There’s nothing more painful, or so I’ve been told, than kidney stones.
Kidney stones are extremely common, affecting 3% to 5% of men and women.
Most of the stones are small enough to get out of the bladder and excreted in the urine.
I remember a doctor that I worked with once who insisted he knew the reason for kidney stones.
He claimed that his practice of not drinking enough water, and holding his urine because he was a busy medical resident, resulted in a recurrence of kidney stones.
It makes sense but it’s completely wrong.
It also shows you just because someone is a doctor, doesn’t mean they know about their subject.
Kidney stones are actually easily preventable.
It turns out that kidney stones are made mostly of calcium.
So you would think that a low calcium diet would prevent kidney stones, right?
Calcium is one of those odd things that is very counterintuitive in the body.
So I’ll give it away now. It turns out that the more calcium you consume, the lower your likelihood of getting stones are.
If you want to prevent kidney stones, consume more calcium!
The reason calcium is such an odd beast is that oftentimes high calcium levels are found between the cells, or what is called the extracellular fluid.
But that corresponds with very low calcium inside the cells.
And you need to have the calcium inside the cells for it to do its job.
Calcium requires additional minerals to be absorbed
If you have calcium, you need to have enough sodium and enough magnesium for the calcium to get into the cells.
Most people are chronically short of magnesium, and this means that they’re not absorbing enough calcium in the cells.
This is why calcium supplements do not work
Oftentimes, people take calcium supplements, and it may even make the problem temporarily worse because the calcium just increases the amount of calcium between the cells, which actually means there’s less calcium inside the cells.
What a person should do instead is make sure they have plenty of bioavailable magnesium, plenty of sodium, and then if they take calcium supplements, the calcium will enter the cells and do its job.
When you take calcium the natural way, stones are almost impossible
Bioavailable calcium along with magnesium can be found in milk, cheese, orange juice, and coffee.
Where juice and coffee have a lot of magnesium.
Milk and cheese have a lot of calcium.
If you eat all these things, you’re going to get both magnesium and calcium. Plus the salt in the cheese will help you absorb the calcium and magnesium better.
The other thing that contributes to kidney stones
Too much phosphorus contributes to kidney stones. Because too much phosphorus messes up the metabolism of calcium.
People get too much phosphorus by consuming a lot of red meat, which is high in phosphorus, and not consuming enough other sources of calcium.
What if you don’t like milk or cheese?
You can get a lot of magnesium and calcium by eating a lot of well-cooked kale, collard greens, or other greens.
Everything but spinach and chard, which are high in oxalic acid which interferes with the absorption of calcium.
If you chop up kale or collards and cook them thoroughly, you can either eat the whole thing, or just drink the juice, and get a lot of bioavailable magnesium and calcium.
What you don’t want to do is consume a ton of red meat, without other sources of calcium and magnesium.
If you keep your calcium consumption up and balance your diet with plenty of magnesium and sodium, the result will be that stones are gone.
What if you already have stones?
It seems that taking olive oil and lemon juice helps dissolve stones.
If you already have them, people report that olive oil and lemon juice is almost a miracle way of softening the stones and letting them pass.
The relationship between estradiol, calcium and phosphorus, with stones
High urinary phosphorus predictive of stones
Increasing dietary calcium reduces likelihood of getting stones