This week, Jill answers a listener question about plant-based diets and kidney stones.
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 Sarris: Perfect! So we’re back at it again. You’re feeling a little better, you were saying before, which is good.
Jill Harris: Yes, you know, I got sick right around June 13. In the last 48 hours, you know, when you have a dysfunctional colon as it already is, because of all my surgeries and stuff, and you have whatever I had, they never diagnose me– such a virulent virus, or bacterial whatever–I mean, it really set me back. It’s well over a month now, but for the last 48 hours, I’m feelin’ okay. And I was just telling Jeff, it’s like, when you have chronic illness, and you have a couple of good days, well, hot damn, people, you feel so good! You feel so good!
And you gotta make whatever you can have that day because you don’t know if you wake up tomorrow, for all the chronic illness sufferers in the audience, you know, whether it’s fibromyalgia, whether it’s diabetes, whether it’s–whatever you’re dealing with–rheumatoid arthritis. There’s a lot of other things out there besides kidney stones. It just feels good to feel good on the days that you do. I was also just telling Jeff, this, when you have a chronic illness, and you have days and days and days of not feeling well, man, you feel good when you feel good. So really capitalize on that.
The one good thing about we, who have chronic illness, is we really know how to party on the days we feel good. So that’s what’s wonderful. And, by party, I just mean, exercise–a Jill party– exercise, you know, nourish your body well, all those things, but without the perspective of “Yuck,” you just don’t have the wonderful perspective of how good life really is. So, you know, for anybody having a bad day today, I’m hoping tomorrow is a lot better and if it is, well go to it and get to it. So yeah, I’m feeling really good today and I’m grateful for every second of it.
First, a Brief Clarification
Jeff Sarris: So glad to hear it! Because that’s a long time to be dealing with that same sort of illness, virus, or whatever was going on. But, on a different note, should we dive into–we have a little clarification from a previous episode. I didn’t tell you what this is, but let’s just jump into it.
Jill Harris: Let’s go!
Listener Voicemail: Hi, Jeff! Hi, Jill Margaret Harris. This is mom. First, I want to say Happy Fourth of July! Second, Sharon and I lost 13 pounds on the Kidney Stone Diet. So, good for us. And last, look at your birth certificate and you’ll see your middle name. Both you and Kim have “Margaret” as a middle name. So, before you go announcing that you have no middle name, because your mother’s not that creative, check it out. I’m off to the gym. Love you both, Jeff and Jill.
Jill Harris: First of all, let’s also clarify that my mother’s never been to the gym a day in her life, but that’s adorable that she just said it and we love you anyway, Ma. I will look at my birth certificate. Maybe my confirmation name was Margaret. So, even if it was, I’ve always been told I don’t have a middle name. So, that’s number one, ma. Number two, I’m still sticking with the creativity point because why in God’s name would you name both me and Kim Margaret? That’s just what?! There’s a lot of names in the world, old lady. Anyway, but I’m glad you call.
Jeff Sarris: I thought you’d like that one. As soon as I as soon as I listened, I was like, “Oh, this is gonna be good.”
Jill Harris: I mean, for the next show, I will get on my birth certificate and I will look at it. Maybe I’ve just been lied to my whole life. Maybe I don’t have a middle name, But, okay, if it’s Margaret, I’m gonna check, ma, because I have my birth certificate. So maybe she’s right. It wouldn’t be the first time my mother’s right, let’s just say that. But, anyway, she’s gone to the gym, Jeff. Yeah, okay, she’s gone to the gym.
Jeff Sarris: Congrats on the 13 pounds! That’s amazing!
Jill Harris: And Sharon did, too! so good. I mean, you know, I’m glad that they’re reaping the rewards of eating healthier. Does it mean you have to be perfect? Does my mother have to give up her pizza that she loves so much? Absolutely not. But if she gets right back to work, has a little pizza, gets back to work–nobody gains weight after one meal, little water, but not true fat. So I’m glad for you mom. That’s good for you and tell Sharon, I’m rooting for her because I don’t want her to make any more new stones.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, absolutely! So, the actual question for this week, let’s dive in here.
How to Handle Kidney Stones, Diabetes, and a Plant-Based Diet
Listener Voicemail: This is Louis from Florida. I’m a type two diabetic and very good results with plant-based diet, low-fat diet to my sugar under control. Unfortunately, I’ve had a history of kidney stones, even requiring laser surgery. I don’t eat meat, but I do eat chicken and fish. I’m trying to do a workaround here. Legumes are tough. I would like to invite in more proteins, but other than small amounts of red kidney beans and lentils, a lot are no go. It seems quinoa is sort of an unknown, so I’m not sure what to do with that. I’m very careful about getting enough calcium every day. I drink like a fish. Of course, I get the 24-hour urine collections routinely. Do you have any sage advice? Thank you.
Jill Harris: It’s a great question, Louis. And I’m so grateful–Jeff and I are so grateful you called in. Plant-based people, plant-based diets, and kidney stone prevention. I can’t tell you how many people come to me because they’re vegans or they’re vegetarians. Louis did say he eats a little bit of meat, but mostly he likes to be plant-based. He’s also a diabetic, so he’s trying to balance all of these what seems to be conflictual diets, but they’re really not.
