People who have had the painful experience of passing a kidney stone remember well what this feels like, as sufferers describe it as one of the few pains worse than childbirth. Over 7 years, 50 percent of people who have had an episode will experience a recurrence, with a greater proportion experiencing a recurrence over a longer period. The majority of kidney stones are made from calcium oxalate. I have developed the Undoctored protocol to help you prevent these painful stones from forming.
Think of kidney stones like the rock candy you made as a kid: You dissolve as much sugar as possible in boiling water and then allow the solution to cool, causing sugar to crystallize on a piece of string. A similar process causes the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones: If urine is allowed to become saturated with calcium and oxalate, calcium oxalate crystals form and, over time, become “stones” that can block urine if lodged in the ureters (leading to the bladder). These stones can lead to blood in the urine as well as excruciating pain. A key strategy is to keep urine diluted to prevent calcium and oxalate from crystallizing, achieved by hydrating well.
Gauging individual hydration, however, is imprecise. Rules such as “drink half your weight in water per day,” unfortunately, do not factor in level of physical effort, time of year/ambient temperature, clothing, variation in sweating, or individual urine concentrating ability, so they are potentially misleading. One crude method is to look at urine color and hydrate to keep it from becoming amber, maintaining a light-yellow tint at all times. Another way is to test your urine with dipsticks (widely available in pharmacies), never allowing urine-specific gravity to exceed 1.010. Several manufacturers are developing portable devices that measure sodium concentration of sweat, an indirect gauge of hydration status. Stay tuned for online Undoctored discussions about these devices as they become available.
REBUILD BOWEL FLORA
Supplement with a high-potency, multispecies probiotic, as in the Wild, Naked, and Unwashed program; be certain that your preparation contains at least one, preferably several, of the following species: Bifidobacterium infantis, B. lactis, B. breve, B. longum, Lactobacillus paracasei, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, or L. gasseri. These are the species that reduce urine levels of oxalate dramatically, leaving less oxalate to form crystals. Garden of Life RAW products and Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care are two excellent choices with several of these species in each. Though not yet on the market, in the future, there will likely be probiotics that include Oxalobacter formigenes, which is also an enthusiastic consumer of oxalate, further reducing urinary oxalate levels. It is not yet clear how long a probiotic must be taken for full benefit, or on what schedule (e.g., 4 weeks every 6 months?), particularly when combined with a prebiotic fiber program, like the one in Undoctored. For full assurance of benefit, taking the probiotic chronically or on a repetitive schedule ensures continual reseeding of bowel flora; I shall update everyone as new data emerge.
Take magnesium citrate as your magnesium supplement. Ideally, 400 milligrams three times per day. Both magnesium and citrate (citric acid) block the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, making magnesium citrate a convenient means of obtaining both.
TAKE VITAMIN B6
Taken as the most active form, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (rather than the less-well-metabolized pyridoxine), vitamin B6, at 50 milligrams per day, also blocks calcium and oxalate from forming crystals in the urine in some people.
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