Every female patient I have had that has had both kidney stones and kids all agree that childbirth was easier. This is likely because childbirth is a natural phenomena and the body has mechanisms in place to deal with the pain. Not so with kidney stones.
Because of this, it is obviously easier to prevent them in the first place. While the medical literature is a little sparse on this, there are a few constants. Along with the good, what many will find missing is the dogmatic recommendations such as vitamin C and calcium supplementation causing kidney stones. This just isn’t supported in the medical research.
- A high calcium diet (NOT from dairy…see below) actually lowered the risk of kidney stones in this study. Foods high in phytic acid (found in beans and grains) lowered the risk as well.
- There is strong evidence that a plant based diet protects against kidney stones. This is shown by an increase in kidney stones with the Atkin’s type diet as well as a decrease in kidney stones with a low animal-protein diet.
- This particular study throws in diabetes and obesity as strong links to kidney stones, so an anti-diabetic lifestyle would again be a good idea to think about.
- One study found that sleeping position may play a role in kidney stone formation, with the side most heavily slept on being the side that most commonly gets the stone.
Overall, a plant based diet and keeping yourself well hydrated are the most supported tools for lowering your risk of getting the dreaded kidney stones.