Kidney stones are a painful ailment that occurs in your urinary tract. The good thing is that treatment is readily available. Even natural intervention has been proven to be effective in getting rid of kidney stones. Here are some facts about what kidney stones are and some of the natural ways to get rid of them and lower the risk of their recurrence.
What kidney stones are
Kidney stones are also known as renal calculi. They are crystals that have solidified in various parts of the urinary tract which can cause significant kidney pain. Kidney stones can grow in the bladder, ureters, kidneys, and urethra. Because of the high degree of pain this ailment causes, the patient should undergo kidney stone removal as soon as possible.
Types of kidney stones
There are different types of kidney stones. These largely depend on the type of crystals that have solidified over time:
This is caused by cystinuria, a genetic disorder that affects both men and women. This hereditary disorder catalyzes stones to form in various parts of the urinary tract mostly in the bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Stones are made from cysteine, a type of amino acid. This disorder traps cystine inside the kidneys until they eventually become stones. This type causes a lot of discomforts while urinating. Stones of this kind can potentially grow big so these might have to be surgically removed for safety and pain management purposes.
As the name implies, when urine has high acidic content, kidney stones might develop. This particular type affects more men than women. People who wrestle with gout are also at risk with developing this type of stones. This is because gout is caused by a large concentration of acidity in the urine.
This particular crystal is from calcium oxalate. It is not the calcium that a person should be worried about. Calcium per se is not dangerous. The body needs calcium to strengthen bones and promote growth. It is the oxalate part that one should be wary of. Oxalate is a type of organic acid that causes the formation of stones. Apart from its stone-forming properties, it also hampers the absorption of nutrients in the body. A person cannot fully escape oxalates. In fact, some leafy greens have them as well. This is why researchers suggest an increase in calcium intake. Studies have shown how effective calcium binds with oxalates making it easier for the body to either absorb the compound or expel it.
Among the types of kidney stones, this can potentially do the most harm. This is because struvite stones can grow really big and can obstruct the passing of urine. This mostly affects women as compared to men.
Kidney stones causes and what to do about it
Kidney stones can be caused by genetic disposition, quality of food being eaten, or both. Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts.
- Do drink loads of water. Hydration is one natural way to prevent stones from ever forming.
- Do consult the physician for gout symptoms, urinary tract infection, blood and metabolism disorders, and other ailments. This could both diagnose the current state of the patient and support or rule out the presence of kidney stones in a patient.
- Don’t eat too much chocolate, peanuts, and potato chips.
- Don’t eat shellfish, red meat, sweet juices, and salt in excess.
Natural ways to counter kidney stones
Now that you know what kidney stones are, as mentioned earlier, there are many natural ways to counter kidney stones. These include the following:
- Water. Hydration is your best bet against purifying your body from harmful crystals and lowering the risk of these crystals of solidifying to form stones. Eight glasses a day should do the trick.
- Dandelion. This can be in the form of an oral supplement, an extract, or a tea. Dandelions help eliminate waste. They are present in flowing rivers.
- Lemon Juice. This is very potent against calcium stones. Just make sure that lemon juice does not come with artificial sweeteners.
- Apple Cider. Apple cider is considered a gift because of the many positive effects it brings.
- Kidney Bean Broth. Kidney beans, while filled with many nutrients, can both cleanse the body and reduce symptoms of the ailment.
- Olive oil. One can just dilute a 5-oz glass of olive oil in water and start drinking it. This is a good detoxifier plus it also prevents stones from forming.
- Wheatgrass juice. This type of juice can also do many things. It produces antioxidants which remove harmful substances from the body. It also increases the volume of urine making it easier for solidified crystals to pass through the urinary tract and be expelled from the body.
- Celery. Just like wheatgrass, this also contains antioxidants for effective detoxifying. They can prevent stones and counter kidney stone symptoms.
- Pomegranate. This can help manage the acidity level in the urine. Lessening uric acid is an effective way of preventing stones. This also treats kidney stone symptoms because it eases the passage of solidified crystals in the urinary tract much like wheatgrass juice.
Now that you know what kidney stones are, it is quite evident that a healthy lifestyle is both your best offense and defense against this painful urinary tract ailment. When you increase nutritious, fiber-rich food and water intake and limit one’s propensity for soda, coffee, alcohol, sugar, salt, and fat, you will not have to be at the mercy of kidney stone formation.