In this article, we shall learn how to get rid of kidney stones. More importantly, we are going to discuss how we can prevent the occurrence or recurrence of kidney stones naturally.
Table of contents
Kidney stones are mineral deposits inside the kidneys. In medical language, kidney stones are referred to as nephrolithiasis or renal lithiasis. The stones do not cause long term damage but they can cause you a lot of pain when passing out urine. In some instances, they may turn out difficult to pass out, thereby, postulating medical surgery.
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones are formed due to the inability of kidneys to excrete toxic minerals in an efficient manner. This inefficiency leads to the crystallization of those minerals, forming solid masses which we call kidney stones. Some drugs also promote the formation of kidney stones, for instance, Lasix, Xenical, Topomax, among several others.
In some cases, the kidney is unable to excrete excess minerals if a person does not drink enough fluids regularly, or because, the urine is either highly basic or highly acidic.
Kidney stones are formed of various types of crystals but Calcium is primarily the main element. In most cases, there is only one predominant crystal. Identification of the main crystal helps in the determination of the fundamental cause of kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stones are most common accounting for about 75% of all cases of the disorder. This fact does not necessarily mean that you should cut or minimize your intake of calcium foods. Calcium is normally bound to the oxalate in food, something which helps pass it out of the body in other ways than through urine.
Types of kidney stones and their causes
- Calcium Stones
These stones are the most common. When suffering from this kind of kidney stones, you pass out a lot of calcium in urine and, often, it is in the form of calcium oxalate. These are the possible causes of Calcium stones:
- Not drinking water
- Intake of too much food containing calcium oxalate e.g. chocolate, eggs, and meat. Also, spinach contains a lot of oxalates as well
- Taking calcium supplements when not prescribed to do so
- Chronic disease of the kidney or kidney infections
- Metabolic disorders that prevent the processing of calcium in the digestive system
- High concentration of Vitamin D. If you intake too much of vitamin D, it will be excreted through urine together with calcium
- The existence of hypercalciuria, which is an inherited condition that is known to cause an abnormal level of calcium in urine
- Lack of exercise
- Side effects of some cancers
- Suffering from sarcoidosis
- Uric acid stones
These stones are diagnosed if a high concentration of uric acid is found in urine. It is caused by:
- Failing to drink enough water
- Metabolic disorders, like gout, which lead to the inability to break down some chemicals
- Intake of a diet with high amounts of protein
- Cystine Stones
These kind of stones are extremely rare. Cystine stones are found in people suffering from cystinuria, which is a genetic disorder. This disease causes kidneys to process high levels of amino acids and pass them out through urine.
- Struvite stones
These stones are caused by certain urinary tract infections which, as a result, makes them more common in women than in men. These type of stones grow faster than the others. Also, they grow bigger than calcium stones.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
It is very difficult to suspect that you have kidney stones. Or at least, not until you feel the movement of a foreign thing inside your ureter. When it reaches this point, you are also likely to experience these other symptoms:
- Pain when passing out urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- An urgency to pass out urine
- Pain below the ribs, in your back and side
- A pain of varying intensity that lasts between 20 and 60 minutes
- Fever accompanied by chills
The experienced pain occurs due to dilatation of tissues above the stone because the stone blocks the flow of urine to the bladder. If you wish to get to the root cause of the stone, collect it and have it analyzed by a doctor.
How to get rid of kidney stones naturally
Except in extreme cases where you need the medical intervention, kidney stones can be treated with home remedies. Some of these home remedies can either help pass kidney stones or dissolve them. Now we’ll look at these natural remedies that help us treat kidney stones from within the body or by passing the kidney stones fast. If followed properly, these procedures could be solutions to help you get rid of kidney stones at home fast.
- Drinking water
Drinking enough water is a sure way of how to pass a kidney stone quickly. If you drink enough water, kidneys will be able to accumulate enough urine at all times. Urine keeps pushing the kidney stones from the ureter to the bladder until they are passed out of the body as one urinates. Besides treating the stones, taking enough water prevents their formation in the kidneys. If you don’t know whether you are taking enough water, check the color of your urine. Normally, urine should be light yellow or clear. Your urine will be dark yellow, or even orange, if you consume very little water.
- Olive oil with lemon juice
Lemon juice contains citric acid. This acid breaks down calcium stones by dissolving them. Additionally, the citrus acid prevents the stones from growing bigger in size. Olive oil lubricates the stone thereby making this treatment a sure way of how to pass kidney stones fast. Besides getting rid of kidney stones, this combination is also used in removing stones from the gall bladder.
The effectiveness of using lemon juice and olive oil is much higher when the kidney stones are still small in size. For this reason, use this remedy at the onset of the symptoms of kidney stones. Use this procedure to get rid of kidney stones naturally.
