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Prevent Kidney Stones Forever with This Myth Busting Advice

Tim Boyer's picture
Previnting Kidney stones

Talk to anyone who has ever had a kidney stone and they will tell you that it is one of the most painful experiences—even more than childbirth—that you will ever happen to you. Well, according to Dr. Oz, you can prevent kidney stones forever with his kidney stone myth busting advice that will keep your urine stone-free.

“Today I am talking about something that has been described as more painful than giving birth. And one in ten of you will get one of these little balls of anger in your life—I’m talking about kidney stones,” says Dr. Oz as he tells viewers that kidney stones are preventable and how to never get one ever.

The intense pain you will feel from a kidney stone (typically in the lower back region of the body just under the rib cage) is due to a simple plumbing problem not unlike what happens to the drains in your house from time to time―clogging.

To more exact, kidney stones are hard, rough-surfaced masses that develop when chemicals and minerals in the urine form into sharp-edged crystals. In some cases, these crystals grow and mass together with other crystals to form “stones”―many of which can become so big that they cannot exit the kidney.

All of us have these crystal-building chemicals and minerals in our urine; however, normally the human body acts to prevent formation of crystallized stones via inhibitory chemicals in the urine. But in the U.S, which has the highest rate of kidney stone cases, at least 10% of us will still develop large kidney stones that many researchers attribute to our modern-day diet.

Dr. Oz explains that normally tiny kidney stones form in the kidneys and typically are small enough to flush through the ureters to the bladder and then eventually out through the urethra and you are not ever aware of it. However, when the stone(s) are larger than the narrowest part of a ureter (the tiny tube than runs from the kidney to the bladder), the stone(s) block the normal flow of urine from the kidney forcing it back up into the kidney, which then swells and becomes inflamed. Hence—intense localized pain that will have you believing that you are about to die from “something” inside you that feels like it’s going to bust. Often it comes at a moment’s notice where you will find yourself rolling on the floor in pain.

While you will not die from a kidney stone (immediately anyways) your kidney is being actively damaged during this time and can result in eventual loss of a kidney. Some experts believe that kidney stones are indicative of future medical health problems that tend to especially develop in people who have had a kidney stone in the past.

Kidney Stone Myths and Truths

To help prevent viewers from ever experiencing a kidney stone, Dr. Oz offers the following myths and truths to help keep your kidneys healthy and happy:

Kidney Stone Myth #1: You have to drink 8 glasses of water a day to prevent kidney stones

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This is a myth Dr. Oz tells viewers as he points out that what is really more important is the idea of keeping the body hydrated throughout the day rather than trying to force 8 glasses of water down.

His recommendation is to continue drinking as much water as you comfortably can, but to supplement the water with water-containing fruits and vegetables with every meal. The examples he provides include grapefruit with breakfast, cantaloupe with lunch, and strawberries with dinner.

“Eat your water…have your regular meals and add some fruits and vegetables that have some fluids in them naturally and that will allow you to stay hydrated more easily than you think,” says Dr. Oz.

In addition, Dr. Oz recommends against using soda to help keep yourself hydrated because many sodas contain phosphoric acid that actually helps kidney-stone-starting crystal formation in the kidneys.

Kidney Stone Myth #2: Eating dairy or taking calcium supplements causes kidney stones

Because people hear that one of the components of kidney stones is calcium, they assume that calcium is part of the problem. But the truth is that calcium in your body is actually helpful in preventing kidney stones attests Dr. Oz.

“A lot of people tell me that they don’t want to take calcium as a supplement, they don’t want to eat calcium in their foods because they are worried about kidney stones…that’s a myth,” says Dr. Oz. “It turns out that when you eat calcium, it binds the other chemicals―like oxalates―that goes into the stone, and pulls it out of your intestines so that it never goes into your body so that it can never form a stone.”

Kidney Stone Myth #3: Nuts are always healthy for the body

While Dr. Oz has always been a constant advocate for eating nuts as part of a healthy diet, it turns out for those people who have a predisposition for chronically developing kidney stones, nuts may be part of the problem and should be avoided.

“One of the big problems is that although nuts are extremely nutritious, unfortunately they do predispose you to having kidney stones,” says Dr. Oz. “So beets, spinach—all those foods that are really good for you, and especially nuts, are a problem for you because they have oxalates. So you’ve got to cut them out of your diet―or down anyway―if you have kidney stones.”

For an additional informative article on kidney stone prevention, click-on the titled link, “Are You Drinking Yourself Toward a Kidney Stone?”