The Hidden Cause of Kidney Stones
They call them “kidney stones”, but imagine instead trying to digest a miniature chainsaw, switched on…everyday…for a couple of weeks. If you’ve ever passed a stone or cared for someone who did, it’s an experience you never want to repeat. And yet, the numbers say once you’ve had one, there could be a whole lot more where that came from.
Which is why the information in this post may be valuable to you or someone you love. According to William Bradshaw, PhD, of Great Plains Laboratories, the elevated levels of oxalic acid necessary to form the majority of kidney stones people pass, can now be attributed to a fungal origin in the body.
Following are excerpts from his paper “The Role of Oxalates in Autism and Chronic Disorders” published March 26, 2010. If kidney stones have shown up in your family tree, you’ll want to read the whole scholarly paper using the link above. But here are some key points to ponder:
Kidney Stones have been around
A mummy lay preserved for a couple thousand years in the high desert of Chile. Upon X-ray exam, a very large golfball size oxalate stone was found in one of the kidneys. This discovery bears testimony that kidney stones and oxalate toxicity have afflicted humans for a very long time.
Oxalates (the salt form of oxalic acid) are extremely painful when deposited in the body. About eighty percent of kidney stones are caused by oxalates and they are by far the most common factor in kidney stone formation. There is also a large degree of genetic variability in the ability to detoxify the chemicals that produce oxalates. Perhaps twenty percent of the population has a genetic variance that increases their likelihood of producing oxalates, even when not consuming a high-oxalate diet.
Kidney stones are one of the most common medical ailments—ten to fifteen percent of adults will be diagnosed with a kidney stone in their lifetime. One million Americans develop kidney stones each year and most of these are oxalate related. Seventy-five to ninety percent of kidney stones are made of oxalic acid bound to another compound, usually calcium.
Once you have experienced a kidney stone attack, you have a very high chance of having another unless you change something. And common symptoms are pain in the side and the back below the ribs. The episodes of pain last between twenty to sixty minutes, and it’s common to hear women claim they are more painful than childbirth.
Not Just In The Kidneys…
Even though oxalate crystals are most common in the kidney, they also can form in virtually any other tissue in the body, including the brain and the blood-brain barrier. Oxalate crystals resembling pieces of glass can form in the heart muscle. As the heart muscle contracts, these pieces of oxalate crystals actually tear into the tissue. If these crystals are deposited in skeletal muscle, normal movement and exercise can be very painful. Other diseases in which oxalates may play a role include arthritis, joint pain and interstitial cystitis.
Coral shaped kidney stone.
Typical staghorn shaped kidney stone
Star shaped kidney stones
The shape of the crystal will depend on which metal the oxalate combines with. Calcium is one of the most common but oxylate can combine with virtually any other metal: cobalt, zinc, magnesium.
Stones Have a Fungal Origin
Anyone familiar with kidney stones may find all of this mundane. But the unexpected piece is that oxalate crystals are produced in very high amounts by molds and fungus. Aspergillus—a common organism that causes infection in humans and also is found in the black fungi that you may find in your bathroom—produces oxalates, and lots of them. And these stones will form any place that has infection by the fungus.
William Bradshaw reports, “In the case of sinus infection, mold and fungus, not bacteria, are the most common causes of infection. A colleague of mine, who is an eye, nose and throat specialist, X-rayed a patient’s sinuses and found large oxalate crystals in her sinuses, which disappeared after anti-fungal treatment.
Large oxalate crystals have also been isolated from the lungs of people who had Aspergillus infection of the lungs. The deposits can also form in the skin where they create black areas and necrotic lesions in people with very high oxalate levels.”
Yeast Connection to Kidney Stones
Bradshaw reports, “Children who take oral antibiotics will frequently have much higher amounts of oxalates. Antibiotics severely disrupt the balance of normal flora in the gut, with a consequent exponential proliferation in the growth of Candida, which is resistant to antibiotics. Oral antibiotics first appeared in the early 1950s, and the pharmaceutical companies actually included antifungal drugs along with the antibiotics because they knew about this problem. The FDA disallowed the addition, declaring that there was no approval for the prophylactic use of anti-fungals, thereby washing their hands of the whole business. It is significant to note that if individuals are given the same amount of antibiotics intravenously, their oxalate values do not rise because there was no effect on the GI tract. In some ways the old medical treatment—a shot of penicillin—was a lot safer.”
