Kidney stones can only naturally come out of your body one way, which is with your urine. Small kidney stones (less than 5mm) can usually come out by themselves. Larger stones will require doctor intervention. Here are three ways to pass these smaller kidney stones.
There are many natural home remedies for passing kidney stones effectively. While passing kidney stones can be a very painful process, these remedies are designed to help you pass your kidney stone quickly and without much discomfort. Natural remedies for kidney stones include:
- Drink more water. Any fluids will do if you’re dehydrated, but you should minimize coffee, alcohol, tea, and soda while passing a kidney stone. Drink water with lemon to help even more!
- Drink lemon juice and olive oil. Mix ¼ cup each of these together and drink, then follow with water. Only use pure lemon juice and olive oil, as additives such as sugar won’t be doing you any favors. You can drink this mixture every hour until the pain ceases. The lemon juice contains citrate that will help break up the stones, and the olive oil will help to flush the stones out of your body.
- Raw apple cider vinegar. You can mix this with a few ounces of water and drink it down. This will help break up the stones. Raw apple cider vinegar is also great to help prevent future kidney stone formation.
- Eat foods that are diuretic. Celery, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, watermelon, and asparagus are all great foods to eat to help you pass kidney stones.
While these natural remedies may help with your small kidney stone, remember to see your doctor if you have a larger kidney stone that can’t be passed—you’ll need your doctor’s help for larger stones.
Shock Wave Therapy
This form of therapy consists of shock waves to help break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces, which will then be able to pass more easily out of the body. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is usually used with stones larger than 5mm but no larger than 2cm, and with stones that are in the kidney or close to it, meaning they have not traveled far down the ureter to exit the body. This treatment is also used when the stone is blocking urine flow and causing extreme pain. The procedure lasts about an hour and you may be put under general anesthesia. This outpatient procedure cannot be used for extremely obese patients or pregnant patients. There are risks for kidney injury with this treatment, and you should discuss it further with your doctor.
Medication or Surgery
Alpha-blockers are common medications for kidney stones. They work by relaxing the muscles in your urinary tract, therefore helping the stone to pass less painfully. These medications may help you if you have a small kidney stone that you are trying to pass naturally. Surgery will be required if you have a very large kidney stone that cannot be passed out of the body. While medication and surgery will be necessary for a large stone, you can use preventive measures in the future to ensure that you minimize your risk for kidney stones and help to break up any mineral deposits that may form in your kidneys over time. The most important factor is staying hydrated, as water will help naturally carry out any minerals that build up in your kidneys and be the biggest factor in preventing kidney stones.
Kidney stones are not fun, but the smaller stones can usually be passed, even if they are painful. Consider these three ways to pass a kidney stone and always speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of passing your kidney stones.
Many patients leave their doctor’s office with the vague instruction to increase their water input. How much are you supposed to drink to reduce your stone risk?
Even more, patients are told to go home and start drinking a gallon of water a day. If you don’t drink more than a couple of glasses per day now, how are you supposed to drink a gallon tomorrow?
Drinking more water is a simple way to reduce your stone risk, but simple does not mean easy. Most of you find this task extremely hard. I tell everyone to start out slowly. If you drink one glass per day now, then drink two tomorrow. Set new goals to increase your water consumption each week. I have seen people go from 1 glass per day to 10 glasses per day within a month.
Understanding how much water to drink and all of the details behind it can be exhausting. I just released a course called The Kidney Stone Prevention Course to help you understand how to implement your physician’s prescribed treatment plans.
Signs And Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of kidney stone during pregnancy aren’t unlike the usual ones. However, there are no specific symptoms that indicate kidney stone and any pregnancy complications caused due to it. Some of the common symptoms of kidney stones during pregnancy include,
1. Pain: Intense pain is one the first and the most common signs of kidney stones. The area of the pain is based on the where the stone is located. If the stone is in your kidney, you will experience pain in the back, below the rib cage area. Once the stone moves down to the ureters, you will begin experiencing pain on the side of your body. As the stone moves further down the ureter, you may even feel pain near your genitals or even in the thigh. Apart from this, you may also have pain in your lower abdomen.
