What are kidney stones or renal calculi?
Kidney stones are a common health issue. If you do not get to the underlying cause then they keep coming back and you will keep getting the same symptoms and worse if prolonged. In this blog, we will be exploring kidney stones why they are there and how you can get rid of them, as well as some of the complications that occur when you are diagnosed with them and left untreated.
Kidney stones are also known as renal calculi or Urolithiasis. They can develop anywhere in the urinary tract and stones can be small up to quite large in size. See the picture below. Very large calculi are known as staghorn calculus, that forms in the renal pelvis and calyces as they are shaped like a deer’s antlers. (Gaillard, 2019)
Most commonly caused by calcium oxalate and phosphate (80%), also uric acid and magnesium stones are common too.
Around 2% of the population have kidney stones and men are more commonly affected than women by 3:1.
Different types of kidney stone
There are 6 different types of kidney stone.
- Calcium Oxalate – 30-35%
- Calcium – 30-35% (oxalate + calcium phosphate)
- Calcium Phosphate – 6-8%
- Magnesium – 15-20% (ammnium phosphate)
- Uric Acid – 6-10% and
- Cystine – 2-3%.
Below is a chart to help you and your doctor to diagnose your kidney stones correctly.
|COMPOSITION||CRYSTAL NAME||FREQUENCY||X-RAY APPEARANCE||URINE CHARACTERISTICS||CRYSTAL CHARACTERISITCS|
|Calcium Oxalate||Whewellite||30-35%||Opaque||Nonspecific||Small: help seed or mulberry shape, brown or black colour|
(Oxalate + Calcium Phosphate)
|30-35%||Opaque||pH > 5.5||Small: help seed or mulberry shape, brown or black colour|
|Calcium Phosphate||Apatite||6-8%||Opaque||pH > 5.5||Staghorn configuration: light colour|
|Magnesium (Ammonium Phosphate)||Sturvite, Triple Phosphate||15-20%||Opaque||pH > 6.2, infection||Staghorn configuration:light colour|
|Uric Acid||6-10%||Translucent||pH < 6.0||Ellipsoid shape: tan or red-brown in colour|
|Cystine||2-3%||Opaque||pH < 7.2||Multiple stones: faceted shape: maple sugar colour|
Ref: Table from (Murry & Pizzorno, 2012)
Calcium-containing stones are directly related to the western lifestyle and diet choices. How many of the list below are true for you?
- Diets low in fibre
- A diet high in refined carbohydrate such as sugars, white goods like flour products, pizza, bread, muffins, cookies, and so on
- High alcohol consumption
- Diets with high consumption of animal protein
- Diets with high consumption of sugary drinks and soft drinks, sodas etc
- High-fat diets – from animal products, dairy, oils,
- Acid forming diets (Ferraro, 2016)
“Use of PPIs and H2 blockers is associated with a small increase in risk of incident kidney stones. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to investigate whether the excess risk is related to a particular type of kidney stones such as those made of calcium oxalate,” said Dr. Ferraro.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin D3
- EPA & DHA – Algae-based for the cleanest omega 3 form
- Cranberry extract or Grape seed extract
Ask your nutritionist or get in touch for more details
- Eat an oxalate low diet.
- Look for any infections you might have and treat the cause
- Infections could be Cystitis, Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder
- Acidify the urine with ammonium chloride your nutritionist can help with this or get in touch
causes of kidney stones
Finding the root cause of the kidney stones is very important as they are recurring. So treating the cause will be long-term more beneficial than treating the symptoms alone. Below are some possible causes to having kidney stones.
