Kidney stones are composed of either calcium salts or other acidic salts, such as uric acid, that can build up in the body. Passing of these stones can be extremely painful.
About 80% of kidney stones are the type known as calcium stones. Normal calcium in the body when combined with oxalate, phosphate, or carbonate can form a stone. The main causes of kidney stones include: poor diet, a diet high in oxalates, synthetic calcium supplements, dehydration, pH balance, allergies, obesity, mineral deficiencies, or inactivity.
The Causes of Kidney Stones
Stones form due to a number of reasons but some of the main causes can be:
- Unhealthy Diet – for example processed, canned, frozen and fast foods that are high in salt content.
- Food that is high in Oxalates or Oxalic Acid
- Food that is not easily digestible or high in animal proteins like meat, fish and eggs.
- Over consumption of Alcohol and Beverages
- Allergies, hyperparathyroidism, chronic diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease or gout
- Low intake of water and fluids leading to dehydration or Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Severe physical exertion
- Uncontrolled Blood Pressure
- No exercise
- Weight Issues
- Mineral Imbalances in the body
- Family history of kidney stones
- Suppressing urges to urinate
Here are the top kidney stones natural remedies and the best diet to avoid kidney stones.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water. However, when you have kidney stones or if you think that you might be susceptible to them, it’s absolutely critical to keep adequate fluids running through your system in order to flush out the minerals and other substances that cause stones to form. If you don’t have the time (or patience) to measure and track your daily water intake, simply remember this general rule: The darker your urine is, the more water you need. When your urine comes out clear or close to it, you know you’re drinking enough.
Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Sounds awful, doesn’t it? People do claim success in mixing a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil to help dissolve kidney stones as a popular home remedy. Proponents of this method claim that at the first notice of symptoms, mix five ounces of olive oil with five ounces of lemon juice. Drink this combination straight and then drink a glass of water. You should blend this concoction and drink it straight first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon.
Be sure to drink plenty of water as well and extra lemon juice, if possible. Continue this treatment for several days until the stone passes.
Warning: Lemons are very acidic and can destroy tooth enamel and contribute to heartburn or ulcers. We give it 2 out of 5 stars.
Don’t Take High Doses of Vitamin C
Studies indicate that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements are associated with a higher risk of getting kidney stones. A high intake of supplemental vitamin C may increase the excretion of oxalate in the urine, as some vitamin C can be converted into oxalate within the body. One study among middle-aged and older Swedish men found that vitamin C supplement takers may be twice as likely to develop kidney stones as those who don’t take supplements. However, note that vitamin C from food sources, such as lemons, is not associated with an increased stone risk.
Lab Grade Chanca Piedra
Lab grade chanca piedra has shown high success rates in kidney stone treatment. This herbal remedy breaks down and prevents the development of new kidney stones. All-natural, Chanca Piedra has been shown to scientifically crush the kidney stones to dissolve them and allow easy passing of remnant stone materials. Studies have shown almost instantaneous pain alleviation following the consumption of Chanca Piedra. It first grabbed the attention of the scientific community in a 2002 study on rodents which demonstrated it slowed or halted kidney stone growth. Further studies indicated lab grade Chanca Piedra actually interferes with the process that would normally cause stones to form.
Increase Your Citric Acid Intake
Lemons and limes are especially rich in this plant compound .Citric acid may help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones in two ways:
Prevents stone formation: It can bind with calcium in the urine, thus reducing the risk of new stone formation.
Prevents stone enlargement: It binds with existing calcium oxalate crystals, preventing them from getting larger. It can help you pass these crystals before they turn into larger stones.
An easy way to consume more citric acid is to eat more citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons or limes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Makes your mouth pucker just thinking of it. Some home remedy enthusiasts swear by the use of apple cider vinegar to treat kidney stones. The theory behind it is that apple cider vinegar is made of citric acid that which could play a role in dissolving kidney stones, helping the body pass the stones more easily. In addition, it is believed that apple cider vinegar helps in the prevention of kidney stones to begin with by alkalizing the effect on blood and urine and promoting the production of hydrochloric acid in the body to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Proponents of this home remedy recommend mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with six to eight ounces of water and drinking the mixture frequently throughout the day, and especially before meal times to help dissolve kidney stones. Drinking ample amounts of fresh water throughout the day is also suggested to help flush the kidneys. If the stones are passed, you are advised to continue drinking this solution one to two times a week to prevent future kidney stones from forming.
Warning: Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can erode esophagus tissue, destroy tooth enamel and may be dangerous when taken with blood pressure and diabetes medications.
Surveys indicate sporadic success in some patients who have been waiting long periods of time for a stone to pass. We give it 2 out of 5 stars.
Cut Back on Salt
A diet high in salt is linked to an increased risk of kidney stones in some people. A high intake of sodium, a component of table salt, may increase calcium excretion through urine — which is one of the main risk factors for kidney stones.
That being said, some studies in younger women and men have failed to find an association.
Most dietary guidelines currently recommend that people limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. However, most people consume a lot more than that.
One of the best ways to decrease your sodium intake is to cut back on packaged, processed foods.
Eat Less Animal Protein
A diet high in animal protein sources, such as meat, fish and dairy, is contain with a higher risk of kidney stones.
A high intake of animal protein may increase calcium excretion and decrease levels of citrate.
In addition, animal protein sources are rich in purines. It may increase the risk of forming uric acid stones by breaking down these compounds into uric acid.
All foods contain purines, but in different amounts.
Kidney, liver and other organ meats are very high in purines. Plant foods, on the other hand, are low in these substances.
Avoid Foods that Cause Kidney Stones
Foods high in oxalic acid – This includes: spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, collards, eggplant, beets, celery, summer squash, sweet potatoes, peanuts, almonds, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, parsley, and cocoa.
Grapefruit juice – Can increase the risk for kidney stones.
Processed red meats – Can cause the body to excrete calcium, leading to a buildup of calcium in the kidneys.
Calcium rich foods – Avoid conventional dairy products like milk and processed cheese that can cause a buildup of calcium.
Caffeine – Is dehydrating which can make kidney stones worse.