2. Pain during urination: If the stone has travelled down and is stuck at the lower end of the ureter, you are likely to have intense pain while urinating.
3. Blood in the urine: As the stones in the kidney move spontaneously, they may damage the tissues and the cells in the kidney. This may lead to blood in the urine.
Apart from these symptoms, you may also have vomiting, nausea, fever with chills (indicates infection), or may even feel some distension in the abdomen.
Indications When Surgical Intervention Is Advised
If natural and conservative remedies do not work, you may have to opt for surgical intervention to get rid of kidney stones under these circumstances.
- The stones that have obstructed the urinary tract have caused pyelonephritis or inflammation due to bacterial infection.
- If you have only one kidney
- Acute kidney failure
- Intense pain
- Risk of premature labour due to kidney pain
How To Get Rid Of Kidney Stones While Pregnant?
If you notice any symptoms of a kidney stone it is advisable to consult a urologist for treatment options. Here are some of the methods used to get rid of kidney stone in pregnancy. Treatment methods are also based on the nature of your kidney stones and the trimester that you are in.
1. Medical Treatment
Acetaminophens like Tylenol are prescribed to relieve pain caused due to kidney stones. However, in the event that medication fails to lower your pain or if there is any indication of preterm labour, you may need a surgical intervention.
2. Surgical Treatment
- Ureteroscopy – This procedure is used for diagnosis as well as for a quick resolution of the stones. A small tube called a ureteroscope is inserted into the kidney passing through the ureter, the urethra, and the urinary bladder. The process uses a laser to break the stones. This procedure is only ideal for stones smaller than 1 cm.
- Tube or stent placement – This procedure uses a hollow tube passed through the ureters to drain the urine and the stones. It is minimally invasive and does not use any anaesthesia.
- Shockwave therapy and open surgery are not used for pregnant women due to risks to the foetus.
3. Natural/Home Remedies
Conservative methods and natural remedies are the most preferred treatment of kidney stones. Some of these include,
- Intake of water: Drinking at least eight glasses of water every day can help dilute the minerals and organic salts in the urine. It also helps clear small stones from the kidney.
- Fruits: Consuming fruits like watermelon, blueberries, peaches, etc which have high water content is also beneficial.
- Avoid commercial juices: Packaged juices have a high content of minerals and organic salts which may make your condition worse.
- Lemon: Lemon is known to break medium-sized stones and also open up the ureters, helping the stones pass without much pain.
Some of the best ways to prevent kidney stones are,
- Drink a lot of water. A minimum of two litres or eight glasses per day.
- Lower your salt intake. Avoid junk foods as they contain a lot of monosodium chloride.
- Avoid excess calcium. Keep your calcium intake under 1000 to 1200 mg per day.
- Reduce your consumption of green leafy vegetables, chicken, fish, nuts, beetroot, chocolate, peanuts, beef, red meat, tea, and coffee.
Kidney stones are rather common during pregnancy and in most cases can be treated using conservative treatment methods like drinking a lot of water, trying natural remedies, etc. However, in case the pain is severe, you will need to opt for medical or surgical treatments to alleviate it. Always remember to reach out to a doctor immediately after you notice symptoms of kidney stones to get the appropriate treatment method and avoid complications.
Also read: Hydronephrosis In Pregnancy
Used by generations of amazon indigenous people in the treatment of both gallstones and kidney stones, Chanca Piedra literally translates as ‘stone breaker’. It is the popular name given to Phyllanthus niruri, a small shrub-like plant in the Phyllanthus genus. Studies have shown the plant to interfere with many stages of stone formation, reducing crystals aggregation and modifying their structure and composition. It has even been shown to reduce urinary calcium in those presenting with hypercalciuria, excessive calcium in the urine. Indeed, there are many online tales of success in breaking down and passing stones with this plant.
It can be bought either in supplement form or in a tincture form, however if you are buying online be sure to get lab grade Chanca Piedra as quality will vary depending on soil quality etc. The recommended dose is up to 400 mg 3 times a day for a period of 3 months. It appears to be well tolerated generally, however as with the ingestion of any herb check to see if there are any possible interactions. It is thought for instance that it may affect blood sugar levels and thus not suitable for those with diabetes.
