Kidney stones or renal lithiasis are hard deposits of acid salts and minerals inside the kidneys. There are many reasons why these stones might form and they can impact any part of the urinary tract. In most cases, these are caused when the urine is concentrated because this allows the minerals in the urine to crystallize. Passing kidney stones is very painful, but does not usually cause permanent damage. In many cases kidney stones are mild enough that you can use home remedies for kidney stones to ease your discomfort and pass the stones effectively.
Home Remedies for Kidney Stones
1. Watch for Your Diet
- More Water. Drinking at least 6-8 eight once glasses of liquid, particularly water, each day is essential when you are trying to pass a kidney stone. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine that can increase the amount of oxalates in the urine and make your problem worse.
- Enough Fiber. Getting plenty of fiber helps you filter away oxalate and calcium. Bran flakes are a good source of fiber that can contribute to this effort.
- Whole-Wheat Bread. Whole wheat bread is high in magnesium which is known for helping people prevent kidney stones.
- Carrots. Carrots are high in vitamin A that can help you keep your kidneys healthy. Consuming high amounts of winter squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes or pumpkin can provide helpful results as well.
- Chicken. Chicken contains a high amount of B vitamins that can help prevent the body from building up oxalate that can lead to a kidney stone.
- Milk. Failing to get enough calcium in your diet can cause your body to produce more oxalate that can cause kidney stones. Increasing your intake of milk can help you avoid this risk. The recommended daily intake for adults is 1000-1200 mg, which is about 3 cups.
- Limiting Oxalates Intake. Eating too many servings of fruits and vegetables can increase the oxalate in your urine, which will increase your discomfort. Talk to your doctor about the serving sizes that are safe. In particular you should avoid colas, coffee, tea, wheat bran, peanuts, beets, other nuts, rhubarb, strawberries, beets and parsley.
- Cutting Down Meat and Fish. Animal proteins can cause you to produce more uric acid and calcium which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Cut down on the intake of these proteins to moderate level.
- Reducing Salt. A high salt intake can increase your risk of getting kidney stones. Try not to consume more than 2g of sodium each day to reduce your risk.
2. Take Vitamins Moderately
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is converted to oxalate during digestion so you should stop using any supplements and get your recommended dose from foods instead. You should know that if you take more than 3.000 milligrams of Vitamin C every day, there might be problems.
- Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential to maintaining your urinary tract. You should get at least 500 international units of vitamin A though dietary sources each day, but avoid getting more than this as it can cause an overdose. Consult your doctor to determine how much you should get.
- Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is believed to help lower oxalate levels in the blood. Taking supplements that include this and magnesium is very helpful in cutting down the risk of kidney stones. It is suggested that, for B6 supplement, you should avoid taking more than 25 milligrams per day.
3. Check Your Urine Output
Measuring your urine can be one of the effective home remedies for kidney stones. It give you an idea of how you are processing your fluid intake so you can get an idea for how your condition is progressing. Ideally you should pass around 40-45 ounces per day.
4. Avoid Calcium-based Antacids
Besides using the above home remedies for kidney stones, you should remeber to avoid calcium-based antacides. Many over the counter antacids are calcium based, which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones when overused.
When to See a Doctor
If you start to feel very severe pain in the genitals, abdomen, groin or side, there is blood in your urine, you start to experience fever or chills, nausea, vomiting or signs of a urinary tract infection you should contact your doctor immediately. If you have already been working with a doctor and you need stronger pain medication, you can contact your doctor to determine what might be appropriate. Also let your doctor know once you have managed to pass the stone so they can determine if you will need to bring it in for testing.