Kidney stones can be very painful, and they leave you feeling less than healthy and well. If you are adhering to a health & wellness lifestyle, then it is important to address some of the things that could go wrong, if you are not paying enough attention to the details. Sure, the big stuff is important to get right, from the outset; however, in terms of your new, balanced, beautiful life, you might also want to “Sweat [Some Of] The Small Stuff,” but only where it matters most.
Some of the details in your lifestyle have a significant, long-term impact on the feeling and functioning of your body. You can prevent painful complications and even minor irritation, by paying closer attention and picking up on the details. Kidney stones are caused by an accumulation of mineral salts, within your body. While most kidney stones will pass through your system, naturally, on their own, larger stones can become lodged within your urinary tract, unable to pass – Cripes! The size of each stone is variable, and they can become very painful, when they are not passing through your body. Basically, they cause colic, and can make you start to feel like an upset, Cranky Pants. The pain caused by kidney stones, leads to a host of problems, and in extreme cases, they may even cause nausea and vomiting. Your body will alert you to the fact that you have kidney stones, as you will start to experience recurring stomach aches and other, related symptoms too; so, pay attention.
Here is a list of the more common symptoms you may experience in relation to kidney stones.
-Back Pain (especially in the lower back)
-Flank Pain (on the side of your body)
-red, tinged urine (signifying the presence of blood)
In terms of the little suckers that cause these symptoms, there are four different kinds. Kidney stones are caused by different things, and the types of stones that develop in your body, as a result, are divided into the following categories:
- Calcium stones – Calcium stones (a.k.a. Calcium Oxalate stones) are caused by tiny crystals in the urine that bind to Calcium. Stones develop when those binds grow, forming into a larger unit, resulting in a stone.
- Uric Acid Stones – Uric acid stones are caused by high levels of uric acid in the urine, produced within your body. These types of stones can form very rapidly, if the concentration of uric acid in your body’s urine is too high.
- Struvite Stones – Struvite stones are the types of stones that result from bacteria in the urine. This is most commonly associated with urinary tract infections, and left untreated, the result of these stones can cause severe, health consequences.
- Cystine Stones – Cystine stones are caused by a congenital (meaning present at birth) condition called, cystenuria. Those who suffer from these types of stones, usually have recurring problems, and need to be monitored by their healthcare providers. These types of stones only affect a small percentage of people, and they are very rare.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, especially a combination of symptoms, and you think it’s related to kidney stones, please see your doctor to determine the source of the problem. It is important to be advised on the appropriate course of action for treatment. Our website is a great resource for advice, in the realm of health & wellness; however, we are promoting a healthy, natural lifestyle, and we suggest integrating these techniques into your life, for good balance, rather than using them as a replacement for medical treatment. It’s all about balance.
Correlational studies have shown a link between Vitamin C intake and Kidney stones. While correlation does not imply causation, it is wise to take a look at your Vitamin, Mineral and food intake, and make sure that you are behaving like a balanced foodie. If you are prone to kidney stones, or if you aren’t feeling so hot these days, it is recommended that you try reducing your consumption of certain foods. However, our philosophy is more about including the good stuff, and focusing more on the upside of things, as opposed to the alternative. There are tons of great health foods to include, to help you prevent future problems, and they make you feel really good too.
Time to get creative!
We have already introduced our readers to the benefits of Kombucha Tea, and in terms of good health, to prevent problems within the digestive or excretory system, we highly recommend it. We want to talk to you, again, about the benefits of Kombucha tea, just in case you’ve never tried it or in case you missed our last, excellent article (We’re humble).
Think wine coolers!
Kombucha Tea tastes like a really, fruity, sweet and light, strawberry-flavored wine.
Q: “What is it?” – you ask…
A: “Oh thanks, we’re glad you asked us!”
Kombucha Tea is a type of fermented drink that is considered a natural elixir, and it improves your overall health. Quick Tips: Elixirs are believed to prolong life. The direct health benefits of Kombucha Tea include: detoxification of your body; promoting healthy, glowing, skin; reducing wrinkles; and offering mood enhancing benefits. This is a relaxing refreshment, that is noted to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, so it’s great to sip at work or to have during a mid-day break; Get a tea, and set your mind free.
With just 33 calories, and 0 grams of fat, this is a healthier alternative to your usual, specialty coffee (which has anywhere from 150 – 400 calories, and up to 11 grams of fat. Some tea-lattes have up to 450 calories and 10 grams of fat!) As a morning energizer, chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, especially B12 which is essential for vegetarians, Kombucha tea is, clearly, the healthier choice. So replace your coffee break and go on a Kombucha tea-spree! Your body will thank you.
