It’s normal to be worried when you start feeling a little pain just under your ribs. In case you suspect kidney stones then this will be of help. This is an article about natural cures for kidney stones.
The thing about medical articles is that very few people read it for curiosity. More often than not, people will only search the web for medical info when they already feel something. In case you are worried about kidney stones, you don’t have to wait ‘til the end of the article to know that it’s common and, yes, there are natural cures for kidney stones. Now let’s proceed with a little less worry.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones, nephrolithiasis, are hard crystalline materials that form in the kidney or urinary tract.
Kidney stones are made up of a compound called calcium oxalate. It forms as a result of the accumulation of dissolved minerals at the inner lining of the kidneys. A kidney stone can grow up to the size of a golf ball.
Depending on the size of the stones, they can pass through the urinary tract along with the urine unnoticed or, they can be very painful as they pass.
The stones that remain in the kidneys can block the passage of the urine and can be extremely painful.
According to nephrologists, people with kidney stone deposits run the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Most of the people who develop kidney stones are those who are not drinking enough water, those who fall below the 8 to 10 glass a day requirement.
If there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid in the urine the pH in the kidneys drop and becomes more acidic. This acidic condition is conducive to the formation of kidney stones.
The following conditions also contribute to the formation of kidney stones:
- Crohn’s disease
- Urinary tract infection
- Renal tubular acidosis
- Medullary sponge kidney
- Dent’s disease
Recent study shows that the addition of fluoride in the drinking water can also cause the formation of kidney stones.
Top 6 Kidney Stone Prevention Tips
If you are one of the few who’s reading this out of curiosity then, prevention is still of very much value. Here are six kidney stone prevention tips.
- Save your Sweat
Yoga, sauna and exercise are good for your health but losing too much water through sweating leads to less urine production. Sweating will cause you to urinate less. This allows the stone-causing minerals to settle in the kidneys and urinary tract.
One way around this dilemma is to drink excessively during exercise so that even though you sweat, you are still engulfed with water to urinate regularly.
- Wrong Focus on Minimizing Oxalates
While the most common kidney stones are made up of calcium oxalate, restricting yourself from eating foods rich in oxalate like peanuts, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes won’t save you from developing kidney stones.
Even the slightest presence of oxalates will combine with calcium in the kidneys if you don’t drink lots of water and urinate enough.
If you want to trick your system, eat and drink calcium and oxalate rich food together so that they bind in the stomach, not in the kidneys.
- Reduce Sodium not Calcium
There are no kidney doctors who will tell their patients to cut down on calcium to lower the risk of developing kidney stones.
Instead of reducing calcium, reduce your intake of sodium.
- It is Not a One Time Deal
Passing kidney stones is one of the most painful experiences and people usually vow to never let it happen again, however, statistics show that 15% of the patients who said so didn’t take the prescribed medication after their first kidney stones passing and 41% didn’t follow the nutritional advice that would have kept the stones from reoccurring.
There is only one remedy for this; Learn your lesson!
- Lemonade It
If you don’t like lemonade, start liking it. If you are not in the habit of drinking lemonade, start loving it.
Lemonade and other juices high in natural citrate offer stone-preventing benefits. But, be careful about the sugar because it is a kidney stone risk. Consider sugar-free lemonade.
- Consider Other Kinds of Stones
Not all kidney stones are calcium oxalates. There are uric acid stones where the main culprits are red meats, organ meats and shellfish.
The key factor to consider is balance. Eat more fruits and vegetables because they even out the adverse effects from animal meat over-indulgence.
These are the top six kidney stone prevention tips.
But, how do you know if you still belong to the “prevention” category? You have to be aware of the symptoms of having kidney stones
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
If you have kidney stones, you are likely to experience the following:
- Severe pain in the lower rib area
- Pain that follows the whole length of the abdomen to the groin
- Fluctuating pain
- Painful urination
- Reddish urine
- Cloudy or foul smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent feeling of having to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Fever and chills
- Urinating in small amounts
Types of Kidney Stones
Knowing the type of kidney stones will help you trace the root cause and identify a suitable remedy.
- Calcium stones
- Struvite stones
- Uric acid stones
- Cystine stones
The best kidney stones natural treatment is still water. If you think you already have kidneys stones, you suspect to have kidney stones or are likely to develop kidney stones, make sure you drink plenty of water so you can flush out whatever is forming and the ones that have already formed before they become any bigger. The habit of drinking water is the simplest natural cure for kidney stones.
These are the rules:
- Drink water whenever possible. If you already feel thirsty then that’s too late. Drink two glasses to compensate.
- Your urine should be close to clear. The darker it is the more water you have to drink.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is very effective in getting rid of kidney stones. It not only flushes the stones out but, it also breaks them apart so they won’t hurt as much when they exit.
Simply mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with anything at breakfast, lunch and dinner and that wraps up your kidney stones home treatment for the day.
- Lemon Juice and olive Oil
Another good natural kidney stone treatment is the combination of lemon juice and olive although; this will be more effective in smaller stones than the large ones. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your lemon juice and this concoction can break apart small kidney stones and flush them out of your kidneys.
- Nettle Leaf Tea
One of the best herbal remedies for kidney stones is nettle leaf tea. This is also a very good diuretic.
Two to four cups of nettle leaf tea a day will halt the growth of existing stones and flush them away from your kidneys.
Nettle leaf is one of the powerful herbs for kidney stones.
- Increase Fiber
Fiber reduces calcium in the urinary tract by pulling them out and extracting them along with the stool. When this happens, there is no more calcium to crystalize in the kidneys.
Great sources of fiber are whole grains, legumes, fruits and green vegetables.
- Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are called that way because they are kidney-shaped and they can also get rid of kidney stones.
Kidney beans are rich in fiber and when you cook them in water, drinking the broth can dissolve kidney stones naturally.
- Pomegranate Juice
The result of a 2008 study showed that pomegranate juice prevents the formation of distinct types of kidney stones. It would be wise to drink at least two glasses of pomegranate juice along with any of the natural treatment for kidney stones we have enumerated.
These are the 7 most popular natural kidney stone treatments. Any of these will be enough to help you get rid of those uncomfortable kidney stones. However if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms then your kidney stone natural treatment may not be enough and you have to see a doctor.
When to See a Doctor
See a doctor when you experience the following:
- Severe pain that you can’t sit still in one position
- Pain that’s accompanied with nausea and vomiting
- Pain that’s accompanied by fever and chills
- Blood in your urine
It’s a relief to know that today’s clinical remedies for removing kidney stones are not as invasive as in the past.
This procedure is used to remove stones in the kidney or ureter that are smaller than ½ inch. It uses shock wave to break the stones. The bits and pieces will just flow out with the urine.
This procedure is used for larger stones. Through a small incision, the surgeon inserts a hollow tube all the way to the stone. The stone will then exit through the tube.
If you are beyond the prevention stage and starting to feel the milder first set of symptoms then, the only thing to do is to act right away while the natural cures for kidney stones will still be very effective.