This week, Jill’s answering a listener question about a supplement for reducing oxalate.
Have a question? Leave us a voicemail at (773) 789-8763.
Stop Kidney Stones Once and For All
- Kidney Stone Prevention Course
- Kidney Stone Diet Meal Plans
- 24 Hour Urine Collection Analysis
- Private Coaching
Kidney Stone Diet Resources
Find more episodes of the Kidney Stone Diet Podcast here.
Who is Jill Harris?
Jill is a nurse and health coach that specializes in educating patients on kidney stone prevention. For more than 20 years she’s helped patients understand that kidney stones can be prevented with the right treatment plan. It’s one thing to be told to lower oxalate or drink more water, but HOW do you do it? That’s where she comes in. Through the educational resources at kidneystonediet.com, stone formers can learn everything they need to know to significantly lower new stone risk.
Who is Jeff Sarris?
Jeff’s co-founder of SPYR, a branding agency based out of Chicago, where he and his business partner Dave help awesome people like Jill create online platforms that make an impact. He’s also a certified health coach, Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary Minimalism, and host of the Starting Now podcast.
Love this episode? There’s more!
Jeff Sarris: Welcome back to the Kidney Stone Diet podcast, the show about reducing your kidney stone risk and living your best life. I’m your host and fellow student, Jeff Sarris.
Jill Harris: And I’m Jill Harris, your kidney stone prevention nurse. Jeff said, because we’re doing in person right now because we just taped our 100th episode, he said, pretend you’re eating the mic. I’m like, okay. All right. That’s what I’m gonna do. So here I am.
Jeff Sarris: Oh, yeah, it’s gonna be good. It’ll be nice, silky smooth. It’s gonna be nice. You’re gonna like it. This is completely new, completely new for you using an actual–
Jill Harris: The headphones, the whole thing!
Jeff Sarris: You get to hear yourself, which I’m sure is very disorienting.
Jill Harris: And not cute. I’m sorry for you listeners that have to hear this voice.
Jeff Sarris: No, it’s perfect. I mean, it’s just a different experience being on this. But this sounds, for me, it sounds so nice to have the full setup. It’s always a real show, but, to me, this is just like so much realer. It’s like you watch like Joe Rogan or something and having them in-person, there’s a different energy and I really like it.
Jill Harris: And you get to feel somebody! So, I’m somebody who goes by how, you know, a room feels or how somebody feels, so it’s awesome. And then Amara’s right there, too, so we’re all nice and cozy. It’s amazing.
Jeff Sarris: And, especially, when we’re recording remotely, you’re trying to look at the camera, because you don’t want to look at the screen, and not be looking at sort of the listener. So, I guess we’re not looking at the camera here, but we’re looking at each other, so it’s more of the conversation. But, yeah, so we are back at it. We’re going to record a batch today, which is going to be great. We have, I think, a good voicemail for you that you’re going to, I don’t know about enjoy, but we’ll we’ll see.
Jill Harris: Uh oh, here we go, people. Buckle up.
What to do When Your Doctor Offers You Magical Cure-All Pills
Listener Voicemail: Hi, my name is Michael. I’m from Buffalo, New York and, thanks to Jill, I’ve been kidney stone-free for the past five years. When I was in the doctor’s office, I noticed that he’s selling from the Nestle genetic nutrition company, an oxalate balancer, and also an oxalate scavenger. They’re all natural supplements to aid in the body’s ability to balance oxalic acid. I was wondering if Jill could comment on the nutritional items and whether or not someone with kidney stone problems should consider taking these supplements. Thank you.
Jill Harris: Oh, my God, my blood pressure–and I have very low blood pressure–it is now high. It is high. It is high. So, what was his name?
Jeff Sarris: Oh, I already archived it. Sorry. I thought it was Michael.
Jill Harris: It could be Michael.
Michael–I like to address people by their God given names–Michael just called in, folks! And he said he’s been kidney stone free for five years. He walks into the doctor’s office and the doctor says, I have some magic pills. Now, I want you all to recognize I do not know about these pills. I don’t know them. I don’t know this company. All I know is the scenario I’m being presented with, so I don’t know if there’s science behind these pills. I don’t know if they’re fancy pills. I don’t know if it’s Ph. D. ABC bullshit, blah, blah, blah. I don’t know. I’m sorry for all you people that don’t like swearing, sometimes I do, but I’m mad right now you’re gonna have to get over it.