As for the rest of your foodie fun, promoting good, digestive health – Here is a one day plan for eating like a health & wellness Duke or Duchess, a Renal Regalia of sorts. This one’s unisex, and you can adjust the portion sizes, as needed. Eat when you’re hungry, stop if you’re full.
The 1 Day Fit Plan
At breakfast, have a delicious smoothie. Try this smoothie recipe, for a sweet tasting, morning treat.
Royalty Cantaloupe (i.e. Elope – They can’t.)
– 1 Cup Cantaloupe (cubed)
– 1 Cup Canned Peaches
– 1 Cup Coconut Water
– 1 Cup Orange Juice
– 1 Scoop of Vanilla, Rice, Protein Powder
– 1 Yogurt cup (any flavor)
For lunch, have a healthy meal of soup and salad. Try these recipes for lunch. Quick Tips: Pumpkin Soup is an acquired, sweet taste. For a more savory taste, substitute carrots for the pumpkin, in this recipe.
– 3 Tbsp Margarine Substitute
– Squeeze in the juice from ½ lemon
– 2 tsp Coconut Oil
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 1 clove garlic (minced)
– 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (alternatives: Sesame Seed, Safflower)
– 1 Cups of Pumpkin Pie Filling
– 1 Cup Butternut Squash
– 1 Sweet potato (cubed)
– 1 Medium Onion (chopped)
– 3.5 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
– 1.5 Cups Regular Almond Milk
Directions: Place 1 Tbsp of Oil into a frying pan, and add in the onions and garlic. Fry until soft, and golden brown in color. Add in the lemon juice and nutmeg. Add the onion mixture, along with the Squash, Sweet Potato Cubes, and a Bay Leaf, to a large pot (For Carrot Soup: Add in the carrots now too).
Pour the Vegetable Broth over top of the vegetables, and simmer the veggies in a covered pot for about 30 min, or until everything is really soft. You are going to puree this, when it’s done.
Meanwhile, in another, large pot, melt the makeshift margarine, and add in the pumpkin pie filling. Keep on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
For the Veggies, transfer 1 Cup amounts into a blender, and pulse to blend. Add the puree, in small batches, to the pumpkin pot. Once everything is transferred, bring up to a boil. Reduce heat, add in the milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the coconut oil in, at the very end, to thicken the soup; make sure everything is blended thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes, before serving.
Easy Salad Recipe
– 2 Cups of Mixed Greens
– ¼ Cup Alfalfa Sprouts
– ½ Cucumber
– 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
– 1 Tbsp Oil (Olive, Sesame or Grapeseed)
– 1 Tsp Honey Mustard
– Salt and Pepper to taste
Toss and Serve.
We recommend having this lunch with 2 slices of garlic toast. To make, slice 2 pieces of your favorite bread, like multigrain or sourdough. Brush the bread slices with Olive Oil, and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake in the oven until crisp, or use a toaster oven, if you have one. If you are gluten free, try having 2 sheets of Rye Vita, topped with hummus, instead.
For dinner, have steamed carrots with some rice and a vegetarian, chicken cutlet. If you are eating meat, you can have real, chicken; however, for the best benefits to your kidneys, we suggest trying a meatless alternative. It’s only 1 day, and they’re delicious!
If you are looking for a great rice dish, try our Honey Bush Rice Recipe. If you want, you can replace the tea with the liquid in the mushrooms. Just leave it in.
Here’s a delicious way to cook your carrots.
– 2 Cups of Carrots
– 1 Zucchini
– 1.5 Cups of low sodium Vegetable Broth
– 1 Cups of water
– 1 Tbsp honey
– 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
– ½ Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
– 1 Tbsp Margarine Substitute (Melted)
– 1 Tbs. Horseradish
– ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (off the block of cheese)
Directions: Cut the Zucchini into lengthwise pieces, about 2 inches in length, and ½ inch wide. Add them to a large, casserole dish. Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil the carrots in the water, until they are somewhat softened. Add them to the Zucchini dish. Whisk together the Vegetable Broth, Honey and Dijon Mustard. Pour the sauce over the Vegetables, and toss to coat.
Topping: Mix together the topping ingredients, except for the cheese, and sprinkle over top. Follow up with Parmesan Cheese, and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees, until the veggies are soft.
Now for the less fun part. This is the reason you are eating healthy, and preparing yourself all of your healthy meals. It’s worth the work!
