- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Kidney Stones: Prevention the Natural Way
X-Ray of a Person with Kidney Stones
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Examples of Kidney Stones
Chanca Piedra Plant
This is how most people who have passed a kidney stone describe the pain. My mother has has had them and my father recently had one, too. I was told that the pain was so bad that he fainted!
Inspired by my parents' ordeal, I decided to dedicate an article to the natural prevention of kidney stones.
What is a kidney stone?
After our bodies uses what it needs from the food we intake, the excess waste ends up in our kidneys and gets excreted in our urine. Certain foods, however, cause this waste to crystallize in our urinary tract and sometimes these crystals may form a "stone."
There are several kinds of stones, but the most common are the Calcium Oxalate Stones, which tend to form when the urine has a low pH level (acidic). Calcium from bone may play a role in the formation of these stones, but dietary oxalate can be found in many foods, too.
These stones will eventually come out when you urinate, and can cause debilitating pain as they pass from your kidneys to your bladder to your urethra.
Genetics, weight, lifestyle, activity level, diet, climate- all of these factors can influence the production of kidney stones. They can appear in anyone at anytime at any age (even if you are really young and seemingly healthy)!
Herbal Remedies include Chanca Piedra known as the Stone Breaker. Chanca Piedra is an herb used to treat disorders of the urinary tract such as: infections, pain, inflammation, discharge and kidney stones- to mention just a few. This amazing plant grows in South America and contains chemicals that may help to alleviate spasms, fever, increase urine and fight against bacteria.
The following are a five simple steps that everyone can easily employ in their day to day lives.
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO PREVENT KIDNEY STONES:
1. Drink plenty of fluids. This is perhaps one of the most important (and easiest) ways to prevent kidney stones. According to the online National Kidney Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) you should drink enough fluids to produce 2 quarts of urine per day. WATER is the best thing you can drink, of course. Moderate intake of coffee and alcohol is also recommended. AVOID grapefruit juice and dark colas, which tend to increase the risk of stone formation.
2. Low salt diet. The sodium that is in salt may cause more calcium to be excreted into the urine, so try to use salt in moderation. AVOID processed deli meats, canned soups, hot dogs, fast foods and frozen dinners since they all contain enormous amounts of sodium!
3. Limit meat and organs. If you like organ meats like liver, try to eat it only occasionally since it can also contribute to kidney stones. Meat in general seems to promote stone formation, so why not enjoy a few vegetarian meals each week and avoid eating meat on a daily basis? Think of it as a form of "body detox."
4. Easy on the Vitamins. Commercial supplements that contain too much vitamin C or D can contribute to stone formation, so make sure you aren't taking more than 500 mg daily. Better yet, try to eat foods rich in these vitamins since the absorption level is higher with food vs. synthetic pills.
5. Maintain a healthy weight. Studies show that overweight people are at higher risk for kidney stones.
NOTE: Different kinds of stones require different dietary requirements. This article addressed the most common stone mentioned above. For more information, visit the National Kidney & Urologic DiseasesInformation Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) website at:
Remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Begin implementing these simple good habits NOW and you may prevent suffering later. As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist