Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here's A Question About Kidney Stones

The question,

If you have a patient who comes in with kidney stones do you have him do a glucose tolerance test or something? I was listening to Mary Vernon and I think she said that high insulin creates calcium oxalate crystals. Did I get that right? Were you aware of this? Its the first time I am hearing this. Thanks in advance!

My response,

If I have a patient who presents with kidney stones the first thing I do is analyze what the stone is made of. There are different types of stones and calcium oxalate is just one type and is the most common. There are also calcium phosphate, cystine stones (due to a genetic defect) and struvite stones.

I dont immediately think of diabetes as a cause of stones, but with the right genetics and the dehydration that results from diabetes, there will be a more favorable physiological environment for the creation of stones.

No, i didnt know of any connection between insulin and calcium oxalate creation, but I wouldnt be surprised if there was. I have treated many patients with kidney stones (the calciun oxalate type) and had them start low carbs, and sure enough, they generally dont have any more stone problems. It's when they start eating more carbs that stone formation becomes an issue.

As I answer your question it becomes apparent to me that another disease can be cured/treated successfully with low carbs. I didnt even put this in my book. There's just so many positive benefits to low carbing that I guess even I forget them all.

Thanks for a great question! Keep the questions coming and have a great day!

dr jim


  1. Thank you for the response Dr Jim. I'll be adding reduced risk of kidney stone formation to my list of benefits of doing low carb. Never had one but I hear they are quite painful.
    thanks again!
    looking forward to your next post
    : )

  2. I've had women tell me the pain associated with kidney stomes was worse than giving birth.

    Eeeks! I hope I never have one either!

    dr jim