Treat the Fungus
Even though a person can avoid the worst oxalate offenders in the foods we eat—soy foods and spinach— if you are enjoying a varied diet, it is difficult to reduce dietary oxalate levels to near zero because they occur in so many foods—grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits. And again, food source only represents 20% of the oxalate found in the body. The other 80% is generated elsewhere, namely by overgrown yeast or fungus.
For treatment, Shaw recommends, “The most effective way to get rid of overall oxalates is an effective anti-fungal therapy to help control Candida along with a high quality probiotic. Probiotic bacteria have enzymes that break down oxalates.”
So, there you have it. A missing diagnosis for all that oxylate that’s sent you seeking a birthing coach for your next kidney stone.
8 Helpful Hints for Eliminating Kidney Stones
To summarize Dr. Bradshaw’s findings, along with some recommendations of our own, here are 8 helpful hints for eliminating kidney stones.
- Adopt an effective anti-fungal therapy: 30 Day Reboot from Feel Good Foods is the most effective natural cleansing and nourishing system to drop kick candida yeast, mold and fungus from the body. If you’ve been passing stones for say 5-7 years, 1-2 months on Reboot will drastically lower your oxalate levels and keep you out of harms way, until perhaps you use an antibiotic again.
- Go easy on refined carbs. Consuming them, especially high sugar foods precipitates kidney stones by not only encouraging yeast overgrowth, but by stimulating release of insulin, which in turn pulls calcium from the body’s mineral stores (blood and bones) and then excretes this calcium through the kidneys. There it binds with excess oxalates, forms a stone and lodges there.
- Find out if your stones are formed from calcium oxalate or from uric acid. Your doctor will know. Uric acid is a metabolic byproduct of consuming too much animal protein (meat and dairy). If it’s that kind than you may want to be more sparing on the meat. If it’s the calcium oxalate kind then lowering oxylates is a really good idea. ie, remove yeast.
- Drink plenty of water, at least 10-12 8oz. glasses per day. There’s an association between low urine volume and kidney stone formation.
- Drinking the juice of half a fresh lemon in a glass of warm water first thing each morning can help prevent stones from forming. The citric acid in lemons and limes is actually alkalizing to the blood (unlike the other acids mentioned so far) and it pulls calcium back into suspension in the bloodstream and tissues preventing calcium sedimentation (which contributes to stone formation).
- Dr. Bradshaw recommends taking supplemental calcium citrate (300-400mg per day) and magnesium citrate (300-400 mg per day) as the citrate breaks down oxalate in the bloodstream. Remember what the lemon juice does? You’ll want to take 4-6 of these a day, 2 with each meal. Taking them with the meal will neutralize any oxalic acid in the food you’re eating.
- 2 suggestions for breaking up a stone if you should feel symptoms before being able to complete the first 30 Day Reboot. One, drink a large amount of liquid (preferably pure water), allow 20 minutes for digestion, and then run up and down stairs vigorously. This has been known to allow small, stubborn kidney stones to pass naturally.
- Second suggestion for breaking up a stone. Use this one only in extreme emergency because the aftermath is a chemical nightmare for your body to clean up. Drink 2 liters of Classic Coke. It is so acidic that it will dissolve kidney stones. This soda pop goes straight to the kidneys, the caffeine dilates and relaxes the kidney (helping dislodge the dissolving stone so it can pass) Then follow this by drinking the liquid from canned asparagus if you can find it (it’s super alkaline) which neutralizes the acid left in your stomach. Then just lay down while it goes to work. This will dissolve the stone and get you out of the danger zone. But your body will have a little cleanup work to do to with the elevated oxalates and reduced calcium/magnesium stores that sugar inevitably creates.
Take a Deeper Dive
If you want to know more about Reboot from Feel Good Foods, and how it can help you get to the root of your kidney stones and back on track, click here. Be sure to scan our “Frequently Asked Questions” for answers to common questions people have about this extraordinary system and how it works. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Be well. It is your destiny….really, it is.