Kidney stones have long afflicted mankind. Evidence of kidney stones has recently been found in a 7,000 year-old Egyptian mummy! Still, in every decade since World War II, the U.S. has seen a steady rise in kidney stone cases. Today 10% of American men and 5% of American women have a kidney stone by the time they’re seventy. Kidney stones are a diet-related illness. They are directly linked to dehydration, low dietary fiber, high fats from large amounts of animal protein, sugary foods, and too much alcohol and salt. Notable amounts of unabsorbed calcium (usually from dairy sources or antacids), also play a part.
The above symptoms parallel the rise of the Standard American Diet, full of fat, fried foods, rich dairy products and sugar. Excessive use of antacids and adrenal exhaustion also contribute to kidney stones. Kidney stones form when minerals that normally float free in kidney fluids combine into crystals. When inorganic mineral waste overloads and the body has too little fluid, kidney stones form. There are three types of kidney stones: those composed of calcium salts, the most common type (75-85%), struvite, or non-calcium-containing crystals (10-15%), and uric acid crystals, at about 5-8% occurrence. It takes from 5 to 15 hours of vigorous, urgent treatment to dissolve and pass even small stones.
Kidney Stone Prevention Tips
A vegetarian diet, low in proteins and starches, that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables and cultured foods to alkalize the system, is the key to avoiding kidney stone formation. This type of diet is high in fiber to reduce urinary calcium waste. Eliminate caffeine foods, salty, sugary and fried foods and soft drinks that inhibit kidney filtering. Avoid clogging, mucous-forming foods like dairy foods, heavy grains, starches and fats, to relieve irritation and inhibit sediment formation.