Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones: How to Remove Kidney Stones?
Dr. Sneha Ganatra
November 02, 2020
Kidney stones are a common health problem and passing kidney stones can be a very painful experience. Some even liken the pain felt to the intensity of childbirth. Moreover, those who have suffered from kidney stones are at risk of getting them again. While all this paints a bleak picture, the good news is that there are home remedies for kidney stones that can be effective as not all kidney stones require immediate medical treatment.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones or renal calculi are solid deposits of minerals and acid salts that form along the urinary tract. There are many types of kidney stones including calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, struvite, uric acid and cystine stones. Of these, around 80% of kidney stones are calcium oxalate. Kidney stones affect over 1 million Indians every year. But, all said and done, there are simple natural remedies you can try to remove kidney stones and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones in the future.
Here are 6 home remedies that help you fight kidney stones.
Drink plenty of water
If you’re wondering how to pass kidney stones fast at home, water may be your best friend. For small stones, your doctor may suggest a combination of water, pain killers and an alpha blocker, which causes muscles in the ureter to relax. Eight glasses a day is good in general, but to pass a stone 12 glasses will work better.
Beyond cure, water also helps in kidney stone prevention as dehydration is a major cause of stones. While 6-8 glasses of water per day will keep dehydration at bay, when you are seeking to avoid repeat occurrence of stones, try drinking about 2.8 litres of water a day.
Watch your sodium intake
While the link between high salt intake and kidney stone formation may not always hold true, a diet that is high in salt content can be unhealthy for you as the amount of calcium present in your urine increases. It is advisable to limit your sodium intake to 2,300mg a day, if you’ve suffered from kidney stones in the past due to sodium, bring this down to about 1,500mg.
Studies show that Indians consume about 11g of salt a day. That’s approximately 4.26g of sodium, which is way above the recommended guideline of 2.3g. So, in general, Indians need to reduce their salt intake too.
Consume less animal protein
Among the primary foods to avoid with kidney stones as an ailment are those which are high in animal protein. What is included here? Be cautious with foods like:
- Red meat
The question here is of limiting your animal protein intake, not doing away with it completely. A diet that has too much animal protein causes an uptick in uric acid, and uric acid helps in the creation of kidney stones. Similarly, such a diet also brings down citrate levels, and citrate helps prevent the formation of kidney stones. While you cut out some animal protein from your diet, remember that you still need protein for health. So, look for it from plant-based sources that are low in oxalic acid.
Tone down on oxalate-rich food
Calcium oxalate crystals are the most common types of kidney stones, and high intake of oxalates can lead to stone formation. Among the foods that cause kidney stones due to oxalic acid are:
- Lady finger
- Sweet potato
Should you avoid them altogether? Not so. In fact, foods like spinach and the ones above are also very healthy. So, going on an oxalate-starved diet can cause a slew of other health problems to kick in. Moreover, cutting back on oxalates is not a must for all. Low-oxalate diets often limit oxalic acid to 50mg per day. It is best to check with a doctor to understand how to change your diet to better serve your needs.
Get enough calcium, but go slow with supplements
Studies have shown that calcium-rich diets can actually reduce the risk of kidney stones. So, if your daily calcium intake is less than about 500mg a day, you’d want to boost it up to the 1,000mg mark. Your doctor may even recommend more depending on your gender and age. Too little calcium intake, and oxalic acid levels will rise.
However, calcium supplements have been associated with an increased risk of kidney stone formation. The bottom line? Try to get your calcium intake from the foodstuffs you normally eat such as milk and cheese, without disturbing other factors. For instance, lady finger is a source of calcium but is rich in oxalic acid too. It is thus best to create a nutrition plan that is tailored to you with advice from a specialist.
Make some lemon juice
Among the best home remedies for kidney stones is the practice of making yourself natural juices, in particular, lemon juice. Lemons contain an organic acid called citric acid, which helps prevent calcium stones from forming and getting larger. Sounds great? Well, citrate may even help you break down small stones and thus, pass them more easily.
The catch here is that it is best for you to make yourself a glass of lemon juice rather than purchase a juice product. Commonly-sold products may include only a small dose of beneficial lemon extract and a high amount of sweeteners that may actually cause kidney stones. Around ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate with water every day can be a good goal to go with. Fruits like oranges and grapefruits are also among the foods that cause kidney stones to cease occurring. Since they provide you with citric acid, you can simply consume them to reduce the likelihood of getting kidney stones in the future.
Now that you know how to remove kidney stones and, better, how to prevent them with natural remedies, make an effort to keep your kidneys healthy. However, keep in mind that trying natural remedies does not eliminate the need of consulting a doctor. Getting medical advice is key, especially if you are already on medication for another disease. In addition, when trying diet-related home remedies for kidney stones, knowing the types of kidney stones you are prone to can help you change your diet accordingly.
In fact, if you have symptoms such as severe pain in the abdomen, pain while urinating, nausea, vomiting, sweating or blood in the urine, your doctor may ask you to undergo a test for kidney stones. In such cases, natural remedies may not suffice, and you may need shock wave therapy or surgery.
Getting in touch with relevant doctors near you is very easy with the new Bajaj Finserv Health app. Through it you can book an appointment online, meet your doctor via video and even store your personal health records. Based on your health history, your doctor may even recommend home remedies for kidney stones such as:
- Consuming basil juice and apple cider vinegar
- Limiting Vitamin C supplements
- Reducing your weight
- Changing your sleeping posture
So, arm yourself with the best of medical advice by downloading the Bajaj Finserv Health app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and take concrete steps in improving the health of your kidneys!