What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are stones that form in the kidneys mostly composed of calcium salts. Some are composed of calcium phosphate, struvite, cystine, and uric acid among other materials. Many kidney stones pass unnoticed due to their small size. But, they can become quite large. In fact, kidney stones can be as big as a marble. When they get to be this large they cause excruciating pain.
Who Gets Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are becoming more and more common in Western society. The main reason for this is poor dietary habits. Men over the age of thirty are most likely to be affected by kidney stones. People who live in the Southern region of the United States are also commonly linked to a higher incidence of developing kidney stones. Again, this is probably due to the dietary habits of this part of the U.S.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Pain on one side of the lower back, in the belly, or down in the groin are common symptoms. A frequent urge to urinate, blood and sediment in the urine are also symptoms of kidney stones. As well as nausea, and vomiting. If the stone causes an infection or a blockage you may experience chills, and a fever as well.
What are the Root Causes of Kidney Stones?
As stated previously, poor dietary habits are the main cause of kidney stones. Dehydration, obesity, inactivity, allergies, and food sensitivities have been linked to kidney stones. As well as having a poor urinary ph balance, an inherited inability to absorb calcium properly, a magnesium and potassium deficiency, and certain metabolic disorders such as; Hyperparathyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, sarcoidosis, and cancer.
Drinking enough fluids is essential to keep kidney stones from developing. Because dehydration increases the mineral concentration in the kidneys, this can make the way form stones to crystallize. Drinking purified water, at least one liter a day building up to two, or three liters is a great way to stay hydrated. Buying a nice polycarbonate one liter bottle makes it easy to keep track of how much you are drinking.
It is important to not that any beverage containing caffeine, or high amounts of sodium will not hydrate you, in fact they dehydrate you. For every cup of coffee you need to drink 2 cups of water to replenish your fluids. Eating a diet high in fresh, raw organic produce is also very helpful. Eat food high in magnesium such as; leafy greens, kelp, soybeans, almonds, and apples. While foods like watermelon, celery, and parsley help to cleanse the urinary tract. Eating a lot of cherries helps as well, due to the fact that some kidney stones have high amounts of uric acid in them. This is also the cause of gout. So if you have kidney stones, and you suffer from gout, cherries will really help to lower your uric acid levels.
The list of foods to avoid is unfortunately quite long. These are food which are high in oxalic acid, which is usually an ingredient in kidney stones. But doing the best you can to improve your diet will undoubtably make a drastic difference for you. Rhubarb, collards, tomatoes, beets, eggplant, spinach, peanuts, almonds. blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, concord grapes, and cocoa. Organ meats, eating too many dairy products, and refined sugar are also instigators of kidney stones. As you may have notices kidney stones don’t usually form overnight so to speak. More that likely if you start drinking enough fluids, clean up your diet a little and takes some of the supplements I have listed at the bottom, your kidney stones will be a things of the past.
|Magnesium- Take 250 mg twice daily. Magnesium is an essential mineral, and also a muscle relaxer. It prevent the formation of calcium-oxalate crystals.|
|Aloe Vera Juice- Drink 1/4 a cup a day or as directed on the container. If you experience diarrhea, reduce your dose. Aloe Vera juice reduces urinary crystals.|
|Vitamin B 6- Take 50 mg daily. Vitamin B 6 helps reduce calcium-oxalate level. Studies have shown that people with kidney stones are usually deficient in B 6.|
|Cranberry Extract- Take 400 mg twice daily or as directed on label. Cranberry reduces urinary calcium levels, and also helps to prevent urinary infections.|
|Vitamin A- Take 5,000 IU daily. A Vitamin A deficiency is linked with kidney stone formation.|
|Uva Ursi- Take 250 mg – 500 mg three times daily, or as directed on the label. Uva Ursi relieves pain, cleanses the urinary tract, and fights infection. * Do not take Uva Ursi for more than a fourteen day stretch.|
*Please check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and also read the warning labels on each product, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Also read the labels carefully when giving your child any natural supplement, to ensure that it is safe to give a child.