The goal of this blog is to provide insight into the process of passing a kidney stone. In particular, we will address what you should expect at each of the four stages along the way. For the newbies, kidney Stones can be one of the most frightening experiences of a person’s life. The pain starts almost immediately out of nowhere and typically generates significant panic for the person experiencing the pain. The pain is so great that it commonly elicits a ride in an ambulance or a middle of the night emergency trip to the ER. Either way, not a ton of fun.
Phyllanthus Niruri (commonly known as “Stone-Breaker” or “Chanca Piedra”) has documented usage dating back over 2000 years in treating kidney stones. A recent study conducted in Romania sheds some light on the efficacy of Chanca Piedra. The study included 40 patients who received a mix of Chanca Piedra extract, magnesium stearate, and B6 vitamin twice daily for three months.
After the treatment, 25% of patients were completely stone-free, and 40% (24 of 60) of the total kidney stones included in the study had dissolved. Additionally, any remaining kidney stones saw an average 1.7mm reduction in size.
Cystine kidney stones form because of a rare inherited genetic disorder called “cystinuria.” Cystinuria impacts the reabsorption of the amino acid cystine which leads to the formation of kidney stones. Cystine kidney stones impact about 1-2% of the population (roughly 1 in 7,000 people worldwide). Unfortunately, cystinuria is a life-long condition that can be controlled. But, not cured.
For the 1 in 10 people worldwide who will be forced to deal with a kidney stones at some point in their lifetime, most of the stones will be small (less than 5mm) to medium (5-10mm) in size. Small to medium sized kidney stones can be passed without surgery if you take into consideration 4 key components to managing the process.
Kidney stones during pregnancy are relatively rare and impact roughly 1 in 1500 women. Unlike the general population who form mostly calcium oxalate kidney stone, pregnant women form calcium phosphate kidney stones 74% of the time. This is likely due to the significant changes observed in their urinary tracts during pregnancy, including the alkalization of their urine.
Struvite kidney stones represent ~4% of the stones formed. They are not the most rare stone type. But, they are unique because the kidney stone former has almost no control over their formation. Struvite kidney stones form primarily as a result of specific ammonia-producing bacteria and certain types of yeast.
Uric acid kidney stones represent roughly 15% of stones formed and almost always form in individuals with abnormally acidic (low pH) urine. Abnormally acidic urine is commonly found in people suffering from obesity, diabetes, gout, or kidney disease. Fortunately, the solution to stop these stones for good is very simple!
A recent study on Chanca Piedra conducted by the Urologic Division of the University of Soa Paulo Medical School Hospital has revealed a 67.8% reduction in kidney stone count and stone size when used over a 12 week period.
Calcium Phosphate stones are the third most common type of kidney stone. They form when calcium atoms combine with phosphoric acid (instead of oxalic acid). Urine pH has a significant impact on stone formation; as calcium phosphate kidney stones only form in alkaline urine.
Calcium Oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stone. Roughly 70% of people who form kidney stones form calcium oxalate stones. Calcium oxalate crystals form when calcium combines with oxalic acid. Calcium Oxalate stones can form for many reasons. Some are results of systemic disease such as bowel disease, primary Hyperparathyroidism, or primary hyperoxaluria. Outside of systemic disease, most people form calcium oxalate stones due to diet, inheritance, and from other aspects of daily living.