Your sides and back ache, radiating down your lower abdomen and groin. It hurts to urinate, and you feel an urge to vomit. “Don’t worry,” your doctor says. “It’s only kidney stones.” Your prognosis, wait it out. What you really want to know is what caused the kidney stones to form and how to treat them.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Your kidneys remove excess fluid from your body while filtering unneeded electrolytes and wastes from your blood. The result is urine.
When you do not consume enough water, minerals and acid salts crystallize in your urine and form kidney stones. This is common when your urine is highly acidic or alkaline.
Other circumstances, such as malabsorption of calcium and other minerals, metabolic disorders, genetics, or kidney disease can also cause kidney stones to form.
Pharmaceutical drugs, including Lasix (furosemide), Topomax (topiramate), and Xenical can create a biological environment that promotes the formation of kidney stones.
The pain you experience occurs because the tissue above the stone distends and blocks the urine from passing.
Types of Kidney Stones
There are four common types of kidney stones. When you know what type of stone is forming, it will help determine the underlying cause.
- Calcium Stones are the most common type of stone. They are formed by calcium oxalate, which is found in some types of fruits and vegetables. Most of your oxalate, however, is produced by your liver. If this type of stone occurs frequently, you might consider avoiding food rich in oxalates, such as dark green veggies, nuts, and chocolate.
- Struvite Stones occur most often in females as a result of urinary tract infections.
- Uric Acid Stones are caused by improper protein metabolism. They are often accompanied by gout and related to genetic factors and blood-producing tissue disorders.
- Cystine Stones are rare and occur from a hereditary disorder that promotes high amounts of amino acids (cystinuria) to form in the kidneys.
What Are Your Options?
There are several remedies floating around in cyberspace. Many of them are tried and true while others leave room for speculation. Below, I list the remedies I would invoke in order of my personal preference.
Prevention is the best medicine:
Drink plenty of quality water, with nothing added. There are some great choices on the market today. My personal favorites include Alkaline 88 Water or Smartwater. Aim for one gallon or more per day. The more coffee and alcohol you consume, the more water you will require. Rule of thumb, for every cup of coffee or alcoholic drink you consume, drink two additional glasses of water.
Walk at least 8,000 steps per day (approximately 3 miles). A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of kidney stones.
Lower your consumption of sugar and salt, and avoid sodas altogether. Some tea is high in oxalates, so they are best to avoid if you are prone to having kidney stones.
(Phyllanthus niruri) has been scientifically proven to crush kidney and gallbladder stones: It is suggested that you take 500mg in the morning upon waking. Wait at least one hour before eating. Take another 500mg in the evening at least two hours after eating. When you no longer experience symptoms, you may reduce the dose to once a day (500mg) for 30 days.
Lemon Juice and Olive Oil:
This remedy is moderately effective for some individuals. Keep in mind that lemon juice is very acidic and can exasperate ulcers and acid reflux in some people. The lemon juice dissolves the stones, and the oil provides lubrication to ease passing. Mix 5 ounces of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil with 5 ounces of fresh lemon juice. Drink this concoction first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Drink another dose at night before bedtime. Follow the dose with 8 ounces of water.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar can interact with certain diabetes medication, so ask your pharmacist before implementing this remedy.Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with six to eight ounces of water and drink it frequently throughout the day before eating. The vinegar helps to dissolve kidney stones. Make sure you drink ample amounts of water while implementing this treatment.Once your symptoms are relieved continue drinking this water/cider solution twice a week to prevent other stones from forming.
Coke and Asparagus:
This has proven to work for some people, but I’m not a huge proponent of soda of any kind. Try this remedy at your own discretion.What you will need:
- 6 12oz cans of Coke Classic
- 8oz can of Green Giant Asparagus
- 1 gallon of distilled water
This will be an all-day event, so make time. First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, you will begin consuming the coke. Shoot for one can every 30 minutes until all six cans of coke are gone.As you are drinking your last can of Coke, puree the asparagus in a blender. I like to add a beet to the mix for flavor.
Drink the pureed asparagus right after you finish your last can of Coke.
Drink the entire gallon of distilled water throughout the day until gone. This is very important because the Coke will dehydrate you.
You should experience relief within 24 hours. If not, feel free to repeat the process.
If you love drinking tea, or want to support your kidneys, try these herbs:
- Nettle Leaf (drink as a tea)
- Bearberry (capsules)
- Cleavers (drink as a tea)
- Corn Silk (drink as a tea)
- Crampbark (capsules)
- Gravel Root (capsules)
- Kava Kava (capsules or tea)
- Khella (capsules)
If you are not familiar with herbs, please consult a professional. Herbs are powerful medicine and can interact with other medications and affect diagnostic test results.