Are you experiencing sharp pain in your belly, back, or side? Do you experience pain or burning sensation during urination? If you nodded along worriedly, you might be suffering from kidney stones. And, you might be curious to learn what kidney stones exactly are and how you can treat them at home, aren’t you? Get answers to all your questions by reading this blog below.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are solid, hard deposits that are formed in the kidneys. They remain in the kidneys or pass through the urethra or ureter (the tubes that run from your kidneys to your bladder). Kidney stones may sometimes also pass out through the urine. At times, a kidney stone can also get stuck in your urinary tract and block the urine from getting through.
How Do Kidney Stones Occur?
Kidneys are excretory organs which majorly help in eliminating waste and fluid from blood by forming urine among its many other functions. When there enough fluid is not present in the blood, waste products build up in the urine leading to kidney stones. This condition is also known as Nephrolithiasis.
Types Of Kidney Stones:
There are commonly four types of kidney stones or renal stones.
1.Calcium stones: These can be either calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate stones.
2.Uric acid: These occur when the urine is too acidic in nature. It can occur by itself or with calcium stones.
3.Struvite: This type of stone is found mostly in people with urinary tract infections (UTIs).
4.Cystine: Cystine stones are rare.
Kidney stones can occur repeatedly. So, in order to prevent the occurrence of the kidney stone, you need to follow a proper diet and routine. Here, we list 8 home remedies which will help you keep the hazards of kidney stone at bay if you follow them regularly.
1. Hydration – Drink Plenty Of Water Daily
One cannot miss emphasizing on the utmost importance of being hydrated to prevent the occurrence and problems of kidney stones. So, make sure you drink plenty of water and healthy fluids daily. Also, you need to choose the right fluids.
- Fluids, such as water, are the best recommended to treat or avoid kidney stones.
- Beverages, such as coffee, tea, and fruit juices, have been associated with lower risks for kidney stone formations. So, you can go for them.
- Make sure you avoid sweetened and artificial coloured drinks, as they may make you prone to the problems of kidney stones.
2.Reduced Intake Of Animal Proteins
The intake of animal proteins, such as meat, fish, and dairy, put you at the higher risk of the formation of kidney stones in your body. So, better avoid them or minimize their intake. Animal foods contain higher amounts of purines. Purines, when broken down, are uric acid by nature, which can accumulate in your body leading to uric acid kidney stones. So, prefer to eat plant-based food since its intake is good as plants contain fewer purines as compared to the animal-based food source.
3. Cut Back On Sodium
Sodium is found in salt in our daily diet. The Dietary Guidelines recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, which is equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt. This helps avoid the health hazards of kidney stone. So, it is advisable to reduce or avoid the intake of packaged and processed salty foods.
4. Increase Calcium Intake
It is a common misconception that foods rich in calcium need to be avoided to prevent kidney stones. Dietary calcium is known to bind with oxalate in the diet and this prevents it from being absorbed. Hence, the formation of stones is avoided due to a good intake of calcium. Have a diet abundant in calcium. Calcium-rich foods include Greek yoghurt, beans, lentils, almonds, poppy seeds, sesame, celery, and chia seeds, which you can add to your regular diet to prevent kidney stones.
5. Increase Magnesium Intake
Increased levels of magnesium in your body help avoid the formation of kidney stones. According to Dietary requirements, healthy adult men should generally consume 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily. And, healthy adult women should consume 310 to 320 mg of magnesium daily. Pregnant women are recommended to consume a higher dose than women who aren’t pregnant.
Magnesium-rich foods include avocados, almonds, nuts, lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, soybeans, bananas, and seeds, such as flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. So, include them in your regular diet.
6. Follow An Oxalate-Controlled Diet
Foods with high amounts of oxalate include beetroot, spinach, bran flakes, potato chips, and French fries.
An oxalate-controlled diet helps in reducing the oxalate levels in the body. Hence, they help in reducing its absorption from the gut leading to its low level in the urine. Higher levels of oxalate in the gut cause more absorption by kidneys leading to high levels of it in the urine that, ultimately, increases the chances of the formation of kidney stones.
7.Increase Citric Acid Intake
Citric acid is usually found in citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, lime, and apple cider vinegar. It helps to soften, breakdown, and dissolve kidney stones. So, citric acid helps in preventing the formation of stones in the urine. Hence, a diet which has a significant amount of citric acid is beneficial to the patients of kidney stones.
8.Reduce Vitamin C Intake
Large doses of vitamin C are not good for the kidneys, and they increase the risk of stones. So, limit your intake of vitamin C. Ensure you do not consume an excess of vitamin C.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) has been found to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Vitamin B6 is naturally found in bananas, avocados, soybeans, halibut, mangos, and oatmeal. So, increase your intake of the food which are rich in vitamin B6, although it is also available and can be taken as a supplement.
Now that you know these eight easy yet effective home remedies for kidney stones, make sure you follow all of them to prevent or treat the health issues of kidney stones.
-Written by Dr. Neethu, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah