Kidney stones may develop from genetic, metabolic or nutritional causes. Those that are diet-related can be treated naturopathically. Whatever the cause, kidney stones are known to cause an astonishing amount of pain.
Anyone who has ever suffered with a kidney stone and finally passed it, is not anxious to ever have to endure this excruciating experience again. And for these unfortunates, the fact that if you've had one kidney stone you are more likely to end up with more of them, is food for thought.
Prevention is the byword where kidney stones are concerned.
One bit of prevention that will work for some people is to reduce the amount of oxalates in the diet. Oxalates are molecules that team up with calcium to form crystals which cause inflammation to tissues. This can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
It's possible to have a diet that is too high in oxalates. Added to this, our bodies also make oxalates on their own, and some people just end up with too much of them. Either way, reduction of dietary oxalate is an excellent idea.
Avoidance of some foods and calculated inclusion of others can bring the desired result, which is, in this case, an absence of kidney stones.
Antacids, dairy products, refined white flour, excess salt and sugar should be cut out of the diet. Such beverages as alcohol, and carbonated or caffeinated drinks should be avoided.
Emphasis should be placed on foods that offer a good ratio of calcium to magnesium. Brown rice, bananas, barley and oats meet this ratio nicely. Foods high in fiber like flaxseed meal, oat bran and psyllium seed husk may also be of benefit.
Drinking plenty of liquids and staying well-hydrated can help to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Highly recommended for this are water, cranberry juice, carrot juice, grape juice, and herbal teas. Water with lemon or lime juice may help to dissolve stones.
Some supplements are advised. Magnesium can help to shrink any existing stones and can also prevent their formation. Vitamin B6 may prevent excessive urinary oxalate, reducing the risk of kidney stones.