Sunday, 1 December 2013
Preventing Kidney Stones
An abnormal accumulation of mineral salts that are formulated in the kidneys give rise to kidney stones. Stones have three origins as follows: those formed from calcium oxalic acid; those formed from uric acid; and those formed from cysteine, resulting from consuming too much protein.
The symptoms of kidney stones are severe pain in the lower back, radiating to the bladder area in the lower front part of the abdomen. Pain is severe when the stone is exiting the kidney into the ureter; it then tries to work its way down the ureter to the bladder and out of the body. Some types of kidney stones grow to such a large size that they are unable to exit the kidney. These stones will eventually block the filtration mechanism in the kidney and will have to be removed surgically. Other stones are of such a tiny size that they pass through the urinary tract painlessly.
An unbalanced diet is the main cause of kidney stones. A deficiency in magnesium causes urine to have a high alkaline content which results in the formation of stones. Magnesium is also required to balance calcium in the body. If calcium in not balanced, it can proliferate, store in the kidneys and form stones. A deficiency in vitamin B6 can raise oxalic acid and thereby give rise to stones. Diets either too low or too high in protein can cause stones. Too little vitamin D decreases calcium absorption resulting in the formation of stones. Too much calcium from food such as dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables can give rise to stones. A lack of fibre in the diet can also result in stones forming over time.
Conventional medicine has responded to the problem of kidney stones with the following: removal of the stones by surgery; removal of the stones through a lighted tube inserted into the urethra; lithotripsy which entails bombarding the stones with ultrasonic radiation to make them smaller and easier to pass; medication in the form of drugs to dissolve stones. Removal of the stones by surgery or other means doesn’t address the reason why the stones formed in the first instance. Medication depresses the immune system to the degree that it can cause autoimmune disease. Total loss of kidney function can result in uremic poisoning and death.
It is therefore best to pay attention to diet in order to control the susceptibility to kidney stones. Foods and drinks to be avoided are dairy products, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, kale, cabbage, rhubarb, organ meats, processed meats, white sugar, dried legumes, sorrel, pasta, cocoa, chocolate, coffee and tea.
Foods and beverages beneficial to the kidneys are oats, whole grain cereals, wholegrain bread, apples, almonds, asparagus, celery, cucumber, watercress, bananas, watermelon, pears, beetroot juice, cranberry juice, dandelion tea, lemon and ginger tea and water. Protein needs to be limited to 55 grams daily for the average adult. Do not underestimate the importance of water in this context: you should be drinking at least six glasses of water daily in order to flush out the kidneys.
Herbs having a positive effect on the kidneys, for the reasons stated, are as follows: parsley tones up the urinary system; garlic has a diuretic effect and tones the digestive organs; marshmallow helps remove mucous from kidneys and is soothing to the urinary tract; ginger helps with kidney cleansing; uva ursi acts as a solvent to urinic deposits; and comfrey aids balancing calcium and phosphorus.
The following food supplements can help with keeping the kidneys in good working order: vitamin B6, 100mg.three times daily, acts as a diuretic; magnesium citrate, 400mg twice daily, and vitamin B2, 100 mg twice daily, are needed to insure the proper absorption of vitamin B6;vitamin A fish liver oil, 25,000 IU, and beta carotene, 25,000 IU, can fend off the accumulation of kidney stones; phosphorus, as per label, raises body acidity and dissolves blood calcium so it does not store in the kidneys; vitamin C, 1,000 mg, four times daily, helps keep urine in an acid state, lecithin, 1,200 mg six times daily, helps purify the kidneys; vitamin E, 400 IU once daily, helps clear up kidney problems; and zinc picolinate,30 mg twice daily, has a positive effect on the acid- alkaline balance.
If you are susceptible to the formation of kidney stones, you now have a method of tackling the problem, as outlined above, using mainly natural produce and some food supplements.