(NaturalNews) The pain of kidney stones is one of the worst possible pains one could possibly experience. While the causes behind kidney stones are not fully understood there is some common nutritional advice that can help prevent these stones from forming.
Kidney stones come in a number of different forms. Understanding the type of stone is key to preventing it from re-forming. The most common kidney stones are by far calcium oxalate crystals which account for 80% and uric acid crystals which account for another 5-10%. These stones thrive in an acidic environment so boosting alkaline buffering minerals can be a great preventative tool. Calcium phosphate stones are rare but they thrive in an alkaline environment.
Certain foods that are commonly consumed in the United States promote kidney stone formation. Soft drinks with phosphoric acid significantly increase kidney stone formation. Other common factors include tap water, processed foods, processed meat, pasteurized dairy, table salt, & sugary foods.
An anti-inflammatory lifestyle is important for reducing kidney stone formation. This begins with drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of clean, pure water. Next, we need to eat a diet rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, & purified omega-3 fish oil supplements. Healthy protein includes wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and free range chicken, turkey, and eggs. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, oregano & garlic are also powerful aids.
The major antagonist to calcium based stones is citrate. Citrate is present in citrus fruits. Drinking fresh squeezed lemons in water (see recipe below) can be a very effective remedy for kidney stones. Citrate supplementation is also very effective when it is combined with potassium and magnesium which is the form it comes in with fresh squeezed lemons. This combination will make the urine less acidic and therefore help decrease the potential to form stones.
A low-oxalate, low-sodium diet is important for anyone who has had kidney stones. Foods rich in oxalates include beer, chocolate, nuts, spinach, chard, strawberries, certain teas, beets, & wheat germ. Vitamin C metabolism produces oxalate and some studies have linked vitamin C to increased risk for kidney stone formation. More conclusive studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation is recommended as long as it is accompanied by high levels of vitamin B6 (such as lemon) which naturally binds oxalate.
Healthy levels of calcium bind to oxalate in the bowels before the oxalate is filtered through the kidneys. As the amount of calcium intake decreases, the amount of oxalate available for absorption into the bloodstream increases; this oxalate is then excreted in greater amounts into the urine by the kidneys. In the urine, oxalate is 15 times stronger than calcium in attracting the formation of calcium oxalate stones.
Uric acid stones are most often formed through diets high in protein and possibly fructose. Uric acid is a byproduct of protein, alcohol, and fructose metabolism. Some individuals have trouble eliminating this acid which can form gouty crystals as well as particles in the kidneys. Individuals should avoid alcohol, and purine rich foods such as red meats, organ meats, & legumes. Additionally, they should avoid high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, and lots of fruit due to the fructose content.
Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade: 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice: (4 -6 lemons)
4-6 cups of clean water (to taste) 1 tsp of ground turmeric 1 tsp of cinnamon Pinch of Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp of liquid stevia (or to taste) Optional: 1 tsp ground/fresh ginger
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com