He said he’s stone-free for five years, he’s worked very hard on that. Why would we be throwing some pills at him? Why would we do that? Why would we take nickels out of his pocket? And tell him that he needs an oxalate stabilizer pill or whatever the hell it is? I don’t understand this. I want everyone to hear me, maybe there’s science behind this. Maybe! I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know this company, but I do know that this scenario comes up often with whatever people are trying to deal with: kidney stone prevention, diabetes, cancer. When I got my cancer, do you know how many people said, “Look at this TV show. It tells you you can cure cancer if you smoke this leaf.”
Alright, well, don’t you think everybody would be smoking that leaf and everybody would be cancer-free? I mean, what am I a jabroni? Come on, people. So the fact that he’s being offered pills that cost him money, he doesn’t even have a friggin’ problem, people. What is he supposed to do? So here’s probably how this goes: this is probably, whatever, some kind of office that will say, “Do this testing.” They do the testing and from that lab testing, there will be $700 worth of supplements being offered to this patient. I don’t know. Hate me in the comments, but if you’re stone-free, and you’re going to an office that says “Take these pills to be stone-free,” does this make sense? Or what am I missing here, people?
Tell me, Jeff, why would somebody offer that poor man–Michael, why? And I think Michael knows, and that’s why he’s calling in. He’s like, “Oh, I’m gonna sick Jill on him. I’m going to tape this and I’m going to sick Jill on him.” And then that doctor’s going to say, “Who cares about Jill? She don’t know nothing because she’s just a little baby nurse.” And that’s what he will say, right? So, I don’t have any science. I don’t know this company. Maybe it’s a magic pill that I’ve missed somewhere, but I don’t know why somebody would be offered a treatment when he doesn’t need one, except to make some money. I don’t know. What do you think?
Jeff Sarris: Well, yeah, I mean, that’s what it sounds like to me. You’ve said it before: it’s hard to sell eating well and things. It’s so much easier to sell the magic pill, the potion the whatever it is, which, again, if it did work, if it was something that worked for everyone, it was something very consistent, it would be much more prevalent just innately because people want solutions. They don’t want the problems they’re facing.
Jill Harris: No, but we as people want quick fixes. Why I’m so mad and I said a bad word–in real life, people, I swear a lot, just so you know. I don’t want to hide that up. It’s very hard for me to do YouTube without swearing a lot. Jeff, every time he sees that I’m going to make a swear word, he has a little thing that shocks my butt on this chair. He’s like “Don’t do it, old lady. Don’t do it.” Wouldn’t that be amazing? I’d be buzzing up and down.
Jeff Sarris: Not to completely derail it, but there is a bracelet thing that I know someone who developed as a habit-forming thing that actually shocks you. And I’m like, that’s a little intense for me, but the technology exists.
Jill Harris: I don’t want to try it because it won’t shut up on my wrist. So what gets me mad about this is–now, sometimes I speak to everybody as the Kidney Stone Prevention Diet expert, and a nurse, and, sometimes, I will speak to everybody, as a patient myself with my stage four rectal cancer. Not a pretty one, people, but no cancer is, and I’m in remission, so don’t worry about it. But, when you are sick, or you are dealing with an illness, and there’s people trying to make money off of you for all these different things, it makes me mad because you’re sick, you’re scared, you’re anxious, you’re frustrated, you don’t know where to turn, there’s all this information.
Doctors Tell Me People Don’t Want to Change, but Here’s Why I Disagree
Now, you know, there are things to smoke and pills to take, and there’s absolutely no proof that that’s going to work. It’s one thing when you’re sick going through that, so that’s why I get so upset about this because people are dealing with real emotions, and they just want real answers, not bullshit answers. And then there’s the other part of me who’s like, “I mean, this person isn’t even making kidney stones anymore.” So wouldn’t the doctor–this doctor–wouldn’t the doctor be like, “God, this is great what you’re doing and I’m going to tell all my patients about the Kidney Stone Diet.”
Many doctors will say to me, “Jill, I’m not talking about Kidney Stone Diet because nobody changes.” I understand where doctors come from because we’re still hoofin’ it every day, Jeff, we’re not rich. So, a lot of people don’t want to change, right, and it takes them a really long time to figure out that they do have to change, and that, you know, the diet will be beneficial to them. This diet in general, is just a healthy diet.
But, you know, I always tell my doctors “Well, not to be crass, but I have paid my rent for the last two decades, so people are willing to change. So, don’t write every patient off that’s coming into your office. You should, at least, give them some basic information. I understand, dear doctor, you don’t have time in your office, but you could at least give them some basic information so they can start researching on their own because they will and that’s how they find us, so I know that that’s what they do.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, definitely, because the resources are out there and we’re trying to give as many resources as possible. Obviously, for someone to just start clean slate, it’s impossible to find only accurate information. Like, for one to do that, it’d be unheard of because there are so many different potions and pills and things that will get in the way. Having the doctor give those tools–just like we have the one-page for a better doctor visit. Something that help educate you to talk to your doctor about these things to let them know that you’re willing, like, you’re ready to make a change.
