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Volume III
May 31, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n


Kidney Stones: Nothing to Mess Around With!

By Alice Osborne

Kidney stones are generally made up of a compound called calcium oxalate, and are the result of an accumulation of dissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. These deposits can grow to the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure.

They can also be small and pass unnoticed out of the urinary tract, but even then they can also cause extreme pain upon exiting.

Kidney stones that remain inside the body can lead to many conditions, including severe pain in the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney and bladder), and even blockage that obstructs the path urine uses to leave the body. Researchers and scientists have found that people with kidney stones are at a significantly higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water. Stones commonly have been found in those that drink less than the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid (component of urine), the pH level within the kidneys drops and becomes more acidic. An excessively acidic environment in the kidneys is conducive to the formation of kidney stones.

Additional risk factors for kidney stones include:

  • diets that are high in protein and sodium but low in calcium
  • a sedentary lifestyle
  • high blood pressure
  • and conditions that affect how calcium is absorbed in the body, such as gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic diarrhea.

Kidney stones are twice as common among males as females. And a previous kidney stone occurrence increases the risk that a person will develop subsequent stones in the future if preventative action is not taken.

Doctors are also seeing a rise in kidney stones among children. No surprises there--the U.S. has the largest population of overweight children in the world, and the number is growing (pun intended).

And what are the symptoms of kidney stones? A kidney stone usually remains symptomless until it moves into the ureter. When symptoms become apparent, they include:

  • Severe pain in the groin and/or side
  • Blood in urine
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • White blood cells or pus in the urine
  • Reduced amount of excreted urine
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Fever and chills if there is an infection

All this said, what can be done to prevent them? First, lose weight. Research shows that the heavier a person is, the more at risk he or she is for forming uric acid kidney stones. For folks in good health, preventing kidney stones can be as easy as staying hydrated. Diluting the urine with water keeps the minerals from concentrating and forming stones. When one's urine is clear, rather than yellow colored, the chance of stone formation is reduced. Doctors may also prescribe medicines to prevent certain types of stones for individuals who are at higher risk.

And the latest research says that a daily glass of orange juice does a good job of helping to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones. Finally, if you are prone to kidney stones you should watch your caffeine intake, a study concluded.

Here are a couple highly recommended drinks you also might want to consider if kidney stones are your issue. These remedies were found on and the scores of reader responses I read praised these drinks. See what you think:

Kidney Stone Remedy I

A tasty and healthy drink that helps prevent kidney stone formation!

Serving size: 1
Calories per serving: 240

1/2 cup raw, unripe pineapple juice
1 tablespoon raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg's)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 to 6 tablespoons raw cream of coconut

Mix all ingredients together and drink immediately.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Beet & Carrot Kidney Stone Preventer

Another tasty and healthy drink to help prevent kidney stones!

Serving size: 1
Calories per serving: 15.5

6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or lime juice
6 tablespoons fresh, raw beet juice
2 ounces fresh, raw carrots, juiced
4 to 6 tablespoons raw cream of coconut

Mix all ingredients well and drink 2-3 hours before sleep.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Alice Osborne
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2006

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