Kidney stones are solid crystal deposits that form inside the ureters or kidneys. These stones are also known as renal calculi, urolithiases and nephrolithiases. They most commonly form when your urine is too concentrated, causing substances in your urine to crystallize and bond together.Men are more prone to kidney stones than women and those with gout or with close family members who’ve experienced kidney stones are at higher risk themselves. This condition is usually extremely painful and sends more than one million sufferers to U.S. emergency rooms annually.
There are three main medical treatments for painful kidney stones at this time. Though their use is still costly and limited.
- Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) / Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)– The use of sound waves to break up the kidney stones into small particles that will pass with your urine.
- Ureteroscopy – Removal of small kidney stones with the aid of a tiny camera inserted through your urethra and bladder into your ureter.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy – Surgical kidney stone removal through your back with small telescopes and surgical instruments.
These treatments are expensive and come with their own dangers, and a range of unpleasant and unwanted side effects accompany kidney stone prescription medication. A study from early 2014 indicates that approximately 14% of U.S. patients undergoing kidney stone treatment experience complications and are forced to deal with high costs averaging around $30,000. One out of seven patients in the 93,000 analyzed sought emergency care or required hospitalization within one month of the treatment they received for their kidney stones. Ureteroscopy complications outpaced complications from shock-wave lithotripsy treatments.
It’s no wonder sufferers actively seek non-medical options for removing their kidney stones. Clearly, the best approach is prevention, and diet plays a major role.If you are suffering from a stone episode and want to avoid invasive medical intervention, one or more of these remedies could be the answer.
For very small kidney stones, often the only solution is the passage of time.They will simply pass on their own. You can help this along by increasing your water intake. Over the counter pain medication may be necessary.
Whether you’re currently battling kidney stones or at risk of developing them, increased fluid intake is a priority. At a minimum, you should be drinking at least six glasses of water every day. Other clear fluids free of caffeine and alcohol are also helpful.
Avoid oxalates present in chocolate, beets, coffee, nuts, cola, strawberries, rhubarb, parsley, spinach, wheat bran and tea. For uric stones, decrease your protein intake of foods high in purine. This is typically found in seafood such as shrimp, mussels, sardines, anchovies, herring, fish roe, and mackerel. Salt and beer are other things to avoid. Eat fiber to help rid your body of oxalates and calcium in your urine.
- Nettle tea, Horsetail tea – These natural diuretics can help boost the benefits of all that water you should be drinking. Two to three cups per day can help flush out toxins and minerals.
- Gravelroot (Joe Pye weed) – Native Americans have long believed this herb may be used to soften and dissolve your kidney stones.
- Pomegranate – This antioxidant is a popular herbal remedy for kidney stones.
- Hydrangea – This herb has been a long-standing remedy for urinary tract issues. Its use is targeted in the prevention rather than the removal of kidney stones. But it may also help alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with kidney stones.
- Aloe Vera – As an anti-inflammatory, Aloe Vera is a popular herbal remedy for kidney stones as well as a preventative measure.
- Corn silk – Proponents of this remedy recommend consuming a tea made out of chopped corn silk and boiling water to help ease the passage of kidney stones.
- Couch grass with Potassium – Italian researchers claim that a five-month study of 50 kidney stone sufferers yielded positive results with the consumption of couch grass and potassium citrate, resulting in significantly fewer stones.
- UvaUrsi (bearberry) leaves – Thisis another diuretic with astringent and anti-bacterial properties. This herb is said to soften kidney stones, reduce inflammation in your urinary tract and enhance urine flow.
- Juniper berries – Juniper tea is yet another diuretic said to help flush out and disinfect the urinary tract. Many believe it also helps reduce uric acid.
- Dandelion leaf and root – This edible perennial promotes urine production and replenishes potassium.
Magnesium has long been known for preventing kidney stones. Some studies reveal more than a 92 percent improvement rate in kidney stone reduction with the consumption of 300mg magnesium supplements per day.
Vitamin Afosters a healthy urinary tract and may be used with other supplements to prevent kidney stones.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 can lower oxalate levels in your blood. A combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 has been shown to significantly reduce kidney stone episodes.
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