Kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys. The stones are made of mineral and acid salts. Kidney stones vary greatly in size. Some are small as a grain of sand whereas others are big and block the flow of urine, which causes the kidneys to swell. If the stone is 5mm or smaller, the attack will usually stop after a few hours when the stone is passed in the urine. Passing kidney stones can be quite painful, but the stones usually cause no permanent damage. If stones become lodged in the urinary tract or cause complications — surgery may be needed.
Types of kidney stone helps determine the cause and help to reduce the risk of kidney stone in future. The most common type of kidney stone is calcium stone in the form of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. Uric acid stones are seen in people who do not drink enough water and who eat high protein diet and those who have gout. Struvite stones are formed due to UTI. Cystine stones are formed in people who excrete too much amino acids. There are also few rare stones that can occur.
Often people do not even realize they have kidney stones until they have an X-ray or ultrasound for another medical reason.
Kidney Stones Symptoms
- Sudden, intense pain of an intermittent nature
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced urine flow and output
- Blood in urine
- Frequent urinary infection
Home Remedies for Kidney Stones
- Water: Drink lot of water and make sure water contains proper TDS level. Drinking plenty of fluids is important for preventing recurrence of any kidney stone.
- Lemons: Drink four ounces of lemon juice in two liters of water daily to prevent future stone formation. Lemons have the highest concentration of citrate among all citrus fruits which might protect against calcium stones. Citrate is a natural inhibitor of kidney stone formation.
- Basil leaves: Boil 10-12 basil leaves in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey in it and take twice a day. Basil acts as a detoxifier and a mild diuretic which helps to reduce the uric acid level in the body. Acetic acid and certain components in basil also facilitate dissolution of the stones.
- Celery: Eat celery regularly to reduce stone formation in patients prone to produce kidney stones. It act as a diuretic and kidney tonic.
- Figs: Boil 1-2 figs in 1 cup of water for 15-20 minutes and have this twice a day.
- Pomegranate: Take one tablespoon fine paste of pomegranate seeds in one cup of horse gram soup. Drink this soup regularly to dissolve the stones in the kidneys.
- Dandelion: Drink dandelion tea on a regular basis. Dandelion is a natural diuretic that stimulates urine flow and flushes the urinary tract. It help prevent kidney and bladder stones formation by washing out the urinary system.
- Apple: Eat ripe fresh apple everyday which may be helpful for reducing the risk for struvite and brushite stones.
- Grapes and watermelon: Both fruits are diuretics and can be used for beneficial result in kidney stones.
Do’s for Kidney Stones
- Modify lifestyle depending on the kind of kidney stone develops to prevent recurrence.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day to help keep the proper dilution and flow of urine.
- Take high fiber diet. Vegetarian diet help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- Include fresh vegetables, legumes, and whole grains in your diet.
- Eat foods that are good for kidneys such as chives, plums, tangerines, and egg yolk.
- If you do eat meat, opt for lean cuts. Meat protein has a higher sulfur content and produces more acid than vegetable protein.
- Keep your weight in check. Weight gain have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
- Eat foods that are rich in magnesium such as barley, oats, brown rice, potatoes, and bananas.
- Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice which helps acidify the urine and eases the passage of calcium oxalate stones.
- To get temporary relief from pain, apply a warm or cool compress depending on the response to either temperature.
- Manage stress by practicing deep breathing exercise or meditation because of an association between stress and kidney stones.
Don’ts for Kidney Stones
- Avoid carbonated beverages as these been associated with the development of stones due to its phosphates content.
- Avoid high protein diet, particularly animal protein. Protein increases uric acid, calcium, and oxalate levels in the urine, and reduces citrate levels.
- Avoid the foods high in oxalate such as beets, chocolate, tea, caffeine, spinach, soy, and parsley. Oxalate combines with calcium to form a salt that causes kidney stones.
- Avoid grapefruit as it is linked to the formation of kidney stones.
- Avoid processed foods, too much of salt and fat in your diet. Salt increases the amount of calcium and oxalate in urine.
- Avoid antacids that contain aluminum which contribute to kidney stone formation.
- Avoid alcohol and other alcoholic beverages as they contain purines, which may increase the risk for the less common uric acid stones in susceptible people.
- If having fever and chills along with other kidney stones symptoms.
See doctor immediately if:
- History of kidney failure.
- Sufferer is pregnant.
- Have only one kidney.