Let’s talk about a very painful and common health concern these days … kidneys stones
If you have ever had or known someone that had kidney stones you may understand the excruciating pain associated with these monsters.
The pain has been described as the worst, unbearable excruciating pain that you could ever feel. Some say “it has brought grown men to their knees, begging for relief .while some say ,”they have actually passed out from the horrible pain they bring.”
If you’ve been lucky enough to never develop a kidney stone, understanding the signs and symptoms of one can help prevent pain, discomfort .
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to as stones located in the ureter .
kidney stones result when substances in the urine become highly concentrated.
Types of kidney stones
There are four major kinds of kidney stones, each with different causes and treatment .
• Calcium stones: The most common kind of kidney stone, these develop when calcium in the urine combines with other substances like oxalate or phosphate to form crystals.
• Uric acid stones: When too much uric acid forms in the pee it can crystallize and combine with calcium to form a stone.
• Struvite stones: The type likely to grow the largest, this type of kidney stone is made of a mineral called struvite, a combination of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphate.
• Cystine stones: This rare type of stone can form if someone has too much of amino acid called cystine.
While anyone can produce kidney stones, certain people are more at risk for developing stones than others. A family history of stone disease, especially in first-degree relatives, puts you at a higher risk. Other risk factors are dehydration, diet, and obesity.
There are common dietary causes, including low fluid intake and overconsumption of salt and animal products .
•Pain in the side or back, which then spreads to the lower belly and groin (especially if it comes and goes in waves)
• Blood in the urine
• Nausea, vomiting, as well as fever and chills
• The need to pee often or urgently .
▪ Painful and burning urination .
Preventing kidney stones means preventing the condition that support their formation . Here’s how you can prevent these painful pebbles ,
1. Stay well hydrated.
Drink enough fluids (water is best) to make 2L or about 1/2 gallon of urine a day. Drink more water in the summer months when you’re apt to lose more water through sweat. Lemonade made with real lemons has citrate which can be good for the urinary system.
2. Cut the salt.
Limit the amount of sodium in your diet. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2,500 mg, yet the average American diet takes in about 5,000 mg of sodium a day. Don’t add salt to food and take the salt shaker off the table to avoid temptation. Limit eating out and processed foods which also contribute to higher sodium intake. Decreasing urinary sodium also decreases urinary calcium, which are leading culprits in kidney stone formation.
3. Moderate calcium intake.If you have a history of stone formation, your doctor may recommend a moderate intake of calcium – about 800-1,200 mg a day. Calcium, however, is necessary in the diet; completely eliminating calcium is not advisable and can actually lead to more kidney stones.
4. Cut the protein.
Your doctor may also recommend that you cut down on your protein intake .
There are no true warning signs for kidney stones.small stones usually pass unnoticed while large stones remain undetected until they become lodged in the ureter and the person complains of severe and sudden pain in the back or lower abdomen.
Most kidney stones can be diagnosed by an X-Ray .A sonogram can also spot a stone.These images tells the site and size of the stone . Blood and urine test help detect any abnormal substance that might promote stone formation . Other test that might be suggested are CT Scan or special XRay test called intravenous pyelogram( IVP) .
A serious bout of kidney stone if they happen periodically can be treated medically or with surgery. But surgery is considered as the last option .There are plenty of things you can do deal with a stone or to prevent a stone from happening in the first place , especially if you have tendency of producing them periodically .
Before taking any home remedies it is a good idea to talk with the doctor,especially for people with pre-existing medical condition or who are on medications .
Many antibiotics ,diuretics,blood pressure,cholesterol and liver medications can interact negatively with herbal remedies
Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to prevent and treat kidney stones .Drinking 12 glasses per day may help ease the passage or slow the growth of deposits in kidneys.
Lemon contains citrate , a compound that helps break down calcium deposits and slow their growth.Two 5- oz glasses ,the first on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and another a few hours before dinner , may help break down smaller stones .
Basil contains compounds known to help stabilize uric acid levels, making it harder for kidney stones to form. Also, basil contains acetic acid, a chemical known to help dissolve stones.
One teaspoon of basil extract or pure juice per day may help prevent and treat kidney stones.
4: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar again contains citric acid that may help dissolve calcium deposits.
Two tablespoons of pure apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 oz of water may reduce the symptoms of kidney stones and prevent their development. This mixture can be drunk several times a day and may be most effective when consumed before meals.
5- Wheat grass
Wheatgrass contains compounds that increase urine production, allowing stones to pass more easily and reducing the risk of their formation.
Wheatgrass also contains antioxidants which help rid the urinary tract of minerals and salts.
Other home remedies are celery juice , pomegranate juice , dandelion extract
Management of renal colic is done by giving oral analgesics. If oral analgesics are insufficient to manage pain IV access is obtained to allow fluids, analgesics and antiemetic medications .Antibiotics are prescribed in case of infection .
Active intervention for symptomatic or large urinary stones ranges from minimal invasive to more invasive techniques.
These treatment options include
1-Shock wave Lithotripsy
An externally applied acoustic pulse is focused onto the stone to break it into tiny pieces which are later passed through urine .
2-Laser LithotripsyA tiny scope is inserted into the urinary tract to locate the stone and laser energy is used to disintegrate it.
3- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy
A small tunnel is made from the skin into the kidney to locate the stone ,before fragmentation and removal of the stone .
4- Laproscopic key hole surgery
Small key hole incisions are made onto abdomen to enter the urinary system and remove the stone .
It is commonly recognized that “a stone is not necessarily the disease” but rather a “symptom” of an underlying abnormality (eg- hyperuricosuria, hypercalciuria, hyperoxaluria, etc.). Therefore, even if the initial stone is spontaneously expelled or surgically removed, it does not make the underlying abnormality go away. It is for this reason that risk of stone recurrence after an initial episode of nephrolithiasis is extremely high.Hence Post treatment patient will have to take dietary precautions or medications to prevent recurrence of kidney stones .
Indicated in left sided renal calculi .A characteristic sensation is the bubbling sensation that is aggravated by stepping or any other movement. The pain extends from the back to the urinary bladder or the urethra.
Indicated in patients with renal stones having burning and cutting pain in urethra . characteristic symptom of this remedy is the frequent urge to urinate where urine is passed drop by drop with intense burning.Haematuria( blood in urine) may be present.
Indicated in Right sided kidney stones. The pain worsens before urination. Urine is scanty. The kidney pain subsides after passing urine. Red sediments may appear in urine. In some cases, the urine may be purulent, turbid, or pale.
Indicated in case of right sided kidney stone with excessive burning at the close of urination.. Urine passed is scanty. Urine may contain slimy or sandy particles.
Indicated especially in cases where pain from the kidney radiates down the thigh. In some cases, the pain may radiate down to the feet from the kidney region. There is also a constant urge to urinate. Urine is passed with marked pain. In men, pain may also be felt in glans penis while urinating. Red sand or stingy mucus may be observed in the urine.
Pls note -The treatment for these conditions is always based upon the constitution of the patient and the medicines vary for each patient, depending upon the particular symptoms. The remedies mentioned here should be taken only after consulting a homoeopath or health care professional .