Why Water is the Wonder Drug for Kidney Stones
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
You may not have heard the news, but there is currently an epidemic - not just a local or a national one, but one that's claiming victims across the globe.
This isn’t necessarily a life-threatening epidemic (though there is some serious risk to people who are already suffering chronic conditions), but it can be life altering.
There have been news reports, but they spend little time on the underlying cause; and even though this epidemic is easily treatable, don’t expect any government outreach efforts to help people who are suffering deal with the problem or to help those at risk avoid being afflicted.
The problem? Kidney stones.
In today’s world, we do not get nearly water - plain old H2O - straight from the tap (or filter) with zero added colors, flavors, or carbonation.
Accept no substiute
Accept no substitutions, additives, or gimmicks (see last week’s article for a bit more on that.)
Adequate water intake is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle because our bodies are constantly assailed by circumstances that dehydrate us.
Rapidly shifting temperatures, increased pollution, the ever-increasing use of additives that have a dehydrating effect in our food, more and more consumption of diuretic-containing beverages - these all can cause the body to require more and more water to compensate, but it has to be consumed appropriately.
Laws of chemistry
Our bodies are as vulnerable to the laws of chemistry as anything else. Let’s travel back to grade school to illustrate this point.
One of the first experiments most kids are exposed to is a simple one - you add salt or sugar to a glass of water to examine how solutes and solvents interact. The basic idea is that certain liquids can absorb and hold so much of a particular substance, but only so much; after that point is reached, the solid will no longer be absorbed.
So kids mix spoonful after spoonful of substance into the water until the liquid is saturated and any excess solid merely remains at the bottom of the container.
Our bodies operate under the same rules, so the water in our body absorbs the substances our body consumes, uses, and produces as a way to move them throughout the body. This can include things like vitamins and minerals, but also waste products, which, if not removed from the tissues they are inhabiting can create or contribute to a wide variety of conditions that range from benign to harmful.
This means our body constantly needs to be taking in fresh water to convey these substances. But if there are other things in that water, even something as simple as food coloring, that the body must extract before using it. This also applies to flavors and even carbonation.
This is where we come back to kidney stones. Kidney stones form from minerals and acid salts that, in the absence of adequate hydration, clump together to form crystalline formations. These either become lodged in the kidneys or, very painfully, pass through the urinary system as they exit the body. While not inherently harmful, anything that interferes with normal kidney function can give rise to multiple issues that can be very dangerous to people already in poor health (increased blood pressure being a very common one.).
So drink up!