- One of the main causes of kidney stones is dehydration, due to increased solute concentration which means that
- Western diet and high fat, high animal protein diet
- Obesity and being overweight being insulin resistant due to the urinary excretion of calcium so puts a high risk for kidney stones. Especially problematic when sugar and salt are combined
- Gout due to Hyperuricemia, which is an excess in uric acid
- Hyperparathyroidism, due to hypercalcaemia which is a high calcium level in the blood
- Renal abnormalities and conditions
- Use of Protein Pump Inhibitors, or H2 Antagonists
signs and symptoms of kidney stones
- Usually without symptoms until the stone becomes logged in the ureter
- An excruciating pain that comes and goes but radiates in the flank(side of a person between the ribs and the hip) or kidney area
- Pain that radiates in the lower abdomen
- Nausea, vomiting, fever, chills
- Frequency to urinate, known as polyuria if there is an infection
- Urinating small amounts, known as oliguria
- Red, pink or brown urine
- Cloudy of fowl smelling urine
diagnosis of kidney stones
An ultra sound will diagnose the stones and where they are.
COMPLICATIONS of kidney stones
Kidney stones may stay in position but can also clog and obstruct urinary flow
Kidney stones may also travel down the urinary tract, which may produce symptoms as they descend.
Diseases and conditions that may increase your risk of kidney stones include renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, certain medications and some urinary tract infections.
what your doctor will offer you for kidney stones
1. A full medical history will be taken or looked at, or asked about
2. If suspected with kidney stones you will be offered an ultra sound
3. Your doctor may want to identify the exact type of stone, which is critical to be able to determine the best course of action to erradicate them beofre further complications arrise.
The kidney stones are a sign, a sign to get conscious and watch what you are putting in, what you are absorbing and noticing what you excrete. You may want to consider the following areas to support your body to eliminate the kidney stones.
Key areas to help yourself with are to:-
- Detox. Take a well-earned reboot. Ultimate Health is specialist in this area.
- Hydrate well
- Find out from your doctor the specific type of kidney stones you have
- Look to treat those stones with some of the information above
- If you need further help and support or guidance to living a healthy lifestyle – get in touch
A big part of why the body is here in the first place with health issues and symptoms is that it needs a break. Your body is giving you a sign. A sign to go simple. Eat consciously and find your ultimate health. So you may want to consider a Reboot and look to give your body a well earned holiday, a body holiday to bath the cells in energy, nutrients, vibrancy, live foods and lots of healing fibre. By giving your body regular breaks you give yourself the best chance to heal.
Take the next step to prevent illnesses & health issues,
Join Ultimate Health, Your Journey Starts Here!
At Ultimate Health we look for prevention and treating the cause. We always start by wiping the slate clean with a Reboot and then looking to help support your body to heal using natural proven principles. Naturopathic solutions and a protocol that supports your body and every system that it runs. We help you to manage the many multifunctional influences that can cause conditions like this in the first place. Detoxification is key, as well as reducing internal inflammation, getting conscious about your health and finding out what is actually healthy for you. If you need a map we have the One Clear Path to support your entire journey to your Ultimate Health.
Here are the Pathways we use to support you:
- Group Support
- One to One consultations
- Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet
- Meal Plans that are done for you
- Education on the Real Truth about What is Actually Healthy, not just what the media tells you is “Healthy“.
1. Gaillard, F. (2019). Staghorn calculus (kidney) | Radiology Reference Article | Radiopaedia.org. [online] Radiopaedia.org. Available at: https://radiopaedia.org/articles/staghorn-calculus-kidney?lang=gb [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].
2. Han, H., Segal, A., Seifter, J. and Dwyer, J. (2015). Nutritional Management of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis). Clinical Nutrition Research, [online] 4(3), p.137. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525130/ [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].
3. Murray, M. and Pizzorno, J. (2012). The encyclopedia of natural medicine. 3rd ed. New York: Atria Paperback, p.765.
4. Quora, Purine Rich Foods list – https://www.quora.com/What-diet-is-recommended-for-high-uric-acid-gout
6. Ferraro (2016). Reflux and ulcer medications linked to kidney stones and chronic kidney disease. [online] ScienceDaily. Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161118130351.htm [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].