Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

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It’s hard to believe that something the same size as a grain of sand can cause so many issues for the kidneys, but this is the life of a kidney stone, which can reach up to the similar dimensions as a pearl. As painful as kidney stones are, permanent damage is rare, but the condition sure pushes the limits of patience. To encourage elimination of kidney stones, home remedies can help.

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What are Kidney Stones?

Substances found in the urine can cause solid pieces of material to form in the kidney [1]. The majority of kidney stones pass out of the body without treatment. However, some cases produce a stone that decides to stick around for a longer period of time. Intense pain can develop when the kidney stone gets stuck in the urinary tract and blocks the flow of urine. Determining the kind of kidney stone you have developed can help prevent future occurrences, as well as identify the best home remedy approach.

Four types of kidney stones include:

  • Calcium Stones: About four out of five kidney stones are calcium stones, consisting of calcium oxalate.
  • Uric Acid Stones: The byproduct of protein metabolism causes stones formed by uric acid. Gout and genetics contribute to this type of kidney stone.
  • Stuvite Stones: Women tend to develop struvite stones, which are often connected to urinary tract infections.
  • Cystine Stones: A small percentage of kidney stones are caused by a hereditary disorder that makes the kidneys eliminate an excessive amount of certain amino acids.

Causes and Symptoms

It is not uncommon for kidney stones to develop without a clear-cut reason. Add in a number of factors that oftentimes work in combination with one another and you’ll find that some people are just more vulnerable than others to the formation of kidney stones. Beware of a high-protein, high-sodium, and low-calcium diet. Limited daily movement increases kidney stone risk. An elevated body mass index (BMI), increased waist size, and weight gain also contributes to kidney stones [2]. Other causes of stones include inherited metabolic disorders, prescription drugs, and kidney disease.

Patients are unaware of their condition until they experience the symptoms that come when a kidney stone enters the ureter – the tube that connects the bladder and the kidney. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in the side and back, right below the ribs
  • Bloody, cloudy or unpleasant-smelling urine
  • Painful urination
  • Constant urge to urinate
  • Nausea and vomiting

Kidney Stones Home Remedies

Skimp on drinking enough fluids (especially water) and your urine will most likely exhibit higher concentrations of the substances that cause kidney stones to form. This is why you see a lot of people who live in a dry, hot climate battling kidney stones, where it’s easy to neglect the proper replacement of lost fluids. Drink between six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water for starters.

Other home remedies for kidney stones include:

a) Basil:

Basil has the potential to strengthen your kidneys. Take one teaspoon each of basil juice and honey every day for a period of six months. Some patients have eliminated their stones from their urinary tract with this remedy.

b) Apples:

Opt for a naturally unsweetened cider to fight the formation of kidney stones.

c) Less Vitamin C:

Since the body transforms vitamin C into oxalate, taking high doses (more than 3,000 milligrams daily) of the vitamin poses an issue for people battling kidney stones. Eliminate vitamin C supplements from your routine and opt to receive your daily dose from food.

d) Cut Down Meat Consumption:

To lessen uric-acid stone formation, lower the amount of animal protein contained in your daily diet. Meats and certain fish can hasten the formation of uric acid and calcium in urine, which can lead to stone formation.
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e) Grapes:

With a diuretic combination of high water content and a decent amount of potassium salt, grapes provide a suitable remedy for kidney stones. The fruit also contains a low albumin and sodium chloride content, which helps treat the condition.

f) Vitamin A:

Eating foods rich in vitamin A will keep the lining of the urinary tract in healthy condition. It will also fight the formation of kidney stones in the future. The Recommended Dietary Allowance [RDA] for adults is 5,000 international units. Keep in mind that ½ cup of canned sweet potatoes offers 7,982 international units. Other foods high in vitamin A include broccoli, cantaloupes, winter squash, carrots, apricots, pumpkins, and beef liver.

g) Know Your Oxalates:

Just when you thought eating plenty of fruits and vegetables was a good thing, kidney stone patients should go over the foods that contain oxalates – a cause of calcium-oxalate stone formation. If this is the type of kidney stones you are prone to develop, consider limiting or avoiding the following foods: parsley, strawberries, spinach, peanuts, rhubarb, nuts, beets, chocolate, and wheat bran. You should also limit your intake of coffee, cola sodas, and tea.

h) Cut Down on Salt:

To fight calcium stones, lowering your salt intake can help. Pass on sprinkling extra salt on your French fries, avoid pickled foods, and choose low-sodium potato chips. You should aim for reducing your salt consumption to only two to three grams per day.

i) Lemonade:

A glass of lemonade increases the amount of citrate found in your urine, which can prevent the formation of kidney stones. Freshly squeezed lemonade or frozen concentrate is highly recommended, but make sure to pass on powdered lemonade mixes.
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j) Watermelon:

Out of all the fruits suggested for kidney stone treatment, watermelon is considered the best and safest because it contains the highest concentration of water and provides an impressive amount of potassium salts.

k) Regular Exercise:

Routine exercise encourages the elimination of calcium out of the bloodstream and into the bones. In the end, a kidney stone patient will enjoy stronger bones and a decreased chance of developing a stone.

l) Celery:

If you are prone to developing kidney stones, eat plenty of celery to lessen your chances of forming stones in the future.

Resources

[1] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/kidneystones.html
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/kidney-stones/DS00282/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print

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