Kidney stones are hard, mineral-based masses that form into stones in the kidneys and urinary tract. Unfortunately, kidney stones are very common, affecting one in ten adults at least once in their lifetime. Symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, fever and blood in the urine are the telltale signs of kidney stones. Although this condition may seem serious and painful, kidney stones can usually be cleared through natural home remedies, especially if they are smaller.
Drinking plenty of fluids is an essential part of passing kidney stones and preventing new ones from forming. The liquid not only flushes out toxins, but also helps move stones and sand through your urinary tract. Although water alone can be enough to do the trick, adding certain ingredients can be beneficial.
In general, health experts recommend drinking about 12 glasses a day to flush stones from the urinary system. Drinking water throughout the day helps people stay hydrated and reduces the risk of kidney stone formation.
What causes kidney stones?
As with many other medical conditions, poor diet is the primary cause of kidney stone formation. While genetics and environmental factors can play a part, the easiest thing to change is your diet.
Sodas and sugary drinks are the main causes of kidney stones. Because of this, sodas are packed with unhealthy chemicals, including high levels of processed bleached sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients are harmful to your body and especially harsh on your urinary system.
These drinks cause kidney stones thanks to the high fructose corn syrup, which is metabolized to oxalate and increases the excretion of uric acid and calcium. This combination promotes the formation of kidney stones at a higher rate than normal. Also, the phosphoric acid in soda can create an acidic environment in your kidney tract, leading to more kidney stones. High-sodium diets are also associated with this condition. The amount of calcium in your urine contributes to kidney stones and should therefore be reduced in your diet.
A diet for optimal urologic health is full of fresh vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed foods and sugar to prevent kidney stones and maintain a healthy urinary system. It’s also important to stay hydrated to avoid kidney stone formation.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
A kidney stone usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it moves inside the kidney or into one of the ureters. The ureters are the tubes that connect the kidneys and bladder.
If a kidney stone lodges in the ureters, it can block the flow of urine and cause the kidney to swell and the ureter to spasm, which can be very painful. At this point, these symptoms may appear:
- Severe, lancinating pain in side and back, below ribs
- Pain radiating to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain that comes in waves and varies in intensity
- Pain or burning when urinating
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- A persistent need to urinate, to urinate more often than usual, or to urinate in small amounts
- nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills if there is an infection
Pain caused by a kidney stone can change, e.g. B. move to a different location or increase in intensity as the stone moves through your urinary tract.
Natural remedies for kidney stones
Kidney stones can only leave the body through urine. Stones smaller than 5 mm can usually pass without any problems. Larger stones generally require medical intervention. Depending on the size and location of the kidney stone, it takes a different amount of time for it to pass. Luckily, there are many natural home remedies to effectively eliminate kidney stones at home.
- Water: When passing a stone, increasing your water intake can speed up the process. Aim for 12 glasses of water a day instead of the usual 8 glasses. Once the stone has passed, you should continue to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Dehydration is one of the main risk factors for kidney stones, and the last thing you want is for more to form. Pay attention to the color of your urine. It should be a very light, pale yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.
- Milk: According to nutritionists, milk is a good source of calcium, and getting enough calcium is important for people with calcium kidney stones. This is because calcium is not only vital for bone health, but it also decreases the absorption of oxalate, an organic acid found in plants but which can also be synthesized by your body. This helps prevent kidney stones.
- water infusions: Water infusions are perfect if you have kidney stones because they add flavor to the water. This is incredibly helpful for people who have trouble staying hydrated because they find water boring. The taste encourages people to keep sipping so they can flush kidney stones. In addition, fruit, vegetables or herbs in the infusion provide antioxidants that may play a role in preventing kidney stones, as a link has been found between low levels of some antioxidants and kidney stones.
- lemon water: You can add freshly squeezed lemons to your water as many times as you like. Lemons contain citrate, a chemical that prevents calcium stone formation. Citrate can also break up small stones, making them easier to pass through. It would probably take a large amount of lemon juice to have a big effect, but a few can help a little. Lemon juice has numerous other health benefits. For example, it inhibits bacterial growth and provides vitamin C.
- apple cider vinegar water: Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid helps dissolve kidney stones. The acetic acid can soften, break down, and dissolve kidney stones, making them easier to pass through the urine. In addition to flushing the kidneys, apple cider vinegar can help relieve pain caused by the stones. You can also sprinkle apple cider vinegar on salads or add it to your favorite salad dressing.
- Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate juice has been used for centuries to improve overall kidney function. It flushes stones and other toxins out of your system. It’s packed with antioxidants that help keep kidneys healthy and may play a role in preventing kidney stones from forming. It also lowers the acidity of your urine. Lower acid levels reduce your risk of future kidney stones.
When to see a doctor for kidney stones?
See a doctor if you can’t pass your stone within 6 weeks or if you experience severe symptoms, including:
- strong pain
- blood in your urine
A doctor will determine if you need medication or other therapy to help you pass the stone.
NOTE: The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions about a medical condition or health goals.