We have a video– if you guys want to check it out–we have a video on being diabetic and the Kidney Stone Diet and how you mush those things together. I think we do anyway, Jeff, because it’s a very common thing. People who have chronic kidney stones can also have diabetes and vice versa. So it’s not uncommon that people have both. Now, plant-based people, you don’t have to make kidney stones anymore, I promise. The problem with going plant-based is the lack of education that people get. “Go plant based!” Okay, well, really, what does that mean? Typically, what people do when they go plant-based, is they overeat the highest oxalate products. Think spinach and almonds, all nuts.
He’s a diabetic, so I’m sure that he’s been told, “Eat nuts, high fat, good protein, zero carbs, or low carb,” right? So that’s something that would be very good for his diabetes. So what do people do? They start snacking on nuts all the time. “Hey, Mickey, I’m looking at you!” That’s my mom’s husband, okay? Always eating nuts. I certainly have bought them for him, so I haven’t helped him in that way, but he loves them and he’s gonna have them. I’m just saying, if you’re a kidney stone, former and a diabetic, ask yourself, are you overeating the same products over and over?
Well, when you’re diabetic, that’s what happens then the next thing you know, you get a kidney stone because you’ve been doing those things along with not getting any calcium to absorb that excess oxalate. So, he also said, “Look, I’m looking for more protein.” He also wants low fat. And so he’s like, you know, I can’t have beans, I can’t have lentils, I can’t have well, we don’t know, can I have quinoa? Also, diabetic people, quinoa, you know, it’s a high protein grain, but it still has a lot of carbs. So pay attention to that.
Make sure to turn it around, Buster Brown, and look at your labels. Diabetics, we’re looking at carbs, okay? Now, does it mean–in my meal plan service, I’ll often get patients that say, “Hey, Jill, what are you doing? You’ve got black beans in your meal plan service?” Well, in the meal plan service, I always give education, and tips and tricks, and the reasons why I use the ingredients I did. And I will say, yes, I know you think I’ve been drinking, but I use black beans in this chili. But notice the portion size. It’s a whole cup of black beans and there’s four to six portions in this. So, it’s very small amounts along with getting your calcium, it won’t be a big deal as far as oxalate goes.
So can Louis have lentils? Absolutely, he can have lentils! He said he’s getting his calcium needs met, so that’s great. It’s all about portion. Truly, the only things I say really stay away from our almond products and spinach. Everything else, if you don’t eat every day in huge amounts, you can absolutely have those things. Spread out the love. Spread out the oxalate. Pay attention to portions and you will be a low oxalate person.
And also, Louis, I suggest–let me look at some of those urine collections. I have a 15-minute call, very inexpensive for what you get, and I’ll help you understand those results so you can get the best possible doctor office visit. I have many diabetics and mostly plant-based people, like I said–he said he eats a little bit of meat–they don’t make any more new stones because they learn how to combine all of the things. When you guys are thrown diabetic menus, kidney stone meal plans, menus, stuff like that, it’s very overwhelming.
Number one, you’re sick, so that’s scary enough, but then you’re trying to piece all this stuff together with all the conflicting information out there on the internet. So, it is very doable. My patients stop making their kidney stones as long as they keep on the program and learning how to mesh both of those things together, well that’s why I’m here. Give me a call. Find me at kidneystonediet.com. Did I miss anything else there for Louis? I think that’s it, right?
Jeff Sarris: No, you covered it! And the urine analysis is–I’ll jump over to the site real quick–you can see right at the top of the website, you have a urine analysis, and then you jump through there, and you will find the 24-hour consult and you can take it from there. Jill can help you break down your your results, just so you know for sure. It’s good that he’s getting the tests consistently. It’s unfortunate that he’s had to have the surgery get them lasered out, the stones and everything, because that is that’s a lot to deal with.
Jill Harris: Yes! And, Jeff, I’ll say this, too, when we have–and this isn’t to scare anybody. This is just a fact, guys–when we have multiple surgeries–he’s not saying he did. He said he had a surgery. But many of my stone formers come to me, and they’ve had ten, fifteen, eight surgeries. Do you know what kind of damage that does to your kidneys, and then you’re you’re prone to get chronic kidney disease? Because you have now damaged your kidneys.
Again, I’ll tell you, the kidneys are a sensitive organ. Out of our organs, they’re the most sensitive. So when they become damaged, they filter less. They’re not filtering like they should. So, it’s very important that you get on a prevention program, you follow the Kidney Stone Diet, some of you may need medications, too, a urine collection will tell you, and you can really lessen your risk of other diseases. Kidney stones are terrible. I really want everyone to stop making them, okay? I really do!
Jeff Sarris: That’s the whole reason we do all of this and why there’s so much free content through the podcast here, through YouTube, through the website through the Kidney Stone Prevention Group on Facebook. There’s so much to dive into, but, with that, I hope, Louis, I hope that was good. Thank you for your question. If you have any other questions, anyone else out there, the number is 773-789-8763. And we’d love to feature you on a future episode. And if you want to dive in deeper with the Kidney Stone Prevention Course, if you want to join the Facebook group, if you want to find any of the myriad things that we offer, you can go to kidneystonediet.com, where you’ll find all of it. I think with that we will wrap for this week.
Jill Harris: Look, if you have diabetes, and you’re a kidney stone former, comment below. See if I can help you with any suggestions specifically for that. The other thing is, thank you for being here. It excites Jeff and I to no end–number one because we know you’re participating in your own health care. And, in this day and age, we need to do it. We’re just excited you’re part of our community, so thanks for being here with us. If you haven’t, please subscribe. It helps people find us easier. And we love you! Bye, guys!
Jeff Sarris: See you next time!