Lemons contain plenty of natural citrate, a known inhibitor of calcium stone crystallization in urine. Potassium citrate is in fact, a standard treatment prescribed by doctors for those prone to calcium stones. The effectiveness of citrate is said to be due to the fact that it binds with calcium in urine, however it may also actually prevent crystals from binding together and therefore getting larger. Citrate is also good news for those with uric acid stones as these stones favor an acidic environment and citrate acts to raise ph., thus lowering acidity in urine.
Clinical trials are on-going but preliminary findings suggest that drinking 1/2 cup of concentrated lemon juice a day would provide a sufficient daily dose of citrate. This can be diluted with 7 cups of water and drank throughout the day. Sufferers on online forums have also reported great results with this remedy. Other citric juices, such as cranberry, whilst high in citrate have been deemed less beneficial due to having a higher oxalate content.
As well as pomegranates having an antioxidant activity three times higher than that of red wine and green tea, drinking fresh pomegranate juice has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of kidney stones due to increasing citrate levels in urine. In a study on rats whereby calcium oxalate deposits were induced by ethylene glycol, the group given pomegranate juice did not develop crystals. This study concluded that pomegranate juice has a protective effect on calcium oxalate crystals in the renal tubes. Fresh pomegranates in this study were washed, crushed and squeezed.
Uva ursi, also known as bears grape because of its popularity with bears, is a plant which grows in cooler climates; the leaves of which are used to make medicine. Although more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness for kidney stones, this common folk remedy has long been recognised as being beneficial for kidney and urinary health, being a common treatment for bladder infections before antibiotics. The plant, which is a genus of Arctostaphylos, contains a glycoside, arbutin which not only not only has an antiseptic effect neutralising bacteria but also a diuretic effect clearing away harmful substances and encouraging the passing of crystals. It is also believed that the tannins in the leaves of Uva ursi help to fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Uva ursi is available in supplement and tincture form in health food stockists. You can also drink Uva ursi tea by simmering a table spoon of the dried leaves in cups of boiling water for 30-40 minutes twice daily. It is not recommended for children. The recommended dose for urinary health depends on the arbutin content, so check with your supplier. It is not recommended for everyone, for instance it is not suitable for children, pregnant women or those with liver disease. Again, check for contraindications before supplementing with Uva Ursi.
Dandelion Extract, Tea, or Juice
Herbalists use dandelion leaves to improve kidney function. It can also be helpful in the treatment and prevention of kidney stones as it increases the amount of urine and encourages elimination of fluid from the body, thereby facilitating the passing of the stones. By diluting the urine it may also prevent stone formation. Learn how to make survival dandelion jelly with 2 years shelf life.
Wheatgrass Juice is one of the best sources of living chlorophyll available and since chlorophyll is antibacterial, having a detoxifying effect on the body, it is reported to be beneficial for cleansing the kidneys. In addition to which it also acts as a diuretic, helping to flush out the kidneys and encourage the passing of stones.
Drinking wheatgrass juice on an empty stomach is recommended otherwise it can induce nausea. Wait 30 minutes before eating. 1fl oz a day is recommended at the beginning, increasing it to 2oz a day after a week. It can be used in juicing.
Celery juice is reported to clear away toxins and be generally beneficial for kidney cleansing, helping to dilute the mineral concentration and act as diuretic in order to help pass any stones. However, due to it being relatively high in oxalate, it may not be advisable in the treatment of calcium oxalate stones. In any case celery seed extract is reported to be good for removing excess uric acid and thus beneficial for those suffering from the less common uric acid stones.
Bicarbonate of Soda
According to Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, bicarbonate of soda is useful in not only the prevention of stones but also in helping to break them down. This applies solely to uric acid stones, which makes sense since these types of stones thrive in an acidic environment and bicarbonate of soda would make the urine more alkaline. Simply mix a tablespoon in a large glass of water and repeat 2-3 times daily until you find relief. You can also check these 112 uses of baking soda (WWII Series).
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