(NaturalHealth365) Does your doctor tell you how to prevent kidney stones? About one million Americans develop kidney stones every year, and the chance of recurrence is about 70 percent. The younger a person is when they have their first kidney stone attack, the greater the risk of additional attacks.
So how do we protect ourselves from harm and avoid the need for harsh medications?
Drink plenty of fresh, (clean) water
If you live in the “kidney stone belt,” which is in the southeastern (or southwest) part of the United States – your risk is higher because of the warmer climate, which can cause dehydration. So, on that note the number one tip is to stay hydrated.
Drinking water throughout the day is extremely important for people with a history of kidney stones; living in a hot dry climate or exercising frequently. Naturally, anyone with a diet consisting of chips, French fries, deli meats, canned soups and sports drinks need to increase their water consumption.
Most natural healthcare professionals suggest drinking ½ your body weight in ounces of water – every day.
Eliminate processed sugars from your diet
Sugar consumption is strongly connected to the creation of kidney stones. These simple sugars upset the mineral balance in the body by interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption. When calcium is not absorbed it forms calcium crystals in the urine. (not good)
Another nasty consequence of eating too much sugar is the over-production of insulin to handle the sugar load. The insulin ups the amount of calcium going out through your kidneys.
Don’t overdo your salt consumption
High urinary levels of sodium result in an imbalance of sodium and phosphate, which leads to high calcium levels in the urine. When magnesium and phosphate are in short supply – stones are created. Clearly, a modest amount of sodium in the diet is associated with a lower risk of developing kidney stones.
By the way, back to our first point, a high salt diet raises your risk for dehydration – which sets the stage for developing kidney stones.
Don’t be fooled by calcium supplement hype
Did you know that calcium supplements increase the risk of developing kidney stones? But, you don’t have to worry about naturally-occurring calcium found in whole foods.
The Nurses’ Health study showed an association between supplemental calcium intake and kidney stone formation. On the other hand, dietary calcium seems to protect against kidney stones by binding oxalates in the gastrointestinal tract.
Want a healthy source of natural calcium? Try some kale or collard greens – they’re delicious!
How healthy is your digestive system?
About 80 percent of kidney stones formed by adults in the United States are calcium oxalate stones. Since intake of dietary oxalate from foods accounts for 10-15 percent of the oxalate found in the urine, it is now believed that dietary restrictions will not significantly reduce the risk of stone formation.
If your doctor warns you about the dangers of eating spinach, beet greens, okra, parsley, leeks, collard greens, rhubarb, beets, wheat germ, sweet potatoes, grits, red raspberries and strawberries – I suggest you get another doctor. They know nothing about nutrition or how to prevent kidney stones!
When oxalates travel through a healthy gut, it will encounter particular species of bacteria which will digest it. Microbial digestion of oxalates is why the body sends excess oxalates from the body to the gut for disposal.
Antibiotics and a diet loaded with junk food will keep these microbes from colonizing. The bottom line – toxic vaccines, antibiotics and a diet high in processed foods promote kidney stones.
Drink some tea with Chanca Piedra
Chanca piedra, which means “stone breaker” in Spanish, has been used by many cultures as a remedy for kidney stones.
Research studies have proven that chanca piedra, a herb that grows in the rainforest of the Amazon, can eliminate kidney stones. It works by inhibiting the creation of calcium oxalate crystals, which are what forms the kidney stones. Naturally, if you’re on any type of medication, consult with a qualified naturopath before making changes to your diet.
Is protein really the problem?
The focus on protein restriction may be misplaced; most studies have found no difference in kidney stone development for people with low or normal protein diets.
While protein and oxalate have been touted as the substances to restrict, it is noteworthy that the rise in kidney stones has come in the wake of a food supply based on artificial sweeteners and colors; genetically modified crops; high fructose corn syrup; sugar-laden drinks plus many other toxic chemical additives. So, if you want to avoid kidney stones, eat organic food (as much as possible) and stay well hydrated.
About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the managing director of NaturalHealth365.com and host of the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show sponsored by NaturalHealth365.com and NaturalNews.com. Jonathan is helping millions of people worldwide create health and physical fitness through a variety of educational and entertaining articles, teleconference calls, live shows and special events.
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