Anyone who has had any experience with kidney stones knows how intense the pain can get. Unfortunately, kidney stones are not an uncommon ailment. Around 50% of people who have had them once are likely to develop them again in about 10 years if no preventive measures are taken. Men have a higher propensity to kidney stones than women.
How Do Kidney Stones Develop?
Calcium, oxalate, and uric acid get concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys, which grow big enough to take the form of stones. About 85% of stones are of calcium. The remaining 15% are uric acid stones, which get created when the urine pH levels drop.
Once the stones are formed in the kidneys, they eject and pass down the ureter, hindering the urine flow. This causes extreme pain, which can vary in intensity, in areas like the groin, lower back, and the side of the stomach. It can, occasionally, even cause nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine. As the stones move from the ureter to the bladder, it may lead to frequent urination and groin pain.
Kidney stones might take several weeks to pass. Smaller stones could be thrown out of the system naturally by following the methods listed below. But if the pain becomes too harsh, or if the stones are too large to pass, they can be removed surgically with the procedure called ureteroscopy. An endoscope, a small video camera attached to a tube, is passed inside the bladder and into the ureter. A laser breaks up the stones, and the fragments are removed.
Natural Remedies For Kidney Stones
1. Drink More Water.
Fluids dilute the stone-forming substances in the urine so they don’t crystallize. In 2015, a meta-analysis from the National Kidney Foundation discovered that people who produced up to 2.5 liters of urine daily were less likely to develop kidney stones by 50% than those who produced less. It takes about 2 liters of total water intake daily to make that amount.
Avoid carbonated drinks (both sweetened and artificially sweetened) as those are linked with the formation of stones due to their phosphoric acid contents.
2. Curtail High-Oxalate Food.
Foods like almonds, spinach, and beet increase the oxalate levels in the body. However, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods, such as chocolate and berries, will not put you at risk.
3. More Lemon Juice.
Citrate in citric acid binds to calcium and helps to block stone formation. Juice of two lemons or 1/2 cup of lemon concentrate diluted in water each day is likely to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Citric acid helps doubly in kidney stones as it prevents stone formation, and also curtails further stone enlargement.
4. Reduce Sodium.
Excess amounts of salt in the diet increase the amount of calcium in your urine. Limit the total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg). If sodium has been a factor in the development of kidney stones in the past, then reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.
5. Go Easy On The Meat.
Too much animal protein from meat, eggs, seafood raises uric acid levels. You should cut down meat consumption to a very tiny portion if you’re prone to kidney stones.
6. Avoid High Doses Of Vitamin C.
Studies show that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements create a higher risk of kidney stones.
A high dose of supplemental vitamin C may enhance the excretion of oxalate in the urine.
A Swedish study among middle-aged and older men estimated that those that supplement with vitamin C might be twice as likely to develop kidney stones as those who do not.
But, note that vitamin C from food sources is not going to put you at risk.
7. Consume More Calcium.
It seems counter-intuitive to consume more calcium when you might be suffering from kidney stones. But it’s not! Dietary calcium binds with oxalate in the diet, which keeps it from getting absorbed. Thus, it prevents it from passing through the urinary tract. Studies show a 50% reduced risk of developing stones in men who consumed 1200 mg of calcium per day instead of men who didn’t.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of dietary calcium. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 mg per day. However, for women over 50, it is 1200 mg, as well as for everyone over the age of 70.
Kidney stone is a common ailment and is likely to strike back after a decade or so. Ureteroscopy is required for stones too large to pass through the ureter. But, smaller stones could be prevented from enlargement, and naturally eliminated from the body by following certain simple actions. Drink more water; consume more citric acid, cut back on the meat and salts, and high-oxalate food. Avoid high doses of supplemented vitamin C. These natural remedies for kidney stones will be immensely helpful in clearing up any small stones, and will hamper further development of the same.