It is estimated that 1 in every 1,000 adults is hospitalized with kidney stones each year and 60% of those will have another stone episode within 7 years.
Symptoms include pain in the middle back, which radiates around the stomach toward the genitalia, increased urine, which may contain blood or pus, nausea and vomiting. Urinary tract infections may be caused by lodged stones that accumulate bacteria causing the infection.
CAUSE? Diet for the most part, as in most disease is the principle culprit in the formation of kidney stones. One study of 241 male kidney stone patients found that they all had a few things in common. They all had very low amounts of magnesium in their diet and they all ate large meals consisting of animal protein at dinnertime and late in the evening.
Too little potassium along with not enough fruits and vegetables cause the minerals in the urine to precipitate into stones. Consumption of soft drinks (heavy in phosphoric acid) also encourages the recurrence of kidney stones in some persons.
SOLUTION? Magnesium and B6. Magnesium is reknowned for its calcium channel blocking effect and has been shown to reduce the formation of stones by reducing the calcium oxalate in the blood that makes up the stones.
In Japan researchers found that in certain basalt rich areas of the country where the magnesium to calcium ratio was very high the incidence of kidney stones was almost non-existent. In limestone rich areas where the magnesium to calcium ratio was very low, residents had a high incidence of kidney stones.
Magnesium inhibits the formation of calcium-oxalate crystals in the urine. In one study 55 patients with recurrent kidney stones were given magnesium (magnesium hydroxide) daily for 4 years. Urinary magnesium excretion increased promptly and remained elevated during the entire study. The average number of stone episodes fell by 90%, and 85% of the patients remained stone free (compared to only 41% of the others who did not receive magnesium). According to the National Institutes of Health 80% of Americans are deficient in this essential mineral nutrient.
Vitamin B6 prevents stones primarily through its effect on oxalate metabolism. Some individuals produce excess oxalate. Oxalate is manufactured in the body from the amino acid glycine and other compounds. B6 seems to correct that abnormality in the body. B vitamins are like an army. None individually area as strong as they are as a group. Always use them as a group for best effect. The [minerals] B complex is a water-soluble form of all the B vitamins with enough B6 to do the job.
The combined effect of vitamin B6 and magnesium was tested in a landmark study performed 25 years ago. 149 recurrent stone patients were given magnesium and B6 daily for 4.5-6 years. Before receiving this treatment these patients suffered an average of 1.3 stones per person per year. Stone formations fell to .1 per person per year, a 92.3% improvement!
Studies have shown that too little water intake can encourage the precipitation of calcium into stones. Chronic dehydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stone formation. Most feel 2 quarts a day with a little lemon juice added (cuts down on uric acid, a contributor to the stones) is sufficient.
Defatted rice bran contains phytin, which binds to calcium in the intestine keeping it from becoming solid. Studies show this effect may be of benefit in preventing the recurrence of stones in people with too much of the wrong form of calcium. 10 grams per day of this fiber has been shown to diminish the amount of urinary calcium being excreted from the body which in turn has been shown to reduce the incidence of kidney stone formation.