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Gluten and Kidney Stones – Is there a connection?

More and more gluten-disease connections are being made on a daily basis. Part of the skepticism surrounding the gluten free diet, is that many people claim that going gluten free is a cure all for disease. Of course this is not the case, however; gluten has been linked to hundreds of different medical conditions. For more on this topic, watch this >>> video <<< A recent case study reported resolution of kidney stones with a gluten free diet. The abstract of the report is listed below:
A young boy with prior constipation developed recurrent severe calcium phosphate kidney calculi, sometimes sufficient to cause acute kidney failure and hydronephrosis. After several major surgeries, food allergies were determined by serum immunoglobulin E testing, and when he finally went on a gluten-free diet, he stopped forming calculi and has had no surgeries related to kidney calculi since. Hyperoxaluria was not identified in this child by 24-hour urine analysis, unlike most other reports of kidney calculus formation in individuals with gluten intolerance.
Source: Iran J Kidney Dis. 2012 Mar;6(2):146-8.

How Can Gluten Contribute to Stone Formation?

There are numerous potential mechanisms, but two of the most plausible have to do with gluten and it’s impact on proper nutrient digestion and absorption, and gluten as a trigger for the autoimmune response. Clinically, I have personally treated patients who have had complete resolution of kidney associated disorders by going on a gluten free diet. Some of these problems include:
  • Renal stones
  • High blood pressure
  • Stages I-IV kidney failure
  • Abnormal glomerular filtration
  • Abnormal blood urea nitrogen
  • Abnormal creatinine levels
A review of medical literature on the topic shows even more connections between gluten and kidney dysfunction. The following is a page snapshot from the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

Vitamin D Deficiency – A Contributor to Kidney Stones

Another common contributor to kidney stone formation is vitamin D deficiency. I have seen many patients with chronic recurrent kidney stone formation become asymptomatic after correcting low levels of vitamin D. This can be checked for by any doctor. Just ask him/her to run a 25 OH D test. This important nutrient helps regulate the level of calcium in your blood stream. Vitamin D deficiency can cause your body to pull calcium out of the bone and into the blood stream. When this happens too aggressively, the kidney attempts to filter the calcium out of the blood and into the urine. For many, this process can lead to the formation of renal calculi (stones).

From:Holick, Michael. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:362–71.

Critical Functions of Vitamin D

  • Regulation of mineral balance and bone health
  • Regulation of muscle strength and balance
  • Regulation of appropriate immune response and autoimmune disease
  • Regulation of blood sugar
  • Regulation of Blood pressure
  • Regulation and control of cell maturity and cancer formation

For more information on vitamin D visit this link <<<

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3 Responses

  1. I started forming kidney stones in 2004 and became, literally, a kidney stone factory. It had a devastating effect on my life. After several lithotripsys and countless trips to the ER for IVF, Dilaudid, and the OR, I was about ready to end it all, and I’m not kidding. Then, a family member who had other significant health problems discovered they were “gluten intolerant”. I decided to go gluten free…and that was the end of the kidney stones. I have had one tiny stone about one year after going gluten free and none since then. I eat meat, vegetables, fruit, rice, and corn tortillas and it’s been a miracle. Not only did I stop making kidney stones, my problems with constipation, heartburn, and arthritis was 100% resolved. I was told I had Sjogren’s Syndrome… and took Hydroxichloriquine for 10 years!! Yes, this is a true story. I stopped taking that medication and went gluten free and my health has completely turned around!! This is an absolutely TRUE story. I don’t need to convince anyone because I just don’t even care about that. I’m sharing this because it’s the gospel truth and other people need to know. Gluten free saved my life, literally.

    1. Thank you.
      Im at where you were. Searching Google for a relationship between Gluten and Kidney Stones. Came across your comment and it pretty much solidified my speculation.
      RIP bread.
      But I simply cannot continue to go through this any longer. Like you, since 2004 and have had stones pretty much every other year since. Lithotripsies are pretty routine. However, I’m getting stents in Feb.
      Going Gluten Free is definitely worth never having this agony again.

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