate)
Take 200 - 600 mg mg daily. Studies show that this
supplement reduces calcium-oxalate crystals in the
Super Prescription #4
- LifeSource Product
Take 400 IU daily. Vitamin E may be helpful for people
who have a history of elevated calcium-oxalate levels.
Super Prescription #5
- LifeSource Product
Take 1,400 mg daily of a standardized extract or as
directed on the container. Studies have shown that
cranberry reduces urinary calcium levels in people with
a history of kidney stones. It also is used to prevent
urinary tract infections.
Super Prescription # 6
- LifeSource Product
Drink 1/4 cup daily or as directed on the container, as
it reduces urinary crystals.
Super Prescription #7
Vitamin A – Beta Carotene
Take 25,000 IU daily. A deficiency of this vitamin is
considered a risk factor for kidney stone formation.
Super Prescription #8
- LifeSource Product
Alfalfa is a good diuretic and also has some laxative
properties. Alfalfa has been used to treat kidney
stones, relieve fluid retention and swelling, and
nourish the digestive, skeletal, glandular, and urinary
Click here to see all products, articles and
studies for Kidney Stones – Urinary Tract
Pain on one side of the lower back, in the belly, or down into the
A frequent urge to urinate
Blood and sediment in the urine
Nausea and vomiting
Chills and fever, if the stone causes a blockage and an infection
A poor diet
Urinary pH balance
Allergies and food sensitivities
Infections that disturb the flow of fluids
A magnesium and potassium deficiency
An inherited inability to absorb calcium properly or to excrete too
much oxalic acid
Metabolic disorders that increase the risk of kidney stone formation,
such as hyperparathyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, sarcoidosis, cancer,
Many people with kidney stones suffer from dehydration. A lack of fluids
increases the mineral concentration in the kidneys and, with it, the chance
that stones will crystallize. While you have a kidney stone, drink 2 1/2 to
3 quarts of clean water every day. Once the stone has passed, resume a
normal daily dose of 1 glass every two waking hours. Hydration is the
single most important tactic in the treatment and the prevention of kidney
Vegetarians have a much lower risk of getting kidney stones than meat
eaters do. Follow a diet based on fresh, raw vegetables and whole grains;
eat beans, nuts and seeds, and fish for protein. If you must eat animal
products, stick to lean, high quality sources of white meat.
Consume oat and what bran daily, as they reduce the risk of kidney stones
Lemon juice mixed with a little hot water is another remedy that will help
acidify the urine and ease the passage of calcium-oxalate stones. Drink
some at breakfast and throughout the day. Orange juice has been shown to be
helpful as well.
Vitamin A is healing to the urinary tract, so be sure to eat lots of
orange-yellow and green vegetables.
Consume 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds daily. Studies show that consuming these
seeds reduces risk factors for kidney stone formation.
A magnesium deficiency has been linked to recurring kidney stones. Boost
your levels of this nutrient by eating green leafy vegetables, kelp,
soybeans, almonds, and apples.
Celery, parsley, and watermelon help cleanse the urinary tract, so add
these foods to your regular meals.
Foods to Avoid
Eliminate foods that contain high amounts of oxalic acid from your diet. By
far the worst offenders are spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, collards, eggplant,
beets, celery, summer squash, sweet potatoes, peanuts, almonds,
blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, Concord grapes, parsley, and
Avoid grapefruit juice, which studies show increases the risk of kidney
Animal fat causes the body to excrete calcium, creating a build-up in the
kidneys. Avoid all red meat, and limit your consumption of other animal
Avoid calcium overload by eliminating dairy products from your diet. The
calcium from milk, cheese, ice cream, and the like is not easily absorbed
by the digestive system and ends up as extra waste matter in your kidneys.
When you eat too much sugar, the resulting high levels of insulin leach
calcium from the bones and divert it into the urinary tract. Stay away from
all products that contain refined sugar. Of particular importance are soft
drinks that contain phosphoric acid. They should be completely avoided, as
some studies show that they cause an increase risk in kidney stones.
Salt, caffeine, and alcohol all conspire to dehydrate your body and
increase the concentration of minerals in the urine. Cut out caffeine and
alcohol, and dramatically restrict your salt intake.
A three-day vegetable juice fast will cleanse your body of a mineral
overload and will encourage the stone to pass as painlessly as possible.
Drink a variety of vegetable and fruit juices: those make from green
vegetables, carrots, lemons, parsley, celery, and watermelon are especially
helpful for a kidney cleanse.
Antacids that contain aluminum may cause kidney stones, especially when
taken along with dairy products. Choose an antacid made without this
metal, or, better yet, simply avoid foods that give you indigestion.
Bruce Brightman – founder
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