As regular readers will know, I've had problems with kidney stones in the past. Thanks to finding a couple of effective over-the-counter supplements, Chanca Piedra and Kidney C.O.P., I haven't had further difficulties since early 2019. I settled on a lower dose of the latter supplement, and discontinued the former, although I kept it handy in case another stone should develop.
About a month ago, Miss D. and I started taking a zinc dietary supplement, to add to our daily multivitamin and Vitamin D intake, in an effort to build our resistance to colds and flu (not to mention COVID-19, as we're both in various higher-risk brackets for that). Last week I began to feel a bit wobbly around the kidneys, and on Friday evening found my urine filled with blood - a sure sign that a kidney stone was about to demand exit. Pain levels began to increase, too, although not as badly as they had before. (I put that down to Kidney C.O.P.'s "rounding" effect on kidney stones, so they aren't as jagged and sharp-edged as usual. This makes them easier to pass, and a lot less painful.)
I was at a loss to explain this sudden return of a problem I thought I'd beaten - until I thought about the zinc supplement, the only major change in recent months that might have a relationship to it. Sure enough, when I did an Internet search, there's a correlation between the use of zinc supplements and the formation of kidney stones. Vitamin D and calcium supplements are also implicated, but I think those had (in my case) been controlled by the kidney supplements I was already taking. When I added zinc as well, the combination appears to have overwhelmed their protective effect, with the result I described.
Needless to say, I've stopped taking the zinc supplement for now, and I've doubled my daily dose of the Chanca Piedra and Kidney C.O.P. supplements until I've dealt with the stone. Once that's done, I'll probably resume taking the zinc supplement, but at a much lower level - perhaps a third of the recommended daily dose - and see whether I can sustain that.
So, friends, if you're susceptible to kidney stones and you also take a zinc supplement, or Vitamin D, or calcium . . . be warned. They all, particularly in combination, add to your kidney stone risk.