I recently spoke with a young woman I will call Sarah. A few years ago, Sarah, then about age 18, had terrible pain below her rib cage on both sides of her body; the pain was so severe that she went to the local university medical clinic. The doctors there performed four MRIs, two CT scans, and localized X-rays but could not be sure of the cause. Both kidneys were infected, and the doctors thought she also had a urinary tract infection (UTI). Because she had a 110-degree fever, they put her in isolation. They also removed her appendix, which turned out to be healthy. She was very frustrated and still in pain when the clinic staff released her. They did not prescribe antibiotics for the UTI.
Sarah continued to experience severe pain in her sides and had great difficulty urinating. Her grandmother recommended that she see a natural, or traditional, healer who was in a town in Mexico near where Sarah grew up, just over the US border.
Sarah agreed, as the US doctors were unable to help her. She traveled to Mexico. There, the healer placed magnets on various points on Sarah’s torso and placed a magnet in each of her hands. Sarah said she thought the healer used magnets to help her determine the cause of the illness. The healer said Sarah’s solar plexus was imbalanced, and then she asked Sarah to turn over onto her stomach so her kidneys could be tested. She tested them with magnets, and Sarah could feel a sort of pulling sensation when the healer moved the magnets; the healer said she thought there were kidney stones in both kidneys, and referred Sarah to a naturopathic doctor in the same small town.
The naturopath performed an ultrasound test and told Sarah there was a kidney stone just about to come out and another one right after it. The stones were causing the pain and blockage in the urinary tract. The doctor gave her an injection for the pain and several doses of a painkiller to take home with her in case she needed them. He also gave her several tablets of herbal medicines, including yerba buena, which he said would help the stones come out. Sarah took the herbs, and the stones passed within a day. At last, she was pain free.
I told Sarah I had just learned that certain foods are high in oxalates, and too much oxalate-rich food can cause kidney stones. I told her spinach, for example, is a food high in oxalates. Sarah became quiet for a moment, and then said she had become a vegetarian four years earlier and had been eating massive amounts of spinach in those years, prior to the kidney stone formation. Sarah continues to be a vegetarian but decided to become much more cautious about her intake of spinach.