Flashback to my intern year working in the emergency room. Big guy, 6’5″ pacing in agony with kidney stone. Gave him Morphine. Still pacing. Nurse didn’t want me to give him more morphine. I gave him more morphine. The pain experienced passing a kidney stone has been compared to enduring natural childbirth. As I treated this man, I discovered that many people have multiple kidney stone attacks — some as frequently as every year. There is no medication to prevent kidney stones, but I pondered whether there was a way to prevent future kidney stone attacks.

I studied the types of kidney stones and how each type precludes you to form more stones. Here is HOW TO PREVENT KIDNEY STONE ATTACKS:

There are five types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate stones, calcium phosphate stones, uric acid stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones. It\’s important to know what kind of kidney stones you had, because treatment is different for each type. So if you have a kidney stone attack, please write down the name of the type of stone they found in your urine. I\’m fairly shocked that even people who have had 10 or more kidney stone attacks and emergency room visits….don\’t know the type of kidney stones they passed.

A general rule, regardless of which type of stones you form is to drink 60 or more ounces of water a day. Do not drink ANY soda. Soda contains phosphoric acid which precipitates the formation of kidney stones. Take magnesium 200 mg. twice a day, a good multivitamin which contains all the B vitamins, and 100 mg of B6.

CALCIUM OXALATE STONES PREVENTION – most common type of kidney stone
thrives in acidic conditions so make your urine more basic with Potassium Magnesium Citrate
low sodium diet (so use Himalayan salt or Celtic Salt which are very low in sodium)
check your calcium levels, because paradoxically you may need a bit of calcium, low calcium will cause more oxalate (stones) to form
take B6 (preferably in the form called Pyridoxyl 5 Phosphate) with your multivitamin, never take one B vitamin in isolation
B6 is inversely associated with stone formation (meaning the higher the B6 the lower the stone formation)
eat citrus fruit, BUT DON’T ADD SUGAR — citrus fruit is alkaline unless you add sugar
add 4 ozs. of lemon juice to 66 ozs of water
eat a low oxalate diet

CALCIUM PHOSPHATE STONES PREVENTION – thrives in basic conditions so make your urine acidic
acidify your urine by adding organic cranberry extract to your water

URIC ACID STONES PREVENTION – thrives in acidic conditions so make urine basic with Potassium Magnesium Citrate
patients with gout, chemotherapy, and a high purine diet form uric acid stones
high purines in red meat, organ meats, and legumes increase stone formation
test for insulin resistance as gout is strongly associated with being insulin resistant

STRUVITE STONES PREVENTION – usually form with infections requiring antibiotic treatment
thrives in basic conditions so make urine acidic with cranberry extract
urease enzymes made by certain bacteria in the urinary tract make struvite stones
urease enzymes help make ammonium which forms struvite stones called \”staghorn calculi\”

CYSTINE STONES PREVENTION – uncommon stone usually having genetic predisposition, patients usually have a strong family history of experiencing cystine stones
urinary testing reveals the cystine crystals have a hexagonal shape

Your urine should be clear, not milky, dark, or stinky. Please know that when you take a B complex vitamin, your urine will temporarily be chartreuse color.

Updated by Dr. Roberta Foss-Morgan on October 3, 2014