Kidneys are one of the important organs of the human body as it filters impurities from the blood to make urine. The healthy functioning is essential to detox our body as they excrete toxins along with excess water to the bladder, which is eliminated as urine. But when you do not have enough fluid and too much toxin in your blood, the waste starts to build up in your kidneys. These clumps of wastes are generally known as kidney stones.
Dr Deepak Dewan – MD, DM (Nephrology), Director Renal Sciences, Regency Superspeciality Hospital, Lucknow – said kidney stone, also known as Nephrolithiasis, may vary in size and shape.
“Kidney stones are firm to hard pebble-like pieces of material that form in one or both of your kidneys when high levels of certain minerals are there in the urine. They vary in size and shape. They may be as small as a grain of sand or can be very large sometimes filling whole kidneys. A small kidney stone passes through your urinary tract on its own, causing little or no pain. A larger kidney stone stays in its place or gets stuck along the way. A large kidney stone can block your flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding. They are painful and can cause permanent damage also,” Dr Dewan said.
A kidney stone is a common problem as it is estimated that one in ten people are diagnosed with a kidney stone at some time in their lives. According to reports, more than half a million people are admitted to emergency rooms because of kidney-related problems. Kidney stones are not harmful if they can be recognized during the initial days.
“Usually kidney stones do not cause permanent damage if they are recognized early. However, if the stone gets stuck in the ureter then it may result in serious or even life-threatening complications like urinary tract infection, kidney damage, etc. It has been noticed that each year, more than half a million people visit hospitals for kidney stone problems. One in ten people has a kidney stone at some time in their lives with a reoccurrence rate of up to 25 per cent,” Dr Dewan added.
Kidney stones are the result of a build-up of undissolved minerals on the inner lining of the kidneys. If there’s a very small kidney stone, people may not have any symptoms or they may never know they had a kidney stone. However, if it grows bigger in size, you may notice any of these symptoms.
Kidney Stones: These are some of the common symptoms
• severe pain in the flank or groin
• blood in the urine
• nausea & vomiting
• decreased urine output
• burning sensation during urination
• persistent urge to urinate
• fever and chills if there is an infection
• white blood cells or pus on urine examination
The most important cause of kidney stones is the decreased water intake. Other causes include:
• Overweight or obesity
• Following a diet high in protein, sodium, and sugar
• Someone in a family has had a kidney stone before.
• A condition that causes swelling or irritation in your bowel or your joints
• Intake of certain medicines & calcium-based antacids
What are the natural ways of treating Kidney Stone?
According to the doctor, there are many natural ways of treating the problem of kidney stone:
• Increasing citric acid intake by taking lots of citrus fruits, lemons, and limes
• By staying hydrated with increased intake of fluids depending on the climate
• Decreased intake of salt
• Eating less animal protein
• Decreased intake of oxalate (spinach) for oxalate stone formers
Let’s have a look at some other natural remedies to remove kidney stones
Kidney Beans: Kidney beans, which closely resemble our kidneys, are high on fiber and a great source of vitamin B. These are helpful in cleaning kidneys.
Basil: It acts as a detoxifier that not only helps in removing kidney stones but also strengthens its functioning. It contains acetic acid that breaks down stone which can then easily pass through urine.
Watermelon: The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, A Comprehensive Guide to the Ancient Healing of India by Vasant Lad states that watermelon juice with one-fourth of a teaspoon coriander powder can help in removing small stones and crystals.
Before ending this topic, let’s talk about a very important topic that Dr Dewan highlighted. He talked about a very common myth – patients of kidney stones should avoid foods containing small seeds like guava, brinjal, tomatoes, and ladyfinger.
The doctor said that patients need not avoid these foods as they don’t cause any problems related to kidney stones. He even stated that there is a common misconception that consuming milk causes kidney stones. There is evidence that indicates that milk and milk products do not increase the risk of kidney stones.