problem of kidney and bladder stones is one of the oldest medical afflictions
known to mankind. Today it is one
of the most common diseases of the urinary system.
It currently accounts for approximately one hospitalization in every
thousand in the United States. The
disease is more common in males, and generally strikes in the third decade of
life. Stones are rare in children
and in blacks. A hereditary factor
has been reported, but environmental factors apparently play the predominant
role, as family members living in the patientís household have stones more
often than blood relatives who live elsewhere.
English study revealed that spouses of calcium stone-formers excreted
significantly more calcium in their urine than did spouses of nonstone-forming
controls. The higher the calcium
level excreted in the urine the higher the risk of stone formation.
one would expect, a seasonal variation occurs in the number of causes of urinary
stones; the highest incidence being in the hot, dry months of the year when the
fluid part of the urine is lowest in relation to the solid parts such as
calcium. The Southeastern states
report the highest incidence, probably reflecting the longer periods of warm
weather. New England reports the
second highest incidence.
half of all stones formed will pass spontaneously, the balance require surgical
removal. Most kidney stones are
calcium oxalate or calcium oxalate combined with calcium phosphate.
of urinary stones vary. If the
stone does not obstruct urine flow it may not produce symptoms and the first
indication of urinary stone may be the expulsion of the stone though the
urethra. Pain is by far the most
common symptom, and may be provoked by slight physical disturbance such as
automobile travel. Onset of the
pain is generally sudden and severe. The
patient may not be able to remain still for even an instant.
The worst pain is usually confined to one side, but may become so severe
it is difficult for the patient to say where it is most intense.
It may radiate down from the back of the waist into the groin, sometimes
extending into the external genitalia and thigh.
There may be abdominal distention and nausea with repeated vomiting,
rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, decreased urine output, bloody or
cloudy urine and painful, frequent, or difficult urination.
Water drinking is not only the safest, but also the best treatment for
urinary stones. It should be
thought of first as it is imperative that the urine not become concentrated,
encouraging stone formation. Patients
should drink enough water to produce two to three quarts of urine daily.
One quart of water should be taken during the night to maintain good
urine flow at all times.
An increase in urinary calcium is associated with an increased incidence
of urinary stones. Use a low
calcium diet, eliminating milk and all foods containing milk (cheese, yogurt,
ice cream, etc.), fish, chocolate, cocoa, Ovaltine, antacids, collards,
dandelion, mustard and turnip greens, and kale.
Lactose in milk produces increased absorption of calcium.
Daily vigorous outdoor exercise increases circulation to the urinary
system. Stone formation is far more common in sedentary people.
Lack of exercise may impair kidney drainage or alter calcium metabolism,
producing skeletal decalcification and subsequent excretion of the extra calcium
in the urine.
4. Overnutrition may be a
contributing factor in urinary stone formation.
Use only two simple meals a day, the diet consisting principally of
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. At
least one study suggests that a high intake of fruits and vegetables may
actually protect against kidney stones. Avoid
refined carbohydrates, high protein foods, vitamin and mineral supplements, and
concentrated foods. Excessive
vitamin D intake in the form of vitamin supplements increases calcium absorption
thus encouraging stone formation.
High intake of animal protein has been suggested as a factor favoring
production of urinary stones. As
much as possible, eliminate all high protein animal products (eggs, meats,
cheese, etc.). Excessive dietary
protein causes increased absorption as well as increased excretion of calcium.
Bear in mind that a diet low in free fats will promote good blood
circulation. Since a high sugar
intake has been implicated as contributing to urinary stone formation, it is
well to choose a diet low in or devoid of free sugars.
Urinary stones are sometimes associated with gout.
Persons with high uric acid levels should avoid foods high in oxalates.
These include Ovaltine, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, tea, and cabbage.
Return To Counseling Sheets
Disclaimer: The above counseling sheet
is provided courtesy of the Uchee Pines
Health Institute. The Uchee Pines Institute was started almost 30 years ago
by Calvin Thrash, M.D., specialist in Internal Medicine, and his wife, Agatha
Thrash, M.D., board specialist in pathology. It is a non-profit, health
educational and treatment facility located in the country near Seale, Alabama,
15 miles from Columbus, Georgia. (Address: Uchee Pines Institute, 30
Uchee Pines Road
Seale, Alabama 36875-5702. Phone: (334) 855-4764. Fax: (334) 855-4780. Email: email@example.com. Location Map: Click Here). The information contained in the counseling sheets is presented as a general educational and information guide. The counseling sheets are not intended to be used for instruction in medical treatment. The author cannot assume the medical or legal responsibility of having this information misinterpreted and considered as a prescription for any condition or any person.