Did you know that kidney stones can form without any initial pain?

It’s true.

Just because you can’t feel the kidney stones, doesn’t mean they are not there…growing inside of you…forming the little jagged edges that cause excruciating pain.

In fact, you won’t know they are there until the stones creep into your ureter – the tube that moves urine from your kidneys to your bladder – and start burning irritation in your system.

It can also be marked by lower back pain, nausea, frequent and/or painful urination, blood in the urine or cloudy urine with a funky smell. Any of these symptoms could mean you have a kidney stone.

Did You Know?

You may not know this, but there are 4 types of kidney stones that cause all this aching. Some could end up being as big as golf balls, though that’s pretty rare – thank goodness.

1.     Calcium stones (oxalate and phosphate) These are pretty common and come from excessive amounts of calcium in the urine. This calcium bonds with other materials in the waste and forms a stone. In the past, it was thought that reducing calcium intake would take care of this risk. However, that theory has since been debunked when a study of 45,000 men showed that those who had less than 850mg of calcium per day were at a higher risk for developing stones. That risk drops dramatically when countermeasures are taken to prevent the calcium from bonding. More on that in a moment…

2.     Uric acid stonesUric acid stones are also very common. They form out of an imbalance in systemic alkaline. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to readjust your alkalinity and hopefully dissolve the stone(s).

3.     Struvite stones These are far less common and come from bacteria in your system. Infections such as urinary tract infections (UTI) may be a contributing factor. You may be looking at long-term, low dose antibiotics to reduce the amount of bacteria found in your urine.

4.     Cystine stonesThe rarest of kidney stones, cystine stones are very difficult to treat and are inherited from family. Too much red meat will aggravate this condition and they can be very painful if the stone remains in the kidney creating a blockage that interrupts the flow of urine. Bleeding, pain in the kidney areas and intense cramping are some symptoms of these stones.

So, rather than wait to see if you end up with any of these kidney stones, wouldn’t you like to know how to do your best to prevent them? Or, if you already have one or more kidney stone forming, I’m sure you’d want to find out how to neutralize and shrink them so they can easily pass pain-free.

Diet Tips For Prevention

The best thing you can do is to drink plenty of water. If you or your family has a history of kidney stones, it’s important to drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water a day, more if you exercise or live in a warm climate. Hydration will help keep things moving and as they say, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” so a flowing urinary system gathers no stones! Drink cranberry juice, too, because it helps dissolve the material that combines and sticks together to form kidney stone in the first place. However, stay away from grapefruit juice – one 8 ounce cup a day has been shown to actually increase your risk of kidney stone development by up to 44%.

Change your diet. Eat more fiber from oats, beans, carrots, bran, wheat and whole-grain cereals.  High fiber plant foods have a little secret weapon against stones called phytate, which helps prevent salts from crystallizing and bonding with calcium – a major stone forming event.

The Mayo Clinic says ix-nay on the alt-say. Reducing your salt intake is definitely a step in the right direction to avoid symptoms. No salt equals no salt/calcium crystal bonding, which equals no stone. You should look to knock your salt shaker down to half of your normal usage. Also, eat less meat, pork, chicken and beef. Instead, get your protein from beans and nuts. Soy is high in protein, but be careful – it’s also high in oxalates so the potential is there for a negative effect. Other oxalic foods to avoid are chocolate (sorry!), black tea, black pepper, beets, spinach and poppy seeds.

If you don’t have the pain yet – that’s good. Let’s keep it that way by eating smart and doing all you can to prevent kidney stones from forming. Or, if they have started forming, the ideas mentioned here are strong enough to neutralize them so they can pass safely without any pain.

Remember, if you’re at risk or you think you’re at risk, then don’t take any chances. It’s been said that passing a stone is like giving birth. Makes sense… you’re attempting to push what could be a big, jagged marble through a tiny hole the size of a bead. Sounds like more pain than I’d care to experience. How about you?

What Do You Think?

Do you have a painful kidney stone experience that you wish to share?
Have the methods above, or in our “Kidney Stone Removal Report,” helped you prevent or dissolve your kidney stones… painlessly?

Until next time…