13 Common Causes of Kidney Stones
- Too much Calcium – Dairy products are a sufficient source of Calcium, so if you are already getting your RDA through food, then there’s no need to supplement. In fact, 80% of kidney stones are Calcium Stones, so when taking your daily Vitamins and Minerals, it is important that you choose your supplements wisely. If you are eating dairy at every meal, then you are probably fine. If you are not, then supplements are beneficial. It’s all about balance.
- Too much Vitamin D – If you are getting too much Vitamin D, it can result in high blood calcium levels of Calcium. The two go hand in hand; Vitamin D helps your body to absorb Calcium. So, if you are getting enough Calcium in your diet, niether a Vitamin D or Calcium supplement are necessary.
- Carb. Overload – If you are getting too many carbohydrates in your diet, this can lead to kidney stones, over the long run because of the sugars in simple Carbs. A good point to remember is that Carbohydrates are necessary because they affect your mood. Likewise, they are a major source of energy for your body. Quick Tips: Men, don’t exceed 5 servings per day. Women, we recommend sticking with 3 per day. You should also choose complex Carbs as opposed to simple Carbs.
- Chron’s – Chron’s Disease can lead to problems with your kidneys. If you are diagnosed with Chron’s, it is important that you heed your doctor’s advice. Most cases of Chron’s are hereditary, so if you have it, you would likely already know. However, it’s sound advice to see your doctor if you are experiencing ongoing problems with stomach aches. If you have a diagnosis, it is important to pay attention to your food.
- IBS – Same thing here; if you have persistent problems with your digestive system, seek your doctor’s advice, and pay closer attention to your food choices.
- Not Listening to your body – We really recommend that you pay attention to the cues your body gives you, as it will guide you in the right direction. It sounds like common sense, but we teach ourselves to ignore this. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you feel full, and pay attention to when your body needs a break. That includes washroom breaks; decreased urination leads to problems, like kidney stones. When you are caught up in your work, don’t dismiss your body’s needs. Make sure you take breaks, when needed.
- PH Balance – The PH balance of your body is difficult to control. If your food choices are unbalanced, this will, usually, result in a PH balance that is too high. If your PH is too low, that can result in a different type of kidney stones, so we are aiming for balance. Drinking plenty of water, and getting all of your nutritional needs met, should take care of this for you.
- Overuse of Antacids – If you take over the counter medication for heartburn, you should try to determine the cause of your acid reflux. Food changes can often help, and are better than covering your symptoms; Antacids can lead to an overabundance of Calcium in your system.
- Improper Foodie Choices – As stated above, make sure you are eating a wide variety of healthy foods, to keep your PH balance stable. You also want to get most of your Vitamins and Minerals from good, clean, food sources, rather than supplements.
- Dehydration – Water is your body’s main source of energy, so you need to ensure you are drinking eight cups or two Liters per day. Your urine becomes more concentrated when you are dehydrated, and kidney stones are more likely to form. Likewise, water helps to flush out impurities and toxins from your body, so make sure you are getting enough.
- Inactivity – Inactivity results in a variety of problems, and kidney stones are one of them. If you are new to fitness, or you have limited mobility, try Walking, Yoga or Pilates. All are low intensity forms of activity that will help you to keep active.
- Excessive Drinking – Alcohol is not so good for you. If you are drinking, make sure it’s being done in moderation. If you have an affinity for the merrymaking, try to limit your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks, and aim for weekend use only. There are many, tasty, alternatives to the real thing, that allow you to Party, albeit a little less Hardy.
- Animal Protein – We would like to talk you guys about the benefits of Vegan and Vegetarian lifestyles. We aren’t saying, ‘never eat meat;’ however, limiting or significantly reducing the amount of meat in your meals, can help to prevent things like kidney stones. We suggest trying our 1 Day Fit Plan, and seeing how it goes – just for 1 day. There are also Pescatraian and Flexitarian lifestyles too, so it doesn’t have to be a ‘cold turkey’ approach.
P.S. If you don’t like animals, you’re a Cold Turkey.
In addition to the considerations above, you also want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water, throughout the day, to help cleanse your digestive system, and rid your body of toxins. Another great drink to try is Marshmallow Root Tea. It helps to soothe and heal your body, and it cleanses the digestive tract. It’s also good for preventing UTIs (i.e. urinary tract infections). We like it because it’s a good choice for tea time, and the name sounds fun too!
Other things to sip on include 100% Real, Cranberry juice, and hot Water with lemon. The latter, is great to include, following meals. We have friends who do this, and it’s a popular tradition, in Asian Culture. Sipping on hot water with lemon, helps to improve digestion and minimizes discomfort, following a meal. You also want to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin A, and that you aren’t consuming too much sugar. Stay active, and your kidneys will stay healthy.