Jill Harris: Exactly! One of the reasons I love the 15-minute urine analysis call is patients go in their doctor’s office after talking to me, and they have their report in their hands. Many times the doctor doesn’t even have the report in his hands, or her hands, but that’s not to, you know, talk smack about the doctor. It’s just to say this is how our healthcare system works now. There’s no time, right? So, doctors are just running from room to room to room trying to help people. There’s just no time. I think there’s, you know, two types of health care providers. When they see the patient with the information, they’re like, “Oh, shit! Look at all that information they’re bringing in. I ain’t got time!”
And then there’s the other doctor–because that’s a real problem in health care–and then there’s the other doctor that’s like, “Oh, look at this! Look at Trixie here with her brochures, and she got a pad, and she’s got a pen.” Doctors went into medicine because they wanted to help people. So, when we’re educated, and we know the right things to bring up at a doctor’s office visit, well, they can’t hide from you and they can’t avoid the questions because you have them, right, or they can’t forget, or they’re not in in rush.
So, when you show that you’re educated, boy, you’re going to get a heck of a lot better doctor office visit and that really makes me happy. As a patient, that’s just great, because you’re not wasting your copay, you’re not wasting your time, the doctor’s time, and you’re getting valuable information instead of having a short visit with your doctor–not much is talked about, you get home, or a couple of things were, but you don’t know those things, so now you have you go research it now you’re like, “Oh, shoot, I have more questions, but that doctor’s long gone. Good luck trying to get through the portal.” As a patient, I know these things and that’s why I made that service. If you can be armed before you get to that doctor’s office visit, well, hot damn, that’s gonna be a good visit. So, you can get your the most made out of it. That’s awesome!
Jeff Sarris: And, as a patient, you’re doing a favor to the doctor because they’re not, again, starting like, “Okay, I need to tell you everything in these 20 minutes I have with you.”
Jill Harris: And, also, Jeff, I’m going to tell you one more thing because there’s always one more thing I have to say. That doctor is super excited because it’s not just like, “Oh, another patient that doesn’t give a damn about their health.” They’re like, “Cool! This patient is so motivated. They know this, this, and this,” and that is why that doctor went into medicine, for the most part. So when they have a patient that’s super into and excited about prevention, well they’re gonna light up, too. I promise you I hear it all the time from patients. They’re like, “I went in there. What you taught me, the doctor was so impressed. He couldn’t believe it. He never even talked to me barely before and he was like doing a jig.” And I know y’all are like, “Jig, Jill? Really?” My mom is like, “He didn’t do no jig, Jill.” Ma, ma, he did do a jig. I’m not making that up. The end.
Jeff Sarris: I like it! Michael, thank you so much for the question. Yeah, that’s a very important one, but I think he sort of knew. He was, sort of, throwing it out there just because it’s something important to talk about.
Jill Harris: He was throwning it into the lion’s den, for sure. He’s like, “Go get her! Get him, Jill, get him!” I don’t believe in those supplements. Now, like I said, just so you people know, I don’t know about this company, but all I know is a patient has no stones and now he’s being asked to take the pill to control oxalate. It’s under control by diet, people. You don’t need no pill.
Jeff Sarris: Absolutely!
Jill Harris: “Two pills,” he said. Don’t get me started. It’s gonna be hard for me to rev on off of this one, okay.
Jeff Sarris: Thanks again for your question. Anyone else who has a question or anything like this that comes up where you’re like, “I don’t think Jill is on board with this and I want to know for sure, or I want to share this knowledge with the broader community,” the number is 773-789-8763. We’d love to feature you on a future episode. Again, all of his information, everything about the Kidney Stone Diet, all of the free resources, the doctor’s visit, the urine analysis, all these different things are available at kidneystonediet.com, where you can find just everything.
There are links to the email newsletter, which is a free weekly newsletter where Jill will show up in your inbox every Saturday with a little motivation to keep you on track and going along in your week. So, I think this is a good spot to wrap. Thanks again, Michael. Thanks, Jill, for the wonderful, heartfelt response.
Jill Harris: You’re gonna have to lower your volume on that one when you’re editing. Wow, that made me mad!
Jeff Sarris: That’s perfect. Thanks again, everyone, and we will see you next time.
Jill Harris: Thanks, guys! Have a great day!