Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys or the urinary tract. They can cause severe pain, nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine, and urinary tract infections. Some kidney stones may pass on their own, while others may require medical intervention.
However, there are some natural home remedies that may help prevent or dissolve kidney stones, or ease their passage. Here are some of them:
Drink plenty of water: Water helps flush out the toxins and stone-forming substances from the urine. It also dilutes the urine and prevents the crystals from sticking together. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water per day, or more if you sweat a lot or live in a hot climate. You can also add some lemon juice to your water, as it contains citric acid that can help dissolve calcium oxalate stones.
Eat foods rich in citric acid: Citric acid is a natural compound that can bind with calcium and prevent it from forming stones. It can also break up small stones and make them easier to pass. Some fruits and vegetables that are high in citric acid are lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, and kiwis. You can eat them whole or squeeze their juice and drink it.
Avoid foods high in oxalate: Oxalate is another substance that can combine with calcium and form kidney stones. Some foods that are high in oxalate are spinach, rhubarb, beetroot, chocolate, nuts, soy products, and tea. If you have a history of kidney stones, you may want to limit your intake of these foods or pair them with foods that are high in calcium, such as dairy products or fortified cereals. Calcium can bind with oxalate in the digestive tract and reduce its absorption into the urine.
Reduce your salt intake: Salt can increase the amount of calcium in the urine and promote stone formation. It can also dehydrate you and make your urine more concentrated. Try to limit your salt intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day, or less if you have high blood pressure or kidney disease. Avoid processed foods, canned foods, fast foods, and salty snacks that are high in sodium. Use herbs, spices, lemon juice, or vinegar to flavor your food instead of salt.
Moderate your animal protein intake: Animal protein can increase the levels of uric acid and calcium in the urine and lower the pH of the urine, making it more acidic. This can increase the risk of uric acid stones and calcium oxalate stones. Some sources of animal protein are meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Try to limit your intake of these foods to no more than one serving per day, or opt for plant-based protein sources such as beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, and seeds.
Try some herbal remedies: Some herbs may have diuretic, anti-inflammatory, or antioxidant properties that can help prevent or treat kidney stones. For example, basil contains compounds that can help stabilize uric acid levels and dissolve kidney stones. You can drink basil tea or juice daily or add fresh basil leaves to your salads and dishes. Another herb that may help is dandelion, which can increase urine output and flush out the kidneys. You can drink dandelion tea or take dandelion supplements after consulting your doctor.
Drink apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for various health conditions, including kidney stones. It contains acetic acid, which can help dissolve kidney stones and ease their passage. It can also reduce pain and inflammation caused by the stones. You can mix one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and drink it several times a day. You can also add some honey to improve the taste and boost its benefits.
Eat pomegranate seeds or juice: Pomegranate is a fruit that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It can help improve kidney function and prevent kidney stones from developing. It can also lower the acidity of the urine and reduce the risk of calcium oxalate stones. You can eat pomegranate seeds as a snack or drink pomegranate juice daily.
These are some of the natural home remedies that may help you deal with kidney stones. However, they are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have severe pain, fever, chills, blood in the urine, or difficulty urinating, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Also, remember that prevention is better than cure. By following a healthy diet and lifestyle habits, drinking enough water, and avoiding excess salt and animal protein intake, you can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones in the future.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456