- Take five tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and mix them with extra virgin oil in equal ratio
- Mix them thoroughly
- Drink the mixture and drink plentiful water after that.
- Do this thrice daily for three days, or until you have passed out the stones
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Like in the earlier case of lemon juice and olive oil, the effectiveness of ACV in the treatment of kidney stones is dependent on the size of the stones. The smaller they are, the higher the chances of passing the kidney stones quickly. Treatment of kidney stones using ACV can be achieved using several methods as described below.
3.1 Honey with ACV
- Mix organic ACV with honey in the ratio of 1:2. Drink the solution as many times as you can in the day till you pass out the kidney stones. If you find the solution unpleasant, mix it with water
3.2 Baking soda with ACV
Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes uric acid thereby breaking down uric acid kidney stones.
- Mix two teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar with half teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water.
- Drink the solution every day until you have treated the kidney stones.
Note that the treatment with ACV can also be used as a preventive measure against kidney stones.
- Dandelion root
Organic Dandelion root acts both as a tonic and as a cleaning agent for kidneys. Consumption of this highly effective natural remedy gets rid of kidney stones fast. The following unique features make it very useful.
- Diuretic properties which help the kidneys accumulate plenty of urine. These factors help pass kidney stones quickly
- It fights urinary tract infections
To help treat kidney stones:
- Take up to 500 milligrams of dandelion root twice every day. You can drink it in tea or as a supplement.
- Continue until you have treated kidney stones.
- Urva Ursi
Urva Ursi is commonly known as bearberry. Urva Ursi softens kidney stones because it has a concoction of tannins, piceosides, and flavonoids. To add to their already rich composition, it also has anti-bacterial properties which serve to protect the kidneys and the urinary tract from infections.
- Take urva ursi either as a tea or as a supplement.
- Take about 500 mg of urva ursi in a day for three times. Continue the routine treatment for three days.
You can also use the urva ursi together with dandelion root to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Nettle leaf
Nettle leaf is also an effective way to get rid of kidney stones naturally. The herb contains both anti-bacterial and diuretic properties – a combination that is highly effective in the treatment of kidney stones.
- Prepare tea using nettle leaf and drink it
- Repeat three times daily for three days
- Kidney beans
Other than having a kidney shape, kidney beans can treat kidney stones. It is, however, important to note that it is the pods that carry the beans that are used for treatment.
- Remove beans from pods
- Boil pods in purified hot water for about six hours
- Strain the liquid through cheesecloth and let it cool down
- Take the liquid throughout the day
- Continue for several days or until the stones have been cured
How to prevent recurrence of kidney stones
Scientific studies show that kidney stones have 70 to 80 percent likelihood of recurring. If you have had kidney stones before, consider making adjustments to your lifestyle to prevent its occurrence. Below are things you can do to stay free of kidney stones:
- Drink plenty of water
Drink enough water every day. As a natural solvent, water dilutes uric acid and calcium oxalate ensuring that crystallization does not take place. The daily water consumption requirements for men are 2.2 liters and 1.8 liters for women. Obese people, as well as those living in tropical climates, should drink more water.
A sedentary lifestyle is very dangerous. It slows down the rate of metabolism thereby reducing the assimilation of nutrients in the body. In the process, calcium fails to be absorbed into the body. Try exercising, however lightly, for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercises will maintain metabolism at peak levels.
- Minimize intake of oxalate-rich foods
Consume modest amounts of oxalate foods as this reduces the chances of calcium kidney stones. Apart from eggs, meat, and spinach that were mentioned at the beginning of this article, have a look at the following list for more oxalate foods that you should take in modest quantities:
- Hot pepper
- Red meat
- Tree nuts
- Include more vitamin A in your diet
Scientific studies have proved that vitamin A maintains a healthy kidney. Vitamin A boosts the body’s immune system. This improved immunity fights urinary tract infections and prevents formation of kidney stones. Here is a list of vitamin A rich sources:
- Sweet potatoes
- Minimize intake of sugar
Sugar lessens the body’s ability to consume calcium which puts you in the risk of developing calcium stones. To prevent this, it is advisable to reduce your intake of sugar. For example, you could consider taking water in place of soda. If you cannot resist the urge for soda, take one with a citrus base.
- Minimize intake of processed salts
Some processed foods are preserved in brine. Brine contains a lot of salt. This high amount of salt has been found to increase the formation of crystals of calcium oxalate. It is important to note that only processed salts are discouraged. Unprocessed salts should remain in use since they contain essential minerals.
Even if you decide to use natural remedies for self-treatment at home, always consult a doctor if you notice any irregularities, such as extreme pain or blood in urine. These symptoms could be a sign of a more dangerous condition, than simple kidney stones.